Two dreadful days. Thursday I was spare so I didn’t know anything was wrong until I got called up by the DMT and told to run a train “out of service” from LES back to HAI. I thought it was defective until I got to the WB platform and found it jam packed, only then did I hear that there was a signal failure at SHB that was playing merry hell with the morning peak.
When things get this bad the policy is to avoid having trains full of passengers stranded between stations so Control starts holding trains at a platform and only moving them up to the next one when it becomes available. During the peaks we have far more trains than platforms so the policy is to start putting them away in depots and sidings, which was what I had been sent to do.
When my train arrived I tipped the passengers out, closed up the doors and took it back empty back to WOO and round the loop to HAI. On the way I was listening in to the radio traffic and it was clear that progress was at snail’s pace so once I’d stabled the train it took quite a while to get back to LES.
About an hour after I got back I was sent out again, a simple WOO via HAI. At HAI the WOO train normally leaves