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back to article Screeching rails close London Tube station

The Central Line platforms at Bank Tube station were yesterday closed for 90 minutes during the rush hour following "complaints that decibel levels from screeching rails were too high", the Evening Standard reports. City lawyer John Cooper told the paper: "We were all thrown out of the station. A member of staff told me it was …

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Coat

No wheels?

"You have metal rails running on metal tracks"

I'm no genius, but has anyone suggested using wheels,?

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couldn't have been that bad

if the people on the platform could still hear the Tannoy - though if they could make out the words then there was definitely something wrong with their hearing.

Next thing you know, they'll be closing tube platforms every time someone spots a rat on the tracks.

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That Stephenson was such a crank

Imagine inventing a transport system that relies on metal-on-metal action?

All those years it's been just fine, now this!

I'd sue, if he were still alive.

I'll bet if they put some leaves on the track that would fix it.

Oh, it's underground - no leaves.

That'll explain it.

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Ouch

I went through that station in the AM and the noise *WAS* significantly louder than normal - most people covering their ears as the trains came in. If it continued all day then maybe it did get to ear-bursting levels.

Why TFL couldn't do something about it earlier in the day is the big question. Maybe they like punishing us commuters by making us suffer during rush hour?

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Anonymous Coward

i assume

the lubrication isn't just to prevent noise, i'm sure all those people would have been ecstatic if not closing them down to lubricate the tracks resulted in some kind of accident killing hundreds. fucking morons.

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Really, why everyone thinks ...

... that transporting people around London is a priority for Tube staff?

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Flame

makes sense

The only reason health and safety does "go mad" is that we're becoming more and more litigious. The main complainant being a "city lawyer" is classic, the irony isn't lost on me.

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Boffin

Health & Safety Gone Mad!

Maybe I hold an unpopular view, but I disagree that this is OTT.

In such an enclosed environment, and with such powerful machines thundering through, it's easy to understand why the dB(A?) levels need to be kept down.

As someone who suffers from tinnitis (mildly, luckily), I don't think these people appreciate the damage that loud noises can do.

Saying that, they don't say how loud it was, so it could be too cautious. I regular use Bank (Northern line) and find the screeching brakes unpleasantly loud - though I've never thought to complain or measure it.

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Health and safety gone mad

Don't leave your homes. Ever.

Stay inside away from the chavs/dangerous dogs/scary Tube noises.

Stay inside and watch endless shite and insurance adverts on the telly.

I swear I hate this island more and more each day.

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Coat

*motorist stands corrected*

I thought that closing vital transport links for flimsy reasons in the middle of rush hour was a Highways Agency speciality, but obviously I was wrong.

Isn't there somewhere we can send the hi-vis wearing jobsworths who seem to have infected so many positions of responsibility? Can we use them in the military to infiltrate enemy infrastructure as some kind of 'impotence cannon'?

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IT Angle

Playmobil

How about a Playmobil mock up depicting the London Underground Lube Squad on the job?

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Happy

Reminds me of my workmate

The fan on my workmate's GPU makes a lot of noise. I told him to replace the whole graphics card, but he hasn't, because it's his "rush hour" and deadlines are approaching.

The likely consequences of this are obvious.

Closing the tube because it's "just making a noise"? Yeah that's obviously stupid because bad noises NEVER indicate an imminent failure.

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to be honest...

if they hadn't lubed up the tracks, the crappy old trains would probably have caught fire...

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Paris Hilton

Lube squad?

Need I say more?

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Coat

Metal rails on metal tracks?

There's your problem mate. You wanna try running wheels on the rails or the tracks, not the rails on the tracks!

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Squeal like a pig

I came through there on the Central Line yesterday afternoon, a little before 4pm, and it was certainly pretty loud inside the carriage. It was certainly more prolonged and noticeable than usual, on the bendy bit between there and Liverpool St.

Whether it was dangerously loud, I couldn't say from inside the train, but it was certainly irritatingly so. Reminded me of that bit in Deliverance...

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Stop

In their defense

Bank tube is on a very very tight angle, I'm guessing that too much friction could cause a derailment! What with the derailment on the DLR earlier that day perhaps they were a little nervous.

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I've experienced this

At Cannon Street on the District/Circle a couple of years ago and it really is excruciatingly loud. I certainly think there is an 'elf 'n safety issue for the platform staff who would be exposed a lot longer than passengers who are going to get on the next train.

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FAILway

"You have metal rails running on metal tracks and they need lubrication."

That's not how a railway works, though, is it?

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Paris Hilton

Not Title

No comment. the picture and article should speak for itself :)

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Joe

Duh !

