An altogether unremarkable day apart from a possible bit of good news; the Northern Line was due to start closing early in the evenings next week for engineering work so to compensate the Waterloo and City Line was going to stay open later and the W&C is operated by TOps from LES. Extra duties had been added to facilitate this which were being covered by the Pool, one of which finished later than the last trains from Waterloo so whoever had that duty would have to hang around for the staff taxi and wouldn’t get back to LES until around 01:30; not ideal. The early closure has been cancelled but as of yet the W&C late running still stands though logic suggests that at some point those unwanted W&C “dead late” duties will magically transform into additional spare turns or as we know them “buckshee” spares.
Predictably there was a problem as I did my very last trip, WER to LES, I’d reached PER when Wood Lane called up to announce that everything was shut down WOO to EPP due to a “suspect package” on a train at LOU. In a week’s time it will be five years since four arseholes blew themselves up, taking 56 people with them and injuring around 700 more. I was still working at WHC but I ended up at LES watching the news for any information.
There were reports that a fifth bomber had been shot by police at Canary Wharf, there were even interviews with eye witnesses to the event, just as a few weeks later there were eye witnesses to the wires visible under Jean Charles de Menezes’ jacket. In the desperate race to be first with the latest breaking news rumours and hearsay are reported without any checking of their veracity, anyone can say anything they like and it will be flashed around the world on the internet. In our hunger for instant information accuracy has become an inconvenience, gossip has replaced facts, with a million and one different stories it is no wonder that paranoia and conspiracy theories flourish.
I recently walked in on one of my colleagues watching some Yank 7/7 conspiracy DVD which claimed that Tony Blair orchestrated the bombings because he was worried about his popularity. I didn’t bother commenting that there had been a General Election a month before giving Labour a third term in office, such facts are wasted on those who want to believe in the New World Order, why spoil his day?
Oh, yes, the suspect package at LOU, just some luggage left behind. Don't you just love our passengers!
Best Of Londonist: 19-25 February 2024
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