January 2013 archive collections
Every week we take a look back through our history
archives at stories and events in our rich history
of policing the railways. These stories were first compiled in
2003 – Chancery Lane derailment
On 25 January 2003 a London Underground Central Line train
carrying around 800 passengers derailed
at Chancery Lane station when a motor detached from
underneath one of the carriages.
Superintendent Phil Trendall was one of the officers on scene
within minutes of the incident.
"At the time I was responsible for responding to major
incidents. I had just completed a civil service placement planning
for large-scale disasters in the aftermath of 9/11.
"The tunnel section of the Underground has very little
clearance, so to see a train that had derailed and bounced against
the tunnel walls and ceiling was disconcerting to say the
While incidents like these are extremely rare, our officers have
to be trained and prepared to help casualties and work with train
staff and emergency services.
"Ever since the King’s Cross Fire in 1987, officers will attend
reports of smoke and fire on the Underground wherever possible, to
ensure that we get an assessment from the scene in the quickest
"The first responding officers had dealt with the
usual confusion that comes with these incidents. My priority was to
build the relationship with other responders and with the industry.
Underground staff were most impressive and the ambulance and
fire service had swung into action in that well-practiced way that
has served the public so well over the years."
As the incident occurred at a time when the country was on a
high alert over possible terrorist attacks, emergency services
had already prepared for worst-case scenarios.
"I was initially called to deal with the media but later took on
the incident officer role. The key concern from a media perspective
was the fear that this could have been a terrorist
"It is easy to forget just how worried we were at this time that
the network would be attacked by terrorists. I spent a
considerable period on the telephone reassuring various departments
and agencies that we were content that this was not an attack."
Ian Johnston, who was Chief Constable at the time, praised
the 'textbook' response in our staff newsletter: "The response by
police and support staff from across London was quite tremendous.
I'm proud to pay tribute to all staff who reacted so swiftly and
Superintendent Trendall commented: "As always our officers and
staff responded in a way that was positive and made a
difference. An experienced CID officer was soon on scene and
helped to correctly identify that this was an operating matter
rather than gross negligence or crime.”
In total 32 passengers were injured in the derailment. The line
April that year after extensive safety checks.
2002 – Attack at Finsbury Park station
In January 2002 our staff newsletter reported the incredible
story of Inspector
Michael "Dan" Tanner's attempted murder at Finsbury
Park station only weeks earlier.
British Transport Police History Group
described the aftermath:
A struggle ensued and Inspector Tanner was stabbed in the
chest and right arm. Using his baton, he continued to fight back
while terrified members of the public fled.
Bleeding heavily and gasping for breath, Inspector Tanner
managed to keep the man's attention but stayed just out of his
reach. Metropolitan Police officers arrived and managed to subdue
the man with shields. Two of them were also stabbed. The man had
escaped from a secure unit and had a history of violence towards
police. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Inspector Tanner spent three days in hospital and had
to take nine months off work. He was commended by the trial judge
and was awarded the Queen’s Gallantry Medal in the 2005 New Year’s
1863 – 150 years of the London Underground
On 9 and 10 January 2013 Transport for London marked the first
journeys of the London Underground 150 years earlier. The rich
history of the world's oldest underground network includes many
examples of policing in a unique environment, and police records
stretch back to the Tube's early origins in the 1860s.
Today hundreds of police officers and staff are responsible for
the safety and security of the 270 stations and Docklands Light
Railway network that makes up our London Underground area.
Find out a full history on
policing through the London Underground's 150