An old London Underground train has been crashed into a 3 ton tank filled to the top with water — on purpose.

Smashing the train into a heavy tank of water is part of a series of tests that are required as part of a plan to refurbish former District Line trains for use on mainline railways.


This particular crash was needed to see if the train driver could walk away unharmed from an incident, such as a train colliding with a farm vehicle at a rail crossing. As that is not likely on the London Underground, the tests have to be carried out before the train can be used on the mainline network.

The D-Train was pushed to a speed of 36km per hour and then released, where it hurtled towards the 3-ton tank of water.

Vivarail, the company behind the plans says that they believed that the original aluminium bodies were of sufficient quality and strength and had been so well maintained by LUL that the D-Train would be more than up to the challenge.

That said, as part of the preparation for putting the old District line trains onto the mainline Pacer network, Vivarail substantially strengthened the steel casing and moved the seat further back from the window.


Immediately after the crash Mike Pittman, Principal Consultant at TRL said “From a preliminary visual inspection of the train cab, it appears that the enhanced safety cell structure has improved the crash performance of the cab, maintaining a suitable survival space and protection offered to the driver. Final results of the test will be released in the coming month.”

Photos by Vivarail

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