Retrieving dropped items on the tracks – Q&A with Steve

Tube staff handing item to customer

We spoke to Steve about a nifty track retrieval device that is saving Londoners’ dropped phones, earphones and hats from the track. Plus why customers mustn’t risk going onto the track themselves. 🙅🏻‍♂️

Steve, London Underground Area Manager

Responsible for keeping customers safe and the train service running at his station.

Steve portrait

If I lose an item on the tracks can I get it back?

In most cases, Tube station staff can get it for you safely. They use a special tool called a track retrieval device. The device, when connected together, allows us to retrieve your item without having to go down onto the track. It includes different attachments for retrieving everything from mobile phones and small electronic devices like AirPods, to a single shoe! 😅

Will you always be able to retrieve my item immediately?

In some circumstances, we might not be able to get your item immediately. There are a few of areas of the network where we can’t use the device or there may be a reason why we can’t use the device to get your item safely. In these cases, we will consider going onto the track to get the item for you (if we can) or arranging for the item to be retrieved during engineering hours. We will always do the best we can to get your item as quickly as possible.

What if I can’t see a member of staff on the platform?

Return to the ticket hall or station entrance to find a staff member, who will be happy to help.

Is it ok to go onto the track and get it myself?

For your safety, you must never attempt to retrieve an item from the tracks. If you drop an item on the track please find a member of staff to help you.

Trespassing on the track puts you at risk of being hit by a train and the potential for an electric shock from live rails. Aside from this, you may also cause delays to the service, as trains will stop until we can be sure that nobody is in danger on the track.

Member of staff using the track retrieval device

Share your stories with us

Tell us about a time you lost an item and got it back in the comments. 👇🏻

For more information about retrieving lost property, head to our website.

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