London Underground is one of the world’s largest underground passenger railway networks operating a system of 11 train lines, 270 stations, and 250 miles of track covering Greater London and parts of Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Essex. Serving over five million passengers a day, London Underground must ensure all its in-service items meet electrical safety requirements. They have been a long-time user of Seaward’s PAT testing equipment and currently employ 12 Seaward Apollo 600+ PAT Testers with PATGuard 3 Testing Software to verify tens of thousands of items across 500 sites.

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The Problem

London Underground’s Maintenance Department, led by Shaun Littleton and based in Acton, is responsible for ensuring the all the company’s electrical appliances meet electrical safety standards. This involves compliance testing thousands of in-service kettles, dishwashers, microwaves, ovens, power tools, water heating systems, first aid equipment such as defibrillators, and office equipment including laptops, printers, and desk lights. Shaun Littleton also makes a point of checking new electrical appliances before they are put into service. London Underground's eclectic and extensive asset management and maintenance program meant the team needed a method that linked test schedules with appliance identification systems and allowed them to maintain comprehensive test records.

The Solution

London Underground found a solution to their asset and safety management requirements in the form of Seaward’s Apollo 600+ PAT Testers with PATGuard 3 Testing Software and Elite Test ‘n’ Tag Printers.

Convenience was a major factor: equipment needed to be compact and lightweight to enable easy transportation between work sites. The Seaward Apollo 600+ PAT Tester and Elite Test ‘n’ Tag Printer met this brief, as engineers can carry these instruments in a backpack as they travel between sites on the Tube. Moreover, as the Apollo 600+ PAT Tester is battery operated, there isn't a restriction of the types of location it can be used to check. For an organisation with hundreds of different sites, this is particularly useful.

Similarly, compliance with IET’s 5th Edition Code of Practice means the Apollo 600+ can deliver a variety of tests suitable for checking London Underground’s eclectic portfolio of appliances. For instance, the Apollo 600+ is able to verify the electrical safety of extension leads, power cords and RCDs, and conduct point-to-point testing of fixed appliances such as microwaves. Furthermore, support for barcode scanning significantly speeds up the process of asset recognition and compliance testing: the Apollo 600+ automatically recognises the asset and sets the appropriate test sequences. This provides an easy solution to the London Underground’s need to link test schedules with appliance identification systems.

Having met the rest of London Underground's criteria, the only issue left to solve was that of maintaining comprehensive test documentation. Fortunately, the Seaward Apollo 600+ PAT Tester is equipped with an extensive memory capable of storing thousands of records. Via connection to a PC, data is uploaded to the London Underground’s central database on a weekly basis. In addition to this, the Apollo 600+ can be used to produce test certificates and reports, ensuring Shaun Littleton’s team are able to prove full compliance with in-house safety management protocols.


Head of London Underground’s Maintenance Department for 15 years, Shaun Littleton had this to say about Seaward’s role in maintaining the company’s electrical appliance safety:

“London Underground is 100% committed to safety; it’s of paramount importance to us. We therefore take our PAT compliance responsibilities extremely seriously, which is why we continue to invest in high performance, extremely capable portable appliance testers as part of our extensive equipment service and maintenance commitments. A very good tester, the Apollo is simple-to-use and capable of meeting the demands of a demanding workload and diverse testing regime. The engineers really appreciate its portability and capacity to integrate testing swiftly and seamlessly with asset identification. This enables them to carry out their responsibilities efficiently and allow them to contribute effectively to the overall running of a 24/7 network operation.”

Further Information

For more information regarding Seaward’s PAT Testers, including the Apollo 600+, please visit our PAT Tester and PAT Tester Kits categories. Alternatively, please contact our Sales team on 01642 931 329 or via our online form.

For more information on Seaward Apollo 600+ case studies, please see our blogs on Oxfordshire's City Council and TECC.


The information for this blog was gathered using the following source: