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London Tube software crash raises driverless trains fear


Driverless tube trains are still coming to the London Underground, even after computers crashed for an hour on the ultra-modern Jubilee line last week.

Passengers were ordered off trains early on Friday evening after repeated failed attempts to reboot the software on the system which controls trains which are on the tracks.

Drivers inside 10 stricken Tube trains took the controls and steered them into stations.

Pressing ahead with plans to cut drivers from Tube trains was “dicing with deat,” rapped the RMT union.

“The Jubilee Line is already heavily automated but this incident shows that you still need drivers to move into manual mode and take over when something goes wrong,” said secretary Bob Crowe.

“Thousands of passengers relied on train and platform staff to get them safely through Friday night’s emergency and those arguing to axe those same staff stand accused of gross and criminal negligence.”

Tube bosses are currently pressing the maker of the IT system that closed down for “assurances” that there will be no repeat of the disastrous failure.


But trains driven by computers are necessary, insisted Howard Collins, operating officer at London Underground.


“There will always be a need for staff in running our train services, just as there is on the DLR, but that role that they play needs to change if the Tube is to be a truly 21st century railway.


“Driverless trains have been in operation across the world for decades, including on the DLR, one of the most efficient railways anywhere in Europe. Automated train operation has been used on the Victoria line for the last 40 years, and on the Central line since the 1990s.”

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