The screaching rail is a SYMPTOM of a larger problem - lack of lubricant. This is a real safety issue. You idiots who complain about closing the lines becuase of screaching rails are clearly too stupid to be allowed any work which might involve sharp objects !

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IT Angle

business as usual

Seems like business as usual in the capital of incompetence and nanny stateism where everything gets blown out of proportion by small men who feel that every minor issue they are dealing with is always the most important thing in the world, it might look crazy to an outsider but for a Londoner that's normal.

I remember once the whole Hanger Lane roundabout closed during rush hour by the police because of some minor car accident between two cars, with only bodywork damage...

No wonder I got fed up of it and moved far away from London!

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Walk up the road

Bank is less than half a mile from St Paul's, also on the Central line. It may be mildly inconvenient for the Central line platforms to be closed, but it's hardly going to stop anyone from getting home.

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Anonymous Coward

Screeching at Bank

The more usual screeching these days is the not unpleasant sounds of bankers haemorrhaging money.

The tube's always squealed here due to the fairly sharp curve and paranoia about safety is clearly getting the better of TFL. The size of the gaps at Bank are probably more of a threat to human life than a decibel of two.

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Flame

It's the English language gone mad

"It is health and safety gone mad."

Adding 'gone mad' to the end of a sentence is almost as annoying as high rising terminal.

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Unhappy

The old days

Back in the my old days as a Station Foreman with London Transport. We would have been expected to have a bucket of grease in store and nip down onto the tracks between trains and apply it. That, however was never as issue as we had wooden sleepers in those days.

Yes Occupational Health and Safety has gone a bit far, but, if we had a passenger go under a train (one under). Our instructions were, do not contact emergency authorities, do not turn off the track power. Instead, go under the train and ascertain if the passenger were alive. If dead, drag the corpse (if possible) out from under the train and onto the platform. Then call emergency services. Why was of this so? To keep the trains running. Seemingly those silly interfering emergency services personnel would want to do stupid stuff like power the track down and use jacks to raise the train to get the corpse out and would take hours.

There is a place for today's OCHS but I do agree, the smoke and mirrors mob go too far sometimes.

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Bank rails

To be honest, the screech from Central line tube trains at Bank is more than a mere annoyance. I've occasionally found is physically painful. On the other hand, they could have waited until after the rush hour to do that. Or before: it's a known problem so it's not as if it was a complete surprise.

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Sqeaky lines?

Sheesh, next thing you know trains will be stopping due to leaves on the lines!

Oh, wait...

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Go

err

Did they only talk to the Cooper family or something?

Had I been there and been told that the station was being closed because it was too loud I'd be looking at filing charges as if the noise was too loud, clearly there's a quick buck there. Surely the lawyer must've thought of that!

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Nah, it was really really really loud .....

Dunno about commuter Steve Cooper's auditory capabilities but judging by his comments I reckon he's a bit mutton. Either that or a lilly livered wuss. I was at Bank yesterday afternoon and the screeching was excruciatingly loud - so loud in fact that I had to put insert a digit or two in to my King Lears. Otherwise it was actually painful. So speaks a willing attendee at one of the loudest rock concerts ever, at Charlton in 1976 ....

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Flame

what?!?!?!

"You have metal rails running on metal tracks"

I think you mean "wheels running on tracks"....maybe your network wouldn't be so shambolic if you had the faintest idea how it worked

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What next

next they'll be shutting all stations down at rush hour because the maximum train capacity has been reached. 1 in 1 out

lol I'm so glad I dont use public transport to get around.

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Stop

Comments from the public

Im sure they did think it was stupid, but are there any issues about overheating, vibration, wear an tear etc that means leaving it "broken" is not a good idea.

Would they take the same approach if the lift cables at work were making a lot of noise?

You would be amazed (or not) at amount of kit have had to bin over the years, or pay lots of money to get fixed because various people ignored it squeaking, smoking, clicking, crunching etc "because they were too busy/in a hurry"

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Paris Hilton

dB

Does anyone know what dB level the H&S freaks deem to loud and what level was achieved from the tracks?

Paris, coz she can screech quite loudly.

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Appears stupid

Yes, on the face of it, it appears stupid and over-reactionary, but what about if they left it and some sue-happy-American waiting at the station successfully sued TFL for damaging their hearing?

Health and safety has gone mad, because of the blame and compensation culture which is starting to win over this side of the pond.

You could argue that that is a ridiculous suggestion, and they should have used common sense, but I wouldn't want to be the person who has to potentially put my neck and job on the line, and make that decision.

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Boffin

What?

