We hear more regularly these days, horrifying tales of people getting down onto the tracks to retrieve personal items that have been dropped onto the tracks themselves. Often, these people escape with their lives by just seconds.
According to TfL the number of reported incidents of items being dropped onto the track is increasing (by 62 percent from 2009/2010 to 2012/2013) so in the run up to the festive season, TfL are introducing a new tool to help staff to safely retrieve small, high-value items such as mobile phones and handbags from the track.
The tool is called the “Track Retrieval Device” and has been designed, built and tested by London Underground staff themselves.
The TRD is designed to be used without turning off the power supply to the tracks and without staff having to step down onto the track.
Last year dropped items on the track were responsible for 195,000 hours of delay.
Nigel Holness, London Underground Operations Director Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly Lines said: “We’re committed to running the safest and most reliable service possible, particularly at this busy time of year. When we examined the type of incidents which cause delays, it was clear that customers dropping items onto tracks has a disruptive impact on services. We recognise that possessions are very valuable to people so we encourage everyone to take care of them when they’re on the platform. If you drop anything of value on the track, please speak to a member of staff and we will do our best to retrieve it for you. We hope that our staff, using the Track Retrieval Device, will deter customers from attempting to pick up items themselves.