Posted 11th March 2013 | 4 Comments
Investigations launched into tunnel drill damage
FIRST CAPITAL CONNECT has praised the vigilance of drivers on its Northern City route from Moorgate, after drills from a construction site broke through into the tunnel.
The driver of the 10.02 Moorgate to Welwyn Garden City service on Friday morning reported that muddy water had been pouring from the roof near Old Street, and the line was closed as a precaution.
At 11.05 a Network Rail Mobile Operations Manager joined another driver on board an empty train from Moorgate which was worked cautiously along the route. As the train approached the damaged area at low speed, two large piling drills came through the skin of the tunnel. The train stopped in time and no one was hurt, but FCC described the driver as 'shaken'.
FCC Managing Director Neal Lawson said: “This is a serious incident that could have ended very differently had it not been for the vigilance and prompt reporting and actions of our drivers. We carry two million people a year on the Northern City Line and whoever is responsible for this must be held to account."
The line stayed closed for the rest of Friday, and Network Rail said specialist tunnelling contractors had been sent to the scene to assess the damage.
Inquiries have been launched by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, the London Borough of Hackney and British Transport Police, whose officers have visited the offices of the construction site above the tunnel.
FCC said Northern City services were able to restart on schedule this morning after Network Rail engineers had confirmed that the tunnel was safe.
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