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TfL introduces “Track Retrieval Device”

We hear more regularly these days, horrifying tales of people getting down onto the tracks to retrieve personal items that have been dropped onto the tracks themselves.  Often, these people escape with their lives by just seconds.

According to TfL the number of reported incidents of items being dropped onto the track is increasing (by 62 percent from 2009/2010 to 2012/2013) so in the run up to the festive season, TfL are introducing a new tool to help staff to safely retrieve small, high-value items such as mobile phones and handbags from the track.

The tool is called the “Track Retrieval Device” and has been designed, built and tested by London Underground staff themselves.

TfL Track Retrieval Device

TfL Track Retrieval Device. (Image: TfL)

The TRD is designed to be used without turning off the power supply to the tracks and without staff having to step down onto the track.

Track Retrieval Device in use

Track Retrieval Device in use. (Image: TfL)

Last year dropped items on the track were responsible for 195,000 hours of delay.

Nigel Holness, London Underground Operations Director Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly Lines said:  “We’re committed to running the safest and most reliable service possible, particularly at this busy time of year. When we examined the type of incidents which cause delays, it was clear that customers dropping items onto tracks has a disruptive impact on services. We recognise that possessions are very valuable to people so we encourage everyone to take care of them when they’re on the platform. If you drop anything of value on the track, please speak to a member of staff and we will do our best to retrieve it for you. We hope that our staff, using the Track Retrieval Device, will deter customers from attempting to pick up items themselves.

17 Dec 14

Barking Bay Platform

Whilst on our travels on the H&C, we noticed something else had changed, that we think came into effect with the December 2013 timetable.

At Barking, there is a bay road/platform where H&C trains normally terminate and turn around in.  Within the Station Master App this is what the exit information lists – Platform 3.

But now it seems that H&C trains are terminating on the same platform as District trains (Platforms 1a and 2) but whereas District trains open their doors on both sides, H&C trains only open the doors on the right, Platform 2 only.

The train then goes into sidings beyond the station, and comes back into service (as shown here) on Platform 6 instead.

H and C at Barking

A ‘S7’ stock train on the H&C line starts it journey at Platform 6, Barking.

We’re not sure if it’s a permanent thing, or just something that’s being tried out. It also seems to change depending on what time of day it is, so it is rather confusing if your starting station is Barking as to which platform to go to for the next train …

18 Jan 14