On 10 June 2007 at approximately 17:35 hrs, a northbound train to Edgware was travelling on the Northern Line when, due to repair work, it was incorrectly routed into the High Barnet platform at Camden Town. To correct this, the train directly behind it was deliberately routed to Edgware for the passengers and crew to exchange trains. During the exchange, a driver entered the wrong end of the High Barnet train and drove southwards for 108 metres, before stopping 20 metres away from an approaching train. There was no collision, derailment or injuries to passengers or staff.
The immediate cause of the incident was that the train driver entered the incorrect cab when joining the train and drove the train in the wrong direction from Camden Town station. The driver did not carry out the correct procedure for starting a train from a station. There were five contributory factors which involved train crew unfamiliarity with changing trains at Camden Town, inappropriate use of the train regulation equipment while under repair, and the driver did not observe and respond to the stop board.
London Underground Ltd (LUL) have taken action to prevent similar incidents, including additional staff training and changes to operational procedures. They have also improved the reliability of train regulation equipment which controls the routing of trains.
RAIB has made four recommendations to address causal and contributory factors. These concern:
- installation of warning signs at Camden Town
- instructions for drivers when they leave a cab of a train to be replaced by driver
- recording technical interventions in the control room
- familiarity induction to stations where drivers may be required to change platforms between trains.
Response to recommendations:
- RAIB will periodically update the status of recommendations as reported to us by the relevant safety authority or public body.
- RAIB may add comment, particularly if we have concerns regarding these responses.