Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Mystery Of The Non-Existent Train Drivers

Six months after the tragic and traumatic events in London on 7th July there remain many unanswered questions and a version of events that fails to add up.

I have tried to establish here the times of trains from Luton and Kings X in an effort to gather some of the 'facts' which are woefully absent from the public domain. My premise was that an investigation into what Ian Blair calls 'the largest criminal inquiry in English history", would make these facts known in an effort to obtain witnesses to these events. These facts would also make sense of what happened that day. Either something happened or didn't happen. Facts are the nearest we can get to establishing the truth and only the truth and therefore the facts will stand up to rigorous investigation.

That the times of trains were totally absent from the public domain was one of the factors which lead to my suspicions that what we were being told happened was not what actually happened. It is now established that the 7.40 from Luton was cancelled and the next train did not arrive in London in time to catch each of the tube trains. The Train Times From Kings X - at last!

Trains not only have timetables, they have train numbers and each carriage also has a number.

The orginal train numbers, according to the Transport for London website on 9/7:

Explosions were as follows (in succession):

* Circle line train number 204 heading eastbound from Liverpool Street station to Aldgate station.
* Circle line train number 216 travelling westbound heading from Edgware Road station to Paddington station.
* Piccadilly line train number 311 travelling from King's Cross St Pancras to Russell Square southbound.

The Piccadilly Line train number then changed to 331.

Update on 7/7 Attack for 10/7/05:

An update of the train identification is that the westbound Piccadilly Line train was actually 331 (not 311) running about 20 minutes late due to an earlier problem at Caledonian Road.

BBC London Bombs

A fact verified in an email from TFL Customer Services

Thank you for your email dated 5 November.

I can confirm that the Piccadilly train involved on 7 July was the westbound train no 331. The initial reports that we received immediately at the time were incorrect and we updated our records accordingly as soon as we were advised.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. Please let me know if you have any further queries or if you need any help in the future.

Yours sincerely

Fola Olafare
Customer Service Centre
I asked Clive D W Feather about this:
The change from 311 to 331 is probably just a mistake in early reports.

Was the Piccadilly Line train number 311 or 331 and does it matter?

Each train is also made up of several carriages, the Piccadilly line train according to Clive D W Feather consisted of:
The Piccadilly Line train consisted of the following vehicles:


Car 166 was the one holding the bomb.

Yet in an article entitled: Blue Watch relive the bomb hell inside carriage 346A
He found her bolt upright, sitting still in some sort of private hell. For an hour she had remained, unblinking in the gloom, hemmed in by corpses on either side. The two people stared at one another, each wondering how they had stumbled across such carnage that mild summer's morning.

She was an ordinary commuter who found herself at the epicentre of Britain's deadliest terrorist attack. He was firefighter Aaron Roche, the first person to enter carriage 346A of the 8.51am Piccadilly Line service from King's Cross after the 7 July bombs went off.

It was the 48th such service to leave London's busiest tube station that morning, each carriage crammed with commuters, many reading the newspaper coverage of London's Olympic triumph the previous day.

But what should have been a routine trip would, within moments, become part of London's history. Inside the 51ft by 9ft aluminium shell of 346A, 26 people died. It was the carriage where Britain's bloodiest attack since the Second World War took place; where the deadliest of the 7 July bombs was detonated.

Until now Roche has been reluctant to articulate the horrors he found. But almost 100 days after coming across the macabre contents of 346A, the Blue Watch crew manager from London Fire Brigade's Soho station has offered an extraordinary account of what he saw that July morning.

It had just turned 10am when Roche began striding along the dark tunnel towards the stranded train. No one had a clue what had caused its sudden breakdown. Roche had begun to fear the worst, though, as he came across a bedraggled string of passengers, their blackened, bleeding faces almost invisible in the choking clouds of smoke.

The train itself, though, seemed in better shape. Structurally, it seemed fine, its windows smashed by fire extinguishers hurled by commuters desperate to escape. Inside it was a different story. Passengers lay sprawled in each carriage, some nursing wounds, others simply too shocked to move.

Notice no mention of carriage 166 instead we have carriage 346A, mentioned in the article 11 times.

I have researched widely to find details of any of the drivers of these trains, drivers who acted courageously and bravely that morning, who saw things they would not be trained to deal with. The recent New Years Honours list does recognise a tube driver, but an off-duty driver who aided the injured after walking down the track from Aldgate East. What about the drivers of the three trains that day? I have found simply NOTHING.

Except this:
Anonymous said...

Not wishing to denigrate any of the actions of police on the day, not ONE WORD has been said about the driver of Train 311, Tom ****. I joined Tom's train at Kings Cross, travelling in the cab with him on my way to work as a fellow driver, based at Acton Town. I took the first couple of batches of walking wounded to Russell Square and was probably the first member of staff to meet any colleague at the station.

Tom stayed behind in the first car, doing what we as drivers are paid to do, looking after his train and his passengers on it. He helped some by applying tourniques and reassurring others. He saw things that even trained police officers found themselves unable to cope with, but most importantly had to face it on his own before help arrived probably 40 minutes later, a scene of utter devastation in almost total darkness.

He has never been mentioned or praised, he has remained dignified and quiet, and has never returned to drive a train.

Recently he applied for some compensation through his union. The response from the Met Police was "We have no knowledge of this person having been involved in this incident and therefore will not be processing his claim further."

Rather odd because Tom and I were interviewed by police for around three hours after the incident. The press coverage of the other 'heroes' has left him feeling completely empty and devalued. Pity when the the reaction of Police and certain members of station staff are lauded he has been completely forgotten.

Ray Wright
Train Operator
Acton Town Depot

Blogger: Post a Comment
Rachel From North London

This comment has since been deleted from the blog and I reprint it with the surname of the driver omitted.

I reprint it here because it is an astonishing and unbelievable account of how the driver of Piccadilly Line train 311 has been erased along with his train by the Metropolitan Police. Why did they say:
We have no knowledge of this person having been involved in this incident and therefore will not be processing his claim further.

We need to add WHY? to the seemingly unending list of unanswered questions.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

How Independent is Indymedia?

Under the topic of Repression, a member of Indymedia whose nym is Bullshit-Detector posted on 13.12.2005 the following article with the heading NO PUBLIC ENQUIRY FOR 7/7 BOMBINGS:

Clarke rules out July 7 inquiry

There will be no public inquiry into the July 7 terrorist atrocities in London, the Home Office has confirmed.

A spokesperson said: "The Government is not proposing to hold a public inquiry into the events of July 7."

The BBC have reported that the government will instead publish a report based upon information from police and the security services, and civil servants. All very suspicious. It has been denounced by the Muslim association of Britain.

For a more valid intepretation of what happened on 7/7/05, here are some good sources of information:

This article was subsequently 'hidden' on the grounds that it breached Indymedia UK's editorial guidelines.

The editorial guidelines are:
The Independent Media Centre (IMC/Indymedia) UK is an open-publishing platform for news, issues, actions and analysis reporting on grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial social justice, environmental and political issues. IMC UK is maintained by a network of media activists and groups. IMC stands for Independent media center, UK stands for United Kollektives.

Does it strike anyone else that censorship of an article posted under Repression that has a link to this blog is in itself repressive?