District line delays after cracks found during inspection

COMMUTERS faced delays this morning after cracks were found on trains on the District line.

Engineers discovered cracks on shoe brake brackets - which pick up the current underneath the train during routine inspection and took them out of service. They are checking all 80 District line trains for cracks.

A Transport for London spokeswoman said: “During a routine inspection of our District line train fleet, our engineers discovered that on a dozen line trains a bracket seemed to be cracked.

“Safety is our top priority and, as a precaution, those trains have been removed from service whilst a thorough investigation is undertaken. All other District line trains are undergoing testing to ensure that the problem is not more widespread.

“We apologise to passengers for the disruption this is causing this morning, but passenger safety is our top priority and this demonstrates that our safety regime works.”

She said delays were compounded by a signal failure on the overground service at Wimbledon Park.

She added: “This has nothing whatsoever to do with the dispute brought about by the RMT and TSSA union leaderships.

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“It also demonstrates yet again the need for ongoing investment in our Tube services and infrastructure, which is of such importance to London and the wider UK economy.”

But the RMT union’s General Secretary Bob Crow said the incident highlighted the need for an end to cuts to the tube cuts programme.

He said today’s incident would “send shivers down the spine of tube users.”

“We remain available for talks but the current cuts to jobs and safety must be halted before we have a tragedy on our hands. Throughout this dispute TfL and the Mayor have adopted the most cavalier approach to safety, attacking staff and leaving our members with no choice but to take action on behalf of Londoners who depend daily on a safe transport system.”