The Anonymous Widower

Grab-Handles In London Underground Train Entrances

I have been taking pictures of the grab-handles in the doors of London Underground trains.

Bakerloo Line


There are no grab-handles.


Central Line

The Central Line trains, which were built in 1991-4, probably set the original standard.

Hammersmith & City Line

These are probably similar to Circle, District and Metropolitan Line trains.

Jubilee Line

Note the long grab-handles tucked behind the doors.

Northern Line

Note the long grab-handles tucked behind the doors.

There is also a cheeky one behind the wheelchair space. Although you would get into a Northern Line train in a wheelchair is another matter.

Piccadilly Line

Despite their age, there is a full set of grab-handles.

Victoria Line

Note the long grab-handles tucked behind the doors.


I do find it strange that all the other Underground trains have vertical handles just inside the door, but the Bakerloo Line trains don’t have this valuable safety feature.

I think this could be dangerous.

I have a damaged left arm because the school bully broke my humerus. It can do most things, but some things are painful.

So when I get on a train, in case there is a step-up into the train, I position myself towards the right of the door. Then if there is a step-up, I reach forward and grab the handle and pull myself into the train.

Recently, I boarded a train on the Bakerloo Line platform at Waterloo. On finding there was no grab-handle I slipped slightly as I pulled back.

In the end I climbed into the train by holding on to the rubber edge of the door and got a very dirty hand.

Could this lack of grab-handles have contributed to a recent death at the station, that I wrote about in Death Of A Commuter At Waterloo?

I very much feel that grab-handles should be fitted to the doors on Bakerloo Line trains.



November 5, 2021 - Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , ,


  1. A great spot, AW, and you should not hesitate to contact TfL on the subject. Aslo, I am sure you would have noted, that TfL are looking for ideas for step free access, which I know is another, related, interest of yours (see link)

    Comment by Sisyphus | November 5, 2021 | Reply

  2. Thanks! Although, I had a serious stroke that nearly killed me, my only problem is eyesight low down on the left. So occasionally, when I trip over a pavement or bump into those stone seats beloved of some councils, I generally don’t fall, as the gyroscopes in my brain react fast enough. I also am almost tee-total except for low-alcohol Adnams beer. But someone, who perhaps had had a few, might end up under the train.

    As to step-free, it has Germany that has shown how important it is. They have some examples far worse than any in the UK. In one case four of us had to lift a guy in his wheelchair out of a double-deck train as the lower deck was perhaps 15 cm below the platform. Luckily, he wasn’t a large man and the three others were.

    I shall explore the link.


    Comment by AnonW | November 5, 2021 | Reply

  3. The Central Line trains, which were built in 2013? I think you’re mistaken

    Comment by fammorris | November 5, 2021 | Reply

  4. It does look like a good lawyer could make mincemeat of that exemption, given that a commuter died.

    Comment by AnonW | November 5, 2021 | Reply

  5. I love how TfL colours the handholds to the colour of the lines on the Tube Map (save for the Northern, which is Piccadilly blue, as they would hardly be visible in black).

    Comment by Long Branch Mike | November 6, 2021 | Reply

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