We believe that our critics were in part correct when advising us that we overestimated the length of the long Piccadilly carriages in terms of metres when reporting our experiment. We were not able to measure the length of the carriages during the course of our experiment. They may be deceptive in length but again we must advise that they are very long. Imagine an ordinary metro carriage, and double its length.
People have been pointing out to us that twenty five metres sounds much shorter than it actually measures.
For the sake of argument and to prove we are correct we have reduced out guesstimate of the length of the long Piccadilly line carriages to a very conservative 25 metres. This is for the calculation, which we print at the base of the page.
This is Finsbury Park. Change here, for the Victoria Line and National Rail Services. This is a Piccadilly Line train to Heathrow terminals 1, 2, 3 and 5.
We spent Saturday investigating Rachel North's claim to have mounted the Piccadilly Line tube train carriage 1. which she claims to have mounted at Finsbury Park. Rachel claims that she mounted the train that was bombed by Germaine Lindsay on carriage 1. at Finsbury Park and remained on carriage 1. of the train. Carriage 1. was bombed by Germaine Lindsay between Kings Cross and Russel Square.
Her story: she bought a magazine at a little magazine stall and was engrossed in reading an article that she had written about a rape that she claims she was subjected to in the said article. She descended the steps, passed through the booths, passed through the corridor, descended and headed towards the platforms where the trains that head to King's Cross stop. There are two long platforms at Finsbury Park that receive trains headed towards Kings Cross. Platforms 3 and 4. Both these long platforms receive trains that are headed 'Southbound'. One platform takes the Piccadilly Line trains, which contain the very long carriages we earlier observed, about twenty five metres in length, and the other takes the Victoria Line trains, which contain the shorter carriages ( about half as long) that most people are used to taking.
The platforms run parallel and you can cross from one platform to the other via a small twenty metre long passage.
Rachel boarded the Piccadilly line tube on one of the trains that contains the very long carriages.
Rachel states that she waited for two trains to go past while she sat reading he article she'd written in a magazine about her rape claim. ( Which she broadcasts). So CCTV for July 7 will have picked her up for sure. She tells us that this is because the two trains that went past were full. If she saw that she will have had to have wandered up and down the station platform so we can conclude that she was about in the middle of the platform when the train turned up that was later boarded by Germaine Lindsay.
Rachel once stated that she 'usually gets the middle carriage' but on July 7 she changed her mind, because it was so crowded, and made her way up to carriage 1. By our observations, her 'middle carriage' will probably have been carriage 4. She states that on July 7th, she attempted to enter carriage 4. in the usual way, discovered it was too crowded, and made her way up the platform where she boarded carriage 1. Rachel does not say that she made any effort to enter any of the other carriages between 4 and 1, and we regard her statement as suspicious. ( Why would she run to carriage 1. ? ) If the middle carriages are too crowded you try the others, you don't suddenly break your routine and run to carriage 1. at the top of the train without thinking about trying any of the others.
There are four benches on the platform where Rachel stood. The second one from the top is near the centre of the platform. It is easily accessed and close beside the platform entrance.
The Piccadilly line tube trains contain seven long carriages about forty metres in length. Carriage 4. rests just in front of the bench at the middle of the platform.
During the course of our experiment we observed ten trains arrive. Each of these was a Piccadilly line Southbound and destined to pass through Kings Cross and Russel Square. For each train, we followed the movements that Rachel North describes in her published evidence ( blog and other media outlets) in order to test the veracity of her claims.
The trains stop very briefly. On some occasions, the driver almost wasn't interested in picking anyone up at all. You have have to run, and push your way onto the train carriages. (This is standard for every metro in every country.)
Each of us on the experiment walked to carriage 4, delayed a short while, the time it would take to try to make your way through commuters on a very busy platform and get on a train carriage, fight to get on, and give up. We then turned about, and walked up towards carriage 1. which was situated on the platform right at the top beside the tunnel opening.
We walked at a reasonable pace. Giving Rachel the benefit of the doubt, ( always a very difficult thing to do when conducting any experiment relating to her claims) we guesstimated that she might have pushed and fought her way through the busy rush hour platform that she describes at a fast rate in order to make her way up to carriage 1. We considered, then, that walking at a reasonable pace would reflect her July 7 circumstance, time-wise.