Been a while since I commuted to (or even lived in) London, but for anyone who hasn't used the Central Line @ Bank, the rail screech is SERIOUSLY PAINFULLY loud either in the carriage or on the platform, caused by the short-radius curved tracks.

Should've handed out earplugs.

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Boffin

Think about the ears!

Well, I can imagine how that screeching would hurt your hearing. Having traveled on the BART in San Francisco daily for a couple of weeks, it definitely helped wearing earplugs for parts of the trip. Man, what a noise...

I know that in Amsterdam they experimented with setting up irrigation systems next to the tracks, to keep the tracks wet. Less screeching that way. Not sure if that was a permanent solution, though.

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Dangerous noise levels

The London Underground will have to face up sooner or later to the way that that some sections of track do generate unsafe levels of noise, and so expose a large and captive audience to potential hearing damage. It's a lawsuit waiting to happen.

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Linux

WTF?

"We closed the platforms because passengers were reporting that they could hear a loud screeching sound. It does happen from time to time."

From time to time? I used to work in the City and live in Mile End, and heard that noise EVERY time I got the tube from Bank. It's an inherent "undocumented feature" of the fact that the Central Line platforms are on a tight bend.

Where's the "muppet" icon? I'll just have to choose the one that looks closest...

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Anonymous Coward

A Lack Of Lubrication?

There's a lube joke there somewhere but I haven't had enough tea today to get my sense of humour working

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I'm with London Underground (amazingly)

The rails at Bank are on a sharp curve, accentuating any noise. And, frankly, I've thought before that the noise down here was way, way too loud and high-pitched. I'll take the Tube's side on this one (despite my difficult journey to work this morning!)

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Paris Hilton

Rails & Tracks

Quote "...metal rails run on metal tracks..."

It just sets the expected IQ levels when the staff don't know how their trains operate.

I always thought that metal wheels ran on the metal tracks.

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IT Angle

Disaster looms

The rails and the wheels meet as 2 metal surfaces. As they heat up, eventually, the two surfaces could bind together. So you have a delay for 90 minutes, or wait until they become unusable and then the line is out of action for a couple of days / weeks, whilst they replace them both. So make the choice - which would you rather have?

(That's assuming of course that it doesn't cause an accident, kill 60-80 people, in which case it might be closed for a bit longer. )

Yes I know that a lot of people were late home - poor things. But at least you do have access to a public transport system. Where I live, there are 2 buses a day - one up in the morning, one down in the afternoon. It's five miles (yes miles) to the next bus stop.

Now of course, that doesn't excuse TfL; they should be better organised. But people get very complacent - far too many are happy to complain when things don't quite right, but they complain even loader when they go horribly wrong. And the loudest complaints come from those that wouldn't know the first thing about a trackway.

(From an ex-member of a volunteer Permanent Way gang, 1995-2001. Respects to Foggy, David H, Julie, the Padre and the rest of the crew. See you all in the chapel of the blessed Lethbridge again one day)

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Joke

Metal rails running on metal tracks?

Or does he mean metal wheels running on metal tracks?

I thought rails and tracks were the same thing, even in your version of English.

(You might as well speak French with all those extra letters that you don't pronounce. Labour, harbour, cheque, colour, etc.)

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Anonymous Coward

Steve Cooper - ignorant

Obviously he doesn't have tinnitus and is ignorant to the fact that certain pitched sounds for a long duration or at an elevated volme and/or very loud noise can make the tinnitus very bad for anywhere from an hour to an entire day, tiredness really doesn't help either. The only true rest from tinnitus a sufferer has is when they're asleep.

Even if you don't have tinnitus (or have it so mild you don't even know) then for some people certain high pitched loud sounds (like screeching wheels on tracks) can still be extremely unpleasant, especially if you're tired.

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Jobs Halo

Ha!

And just what was Stephen rushing home to? Eastenders and the sofa probably. Why is that commuters get so anxious and upset when their routine is broken? I rode the Tube immediate before and after the bungled 21/7 attacks, and it was a real adventure! Something different for a change!

Jobs, eh?

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That'll teach 'em

They won't complain again!

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duh

In response to the commuter's question, because the last thing they'd need is somebody suing them for damage to their hearing. Decibel limits are set for a good reason.

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Coat

Pedants' corner

"You have metal rails running on metal tracks and they need lubrication."

Are they using some kind of sledge on the underground now, in case of snow?

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Flame

A lawyer?

Probably one of the first to sue if they had NOT been chucked out. "The screeching has left me with life-style damaging tinnitus your honour. I request £10,000,000 in compensation for my future suffering and loss of income".

Lawyers are parasites on the face of humanity.

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