2003 London blackout


The 2003 London blackout was a major power outage that occurred in parts of south London and north-west Kent in England on 28 August 2003. It was the largest blackout in South East England since the Great storm of 1987, affecting over 500,000 people.[1]

It was first reported power had went down at 18:15 British Summer Time. Power returned about 34 minutes later and some trains started operating again, but is reported to have taken about two hours to come back to working again in some areas.[2] By 7pm, most trains started running again.[3]

National Grid would say the problem was because of a failed machine at a Hurst building in South East London that helped with power, which caused some alarms.[2][4]

The tubeEdit

The blackout caused tube trains to stop.[4] It also caused about 17,000 people to be stuck, with computers not knowing where the Tube trains were, which was dangerous.[5] By the next day, the Tube started mostly going on as before again.[6]


  1. "London blackout a 'freak event'". CNN. 29 August 2003. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Major power cut across country as London goes dark after National Grid failure". The Daily Telegraph. 9 August 2019. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  3. "Power cut hits London". The Guardian. 28 August 2003. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Biggest blackout caused by 1 amp fuse". The Guardian. 11 September 2003. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  5. "Tube control centre was 'ill-equipped' for blackout". The Guardian. 12 December 2003. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  6. "London blackout a 'freak event'". CNN. 29 August 2003. Retrieved 2 July 2021.