Reassurances over the new trains on the District Line
New train on the District Line Jon inspecting the new trains
Amidst growing public concern regarding the new stock coming to the District Line, on Friday 15.03.2013 Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham, (incorporating South Hornchurch and Elm Park) met with transport officers to inspect the new trains. Jon met with Instructor Operator Frank Miller, Train Operations Standards Manager William Leport and Stephen Sullivan who used to run the District Line for London Underground.
Jon listening to passenger praise for the new District Line stock
Jon was reassured over the security measures that have been installed on the new trains. Unlike the old trains, where the CCTV was on a 72 hour recording loop only recording the last 3 days – the new trains have rolling CCTV which records onto a hard drive, the drivers will also have monitors in the cab so if they are alerted to any incidents they can be pinpointed and addressed with efficiency and ease. Highlighting that response times to incidents will be greatly improved.
The trains are also a lot brighter with better lighting and are more spacious to make people feel more comfortable. There has also been public complaint recently regarding the maintenance works on the District Line at weekends; part of the reason for this is the introduction of the new trains. The trains are one carriage length longer than the old ones and as such signalling placement on the platforms needs to be adjusted. Jon was reassured that when the trains begin to appear on the line the weekend closures would no longer be as regular.
Jon Cruddas MP on the current District Line trains
Jon Cruddas MP said: “After seeing the new trains and comparing them with the old stock I now feel confident that they are a vast improvement in many respects. I was reassured and would like to set local residents minds at ease, as far as I was informed public safety has been addressed with great detail. The CCTV and passenger alarm systems have been upgraded and having spoken to train operators on Friday, I feel that people travelling between Dagenham East and Elm Park will be at less risk than they have been in the past.”
Jon also got to ride in the operators cab during his inspection of the trains; “it was great to see how the trains operate, there’s more to it than meets the eye! I found the experience thoroughly informative.”
Jon Cruddas MP and Instructor Operator Fran Miller in the cab of the old trains
The new trains are set to be gradually introduced to the District Line over the course of the year.
Jon on the old trains Jon 'in the driving seat'