Tube bosses have accused the RMT union of scaremongering after it claimed two Northern Line trains narrowly avoided “a head on collision” yesterday morning.
The union says the driver of a train departing Finchley Central station saw another train heading towards him from Mill Hill East and was “forced to carry out a wrong directional move back to Finchley Central to allow the train from Mill Hill East to continue to Finchley Central”.
In a statement the union describes the driver’s actions as “an emergency preventative move that could only be carried out by a driver up-front in the cab.”
The claimed near miss comes two weeks after the RMT raised concerns of a similar incident near Mill Hill.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “If it hadn’t been for the swift and decisive action of Northern Line drivers on both occasions we could have had head-on collisions on our hands with fatal consequences.”
Mr Crow has called for “a full investigation by the regulator to establish just how two tube trains ended up routed onto a single section of track travelling towards each other in two separate incidents in a fortnight.”
Tube bosses have dismissed suggestions the trains could have collided and insist there was never any danger to passengers.
London Underground Chief Operating Officer Phil Hufton said: “Yet again the RMT leadership is attempting to scaremonger. There was no risk to staff or customers, with the train coming to a halt as it was departing Finchley Central station and when it was well clear of the single track section of the Mill Hill East branch.
“In addition, and as we have already demonstrated to RMT representatives, the signalling system does not allow trains to come with an unsafe distance of each other, wherever they are on the railway and whichever direction they are travelling in.”
Mr Hufton added: “We are of course looking closely at the incident to ensure that our processes are being followed correctly, but we have an excellent safety record and we would never compromise the safety of our staff and customers.”