Emergency evacuation on the Tube

This page is about what you can do to protect yourself and others if there is a major incident while you are on the Tube.

All our front-line operational staff are trained to respond to incidents and emergencies - listen to them and to the emergency services.

Evacuation announcements

We have two main evacuation announcements at stations.

  • One is mainly used when we have to close a station - for example, if we suspect a fire
  • One is for use if there is an armed incident. This kind of incident is extremely rare

Emergencies such as fires

We will make an announcement that: "due to a reported emergency, this station is being evacuated - please leave the station immediately."

The precise wording may vary, and it may be an automated announcement or an announcement by a member of staff.

  • You must follow instructions, for your own safety, and that of other people
  • You may be told to leave the station at street level or by train
  • Follow exit signs unless you are told otherwise
  • If necessary, we will tell you the safest route to follow. This will keep you away from the emergency, so it may not be the usual route
  • Take bags and other personal items with you unless we tell you otherwise or it is obviously unsafe to do so

Armed attack

We will announce that an armed attack is taking place.

  • Move away from attackers towards the nearest safe exit
  • Move as quickly as you can, but take care not to trip, fall or push other people
  • Listen for announcements - we may be able to give specific advice
  • Follow instructions from TfL staff and the police
  • Use other corridors, escalators and stairways to avoid attackers -  where possible we will keep lifts in use
  • Don't waste time looking for places to hide - there are none in our public areas
  • Take bags and other personal items with you unless we tell you otherwise or it is obviously unsafe to do so
  • Once you are out of the station, leave the area as quickly as you can
  • Don't do anything to put yourself or others at further risk
  • Once you are in a safe place, report the incident to Police or TfL staff

Incidents on trains

If there is an emergency on a train, we will aim to get the train to a station, and then evacuate it as quickly as possible.

Depending on the situation we may also need to evacuate the station. Be ready for this.

In these circumstances, you are likely to hear announcements from the train operator, as well as announcements at the station when you arrive.

There may be TfL staff and police at the station when the train arrives. Follow any instructions you are given.

If you encounter an emergency on a train

If there is an emergency (such as fire, smoke or a violent incident) in your carriage, get away from the danger as best you can.

Use one of the red emergency alarms beside the doors to alert the driver.

If the train is at a station, it will stop. If it is in a tunnel, it will keep going to the next station.

If the train is on a surface section, we may tell you to evacuate between stations. If this does happen we will  stop other train movements and switch the power off. You should still take care to avoid going towards the track or moving trains.

If you feel unwell on a train

If you feel unwell on a train, get off at the next station - it will be easier for us to provide medical assistance.

Waiting on a train

It is possible that your train may be behind another train, or heading to a station where we are dealing with an emergency. If this happens, your train may have to wait in a tunnel for longer than usual until it is safe to move on.

The driver will make regular announcements telling you what the situation is. Please try to be patient.

Keeping people safe

We work closely with Government regulators and the emergency services to have the right arrangements in place to keep everyone safe if an incident does occur. We have fire safety systems, and strict security systems which help us to avoid incidents and keep people safe in the first place.

In common with other organisations and venues, such as airlines, hotels and venues, we provide emergency information so that you can keep yourself and others safe in the unlikely event of a serious incident.