London Underground and TfL

01.05.06

Tube Lines training fire fighters on Underground

London Underground’s Emergency Response Unit (ERU), the team of dedicated specialists that deals with all significant problems on the Underground network, are training London’s fire fighters in Tube safety and rescue techniques.

The ERU deals with problems such as derailments, broken rails, people under trains, immobilised trains, water on the track and issues requiring emergency speed restrictions. It played an active role after the bombings of 7 July. Its role is to keep the Tube running safely and reliably.

Run by Tube Lines, the company responsible for rebuilding the Tube, along with Metronet, the ERU operates on all Underground lines. Together, Tube Lines and Metronet are investing almost £6 million in the ERU over the first 7 ½ years of their contracts with London Underground to ensure it has the latest skills and equipment to tackle any situation. This includes a £1.4 million investment in a new state of the art fleet of vehicles. A crucial part of the investment is training; every emergency response team member receives three days of training every five weeks – more if necessary.

A programme is underway which will see the ERU train then Fire Rescue Units, the specialist parts of the London Fire Brigade which attend significant emergencies, including on the Underground. Both experienced crew members and new fire fighters receive the training.

The ERU teachers Fire Rescue Units how to work safely and effectively on the London Underground, covering track layout, train structure and common terminology used on the Underground. It also teaches how to switch off the 630 volt traction current which powers the trains.

After this theoretical briefing, the attendees are tested on the identification of track components and learn how competent trained staff use short circuiting devices, which are currently used to ensure that the traction current cannot be accidentally recharged.

Using the special facilities at the ERU’s training centre, the fire fighters learn how to work closely with colleagues to safely lift a train carriage using ‘jacking and packing’ techniques. Once this has been mastered, boards are positioned around the practice carriage to simulate the cramped conditions of tunnels; on the Underground there is often just 9 inches between the carriage and the tunnel walls.

In addition to Fire Rescue Units, the ERU trains its own staff and other relevant Tube Lines employees, London Underground staff, other parts of the London Fire Brigade, the British Transport Police, ambulance teams and other rail companies.

The feedback of fire fighters attending the course is positive. Darren Leonard, rescue skills trainer for the London Fire Brigade, praised the ERU, “Through the Emergency Response Unit, Tube Lines has undoubted expertise in some of the most dangerous yet critical work on the Underground.”

Tube Lines’ Rapid Response Manager of the ERU, Martyn Sculpher, said, “We see ourselves as London’s fourth emergency service and these training courses reinforce that image.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Michael Smith   14/04/2017 at 10:25

Hi can you please tell me if there any vacancies or there will be any int the future in the ERU thanks

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Ground-breaking rail collaboration launched to improve services for passengers

20/09/2019Ground-breaking rail collaboration launched to improve services for passengers

  A ground-breaking deal has been agreed today among rail bosses to deliver higher standards for rail users in the West Midlands.  ... more >
Manchester Metrolink’s greener future

19/09/2019Manchester Metrolink’s greener future

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) are to renew and upgrade Manchester Metrolink’s electrical infrastructure in a bid to support and m... more >
Plans for new £362m North East metro train fleet

19/09/2019Plans for new £362m North East metro train fleet

A £362m train fleet for the Tyne and Wear Metro was ordered yesterday by public transport body Nexus. A company for the designing and ... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

17/09/2019Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

Continuing our mission to connect buyers with suppliers, This year TransCityRail North is adding a new element to the event. We are introducing an incomparable opportunity for you to meet with over 11 procurement directors from Network Rail at our exclusive 'Network Rail Meet the Buyers Hu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

  • 11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

    How the rail industry delivers the next generation of complex infrastructure will rely heavily on the people tasked with leading the projects, and the...
  • 11/09/2019Putting passengers first

    How does the rail industry design the railways for the next 40 years, and when it does, how do we make sure it’s all done with the passenger in mind?...
  • 10/09/2019Cleaning up the railways

    Jim Knox, director of Gard Chemicals, explains how the company is helping the rail industry ensure they have the best cleaning and maintenance...
View all News

interviews

Ground-breaking rail collaboration launched to improve services for passengers

20/09/2019Ground-breaking rail collaboration launched to improve services for passengers

  A ground-breaking deal has been agreed today among rail bosses to deliver higher standards for rail users in the West Midlands.  ... more >