Seven times in ten, you get to the bottom end of carriage 2. ( eighty metres away from the top of carriage 1.) before you hear 'Stand clear, of the closing doors. 'Stand clear, of the closing doors'. 'bee-p bee-p bee-p bee-p bee-p.' and the doors close.
Try it. We are interested in people testing our experiments and our claims for themselves.
Seven times in ten, you do not get any nearer than the near end of carriage 2 before the doors close. It was very interesting to observe the difference between the platform reality and Rachel's much promoted story.
Once in ten there are unusual variables at work such as the train stopping longer for some test or other, or to accommodate other trains on the network. This is the exception. (On these occasions it is just possible to make it to carriage 1 if you run at a pace and don't try to enter the other carriages. But you have to go fast. Rachel does not indicate any occurrence such as a train being delayed. It is unlikely at rush hour).
Three times in ten you do not get anywhere near as far as carriage 2. before the doors close and the train is off.
We observed that rush hour makes no difference to the amount of time the trains stop at the station. This makes enough sense; there is a train network to run that can't depend on different commuters' timetables. This explains the frantic rush and crush whenever the trains come. (We also observed on a separate occasion that there are occasions early evening when the trains tend to stop for a little longer but this is irrelevant).
Rachel states that she boarded carriage 1 at rush hour in the morning. She states that the station was frantically busy with commuters to the point that carriage 4 couldn't accommodate her. She suggests that she tried carriage 4. then made her way up to carriage 1. as an exception. She doesn't suggest that the train stopped for any unusual length of time. She says that she was engrossed in reading a magazine article which she'd written about herself which we estimate would in fact have slowed her down considerably. (The magazine stand where she bought her own article is in the picture at the top of the page.)
From this experiment alone we conclude that it is highly improbable that Rachel mounted carriage 1 bombed by Germaine Lindsay in the manner she describes, at Finsbury Park.
A picture of Finsbury Park platform where Rachel North claims she mounted carriage 1. of the train bombed by Germaine Lindsay. Carriage 1. is always situated just before the tunnel entrance. There is a view here of the space taken by one and a half carriages out of the seven that make up the train. So Rachel as you can see will have had quite a walk in rush hour to get to the top of carriage 1. from carriage 4. in the space of less than one minute average- sometimes about thirty seconds. ( She claims that she entered carriage 1. via the door closest to the driver and then made her way to a space right beside the driver.)
It is interesting to note that Germaine Lindsay made his way to carriage 1. ( on another platform at a later point in this train's journey) directly. He wasted no time at all and went straight to the top carriage, by design. He entered the long carriage by the middle doors, and stayed put. We conclude that he must have entered the platform he used via an arch close by carriage 1.
We disagree with an earlier contributor who suggested that people could have made their way along the little ledges of the train in the wider part of the tunnel where the train apparently stopped. There are no little ledges attached to train carriages except where they are attached to the part beneath the sliding doors. Passengers who escaped from carriage 4. as reported by one passenger survivor and a barrister who was at the back of the train will have had to fumble their way along the track beside the train.
We see that Rachel is claiming that she usually gets on a train carriage at the middle of the carriage and stays there but that on July 7th she mounted a carriage and made her way to the top of the carriage she mounted which she claims was carriage 1. This is another unusual claim and we dispute the probability. (She probably regretted that claim because at a later point she changed her mind and claimed to be two metres away from the bomber Germaine Lindsay who was at the middle of the train). We suggest that people saw the fact that she was unharmed and unmarked and began to question whether she really was in that carriage and she felt that she had to fabricate a tale about the unusual chance effort she had made to make her way to the top of carriage 1. (which she hoped people would believe was enough distance from a bomb for her to be completely unaffected by it). Later, when her story about surviving a bomb unmarked had gained enough movement, she clearly changed her claim and said that she was two metres away from Lindsay when the bomb went off.
If the carriage is 25 metres long, then half the carriage is 12.5 metres, which is no less than 41 feet. Rachel, by her first published account, was 41 feet away from Lindsay when the bomb went off at the centre of the carriage. ( Right near the driver). She later states that she was a mere 7 feet away from Lindsay.
We believe that we have demonstrated our point and that the experiment was successful.