Tower tragedy closes Underground lines

THE devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in West London during the early hours of June 14 initially resulted in the cancellation of all Underground services between Hammersmith and Edgware Road.

The block stands very close to the line, and concerns were raised about vibrations of the passing trains affecting the structural stability of the burnt-out block.

The burnt-out shell of Grenfell Tower can be seen in the background of this shot, taken at Wood Lane on June 16, as ‘S7’ set led by No. 21354 arrives with a Hammersmith-bound working. Anne Maningas

By the start of the following week, a two-train shuttle service had commenced between the terminus at Hammersmith and Wood Lane – the tower being almost adjacent to the next station along at Latimer Road. Two trains were provided for this, each locked into the eastbound or westbound track.

This shuttle was provided to relieve the increasing number of passengers on the Piccadilly Line from Hammersmith, whilst also linking with Central Line and Overground services. The ‘S7’ trains used were running with their tripcocks (train protection) cut out, and also under ‘wrong line’ conditions. Meanwhile, station staff guided passengers onto the correct platform at the right time.

The operation of these shuttle services was reviewed on a day-by-day basis, with normal passenger services restarting on June 25 following an initial testing period earlier in the day.

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