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Trackwork scrutiny following Tube derailment


INVESTIGATIONS INTO a derailment on the London Underground on Tuesday are set to centre on recent track work carried out by tube contractor Metronet.

The derailment at White City on the Central Line happened on Tuesday lunchtime when the leading bogie of the seventh car of a westbound train derailed at around 25km/hr.

Nobody was injured but the derailment caused major disruption. The Central Line remained closed as NCE went to press on Tuesday evening.

A Metronet spokeswoman said there was no indication at this stage on the cause of the incident. But she confirmed that the company had been working on sets of points in the area to smooth out curves during the last few weeks.

Speed restrictions of 30km/hr were in place over a 100m section of the track at the time of derailment.

This week's accident comes just 16 months after 32 people were injured on the same line at Chancery Lane (NCE 30 January 2003). This incident was caused by a traction motor detaching from the train, derailing it.

London Underground (LU) modified around 80 trains and the entire Central Line was closed for several weeks following the incident.

Metronet took over the line in April last year as part of a 30 year deal to maintain, operate and upgrade two thirds of the Tube network. The derailment is the second to hit the firm following a similar accident on the Piccadilly Line in October last year (NCE 23 October 2003). It was blamed on flaws in LU's track maintenance regime.

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