Blog: How Much Snow Is Too Much? When Trains Are Stalled And People Walked Along The Track
On Saturday night the predicted heavy snow brought much of the tube to a halt. Efforts were made to keep the service running and get passengers safely home by staff working that evening. However was the inevitable - trains being stuck in snow between stations - ignored until it was too late?
The Jubilee Line as an example was eventually fully suspended. Some trains became stuck between stations as the snow covering the current rails prevented them from getting power to keep them moving. However, before this happened more and more drivers were radioing the controller to say that they were experiencing problems.
The service should have been suspended earlier so that customers weren't at risk of being stuck and having to walk up cold and slippery tracks. We hear that in some cases senior managers blocked this course of action.
As it was the service kept going with frequent trains every few minutes until several got stuck and the whole line was shut down. It's been reported that some trains didn't reach the depot until the early morning.
So where does the fault lay? On the underground now service seems to be the top priority. Trains will be run until it is impossible to move them, rather than until it is inevitable that this is about to happen. London Underground senior managers need to look at the situation. Has their 'service, service, service' mentality caused this situation were operational staff that evening weren't able to stop the service early as they would be punished for taking what would have been the safest and sensible option: suspending the service before trains couldn't move.