Railway Fires Leave London Commuters Stranded

Banner Image

Earlier this month, a fire broke out on a overground railway line in Southeast London between New Cross and St John’s Station.

The fire occurred during morning rush hour times, meaning many commuters were unable to get to work or were seriously late as a result of trains being cancelled. As well as this, many trains were queued along the track leaving passengers stuck with no place to go.

Fighting the Fire

Three fire engines and over 15 firefighters were called to the scene in order to tackle the blaze, with assistance from Network Rail employees. Fortunately, the fire was put out before it had chance to spread further down the line and before any major damage was caused, although a large amount of black toxic smoke was released and could be seen from trains queued miles away.

The cause of the fire is still unknown and it has not yet been announced if a reliable fire detection system was in place.

London Euston Fire

A few days later, London Euston Station also became a victim after an intense fire broke out alongside the railway, destroying vital signalling equipment. As a result, the station was evacuated, trains were suspended and the power supply was temporarily cut.

Engineers tried to get systems back up and running as soon as possible but were unable to do so for a number of days causing mayhem for London commuters.

The Importance of a reliable fire detection system

If a reliable fire detection system is not in place it can lead to a wide range of damaging effects such as:

Operational Downtime

If a fire is not detected quickly it could have a huge affect on the entire train network. Resulting power cuts could put stations and railways out of operation until the damage is repaired. This means trains are left unable to run, security measures are out of operation and commuters and workers could be left vulnerable. This downtime could ultimately result in a loss of revenue.

Delays in Travel

If one station is out of service and power is not running through the tracks, it can have a large impact on other train journeys. Some routes may be cancelled or drivers may have to divert their trains which can cause delays for certain platforms and travellers.

Harmful Fumes and Smoke

As a result of fires, toxic fumes are released into the environment, which can spread if it is not dealt with soon enough. This means local residents and businesses must take necessary precautions and may be unable to leave their homes until the fire is under control.

Passengers on the train have a higher chance of inhaling fumes if a fire is to break out on the tracks and must, therefore, ensure all windows are shut to avoid any health implications. Trains drivers must ensure they move the vehicle or passengers as quickly and safely as possible.

What Fire Detection System is Best Suited to Railway Lines and Stations?

FyreLine linear heat detection is the perfect solution for railways and train stations as it provides early warning of overheating equipment or fire. FyreLine heat sensing cable has the ability to detect heat anywhere along its length, meaning fires can be located quickly and effectively.

FyreLine heat sensing cables can be installed in a number of locations, such as along platform edges, in cable runs, escalators and moving platforms.

There are two types of heat sensing cable available, digital and analogue.

FyreLine Digital

FyreLine Digital

FyreLine digital offers fixed heat detection, only triggering its alarm once it reaches its rated temperature. FyreLine digital is available with rated temperatures of 68℃, 88℃, 105℃ or 185℃.

FyreLine Analogue

FyreLine Analogue

FyreLine Analogue heat sensing cable continually monitors for changes in ambient temperature, only activating its alarm once it reaches the specified temperature given during the installation process.


For more information about the FyreLine Linear Heat Detection System, or to discuss any of the other products that Eurofyre have to offer, please feel free to get in touch either by phone on +44 (0) 1329 835 024, by email to sales@eurofyre.co.uk or via the online enquiry form situated on our contact page.

Don't forget you can follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ or sign up to our newsletter (in the footer below) to receive all the latest information from Eurofyre.

Mark Redfearn

Posted by Mark Redfearn

Mark is the technical services manager at Eurofyre.

Sign up for the Eurofyre Newsletter