Tube log of Thursday's events

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Forum Staff
Staff Member
6 Jun 2005

A log of events released by London Underground (LU) to the BBC shows the confusion surrounding the first moments of last Thursday's terrorist attacks.
The network at first thought it was dealing with a power surge, a derailment and person under a train.

The Met was called at 0851 BST but it was not until 0917 that they knew they were dealing with an explosion.

And LU said its electronic train monitoring system allowed police to determine the bombs were simultaneous.

LU said that a Code Red, the immediate shutdown of the network, was never called as this would have left many passengers trapped in trains which would have been stalled in tunnels across the network.

Code Amber

The Code Amber action allowed the majority of passengers to be de-trained at stations rather than proceeding through tunnels which is a slow and dangerous process.

The LU spokesman said that between 0845 BST and 0900 BST on 7 July 2005, over 200,000 passengers would have been travelling on over 500 trains.

He added that the majority of passengers who were not killed or seriously injured were evacuated within one hour.

The LU log released is as follows:

0850: First indications received by London Underground's Network Control Centre (NCC) of a problem on the network suggested a power supply problem affecting a large area as stations were reporting that some escalators had stopped and other station equipment was no longer working.

The NCC immediately treated this as a power supply issue and took actions to resolve the issue.

At this stage NCC believed that the problem could be resolved and power would be restored by 09:15.

What we now know is that the power surge occurred as a direct result of explosions knocking the power supply out at the three incident sites.

08:51: The Central Line called the NCC enquiring about a possible large noise or explosion onboard a train at Liverpool Street.

0851: The first call to the Metropolitan Police indicating that they were being asked to attend a person under a train incident caused by the derailment.

08:52: The Metropolitan Line confirmed that an explosion had taken place. NCC believed this to be directly related to the ongoing power supply issue. Loud noises or explosions often accompany a power supply rupture.

08:53: London Underground commenced Gold Control (command and control person in charge of a serious incident on the Underground). On its own a power surge is a major issue.

0859: The NCC receives a report indicating that a train departing Edgware Road station had hit the tunnel wall. Further information came in quickly, including smoke and passengers self de-training and walking down the tunnel towards the nearest station, Edgware Road. Sub-surface line managers immediately called the emergency services believing this to be a derailment. At this time, LU believed it was dealing with a major incident (derailment) and a serious power supply issue on the network.

09:01: The Metropolitan line reported that a person may be under a train at Liverpool Street. This was the third issue that the Network Control Centre was now dealing with within a space of eleven minutes.

09:03: The Piccadilly line Duty Operations Manager receives reports of passengers running from King's Cross.

09:05: The NCC is advised of walking wounded at Edgware Road.

09:09: An engineer reports losing a high tension power cable between Mansell Street and Moorgate.

09:10: The Piccadilly line Duty Operations Manager reports to NCC a request for ambulances. In the twenty minutes that had passed since.

09:11: The Piccadilly line Duty Operations Manager reports loss of traction current in Russell Square both east and westbound and that a loud bang had been heard at Russell Square westbound with staff already investigating.

0915: It was clear that the series of events occurring across the network were directly related to multiple explosions and a Code Amber alert was declared which means trains are brought into stations and told to stay there until further notice.

This was LU commencing the shutdown of the entire Tube network as it was evident that the continued operation of the Tube presented a risk to customers if further explosions occurred. LU staff began de-training large numbers of passengers and evacuating them from the network.

0917: Metropolitan Police received a call specifically stating than an explosion had occurred at Edgware Road. This explains the Metropolitan Police reporting that the Edgware Road explosion occurred at 0917.

The various emergency services were either in attendance or on their way to Edgware Road. We also know that the train did not derail and hit a tunnel wall.

The NCC asked all Underground lines to continue to hold all services and identify trains they had in stations and what was stalled in tunnel sections.

We then evacuated all remaining passengers from their trains - equivalent to a Code Red action - at 0946 which means that all trains remained stationary, remaining passengers were de-trained, stations commenced evacuation procedures and all services were suspended
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RailUK Forums


Forum Staff
Staff Member
8 Jun 2005
It's very interesting to hear the full story of the morning's terrible events 'from the horse's mouth'. I'm suprised to see how long it took for the control centre to realise that all the issues were caused by explosions, and not the power supply issue.

It must have been very distressing for the staff at the centre, and across the network :(


Established Member
28 Jun 2005
hmmm i can't believe it that while i was happily singing away the 'london underground song' bombs were going off on the tube...

still good to finally here whats happened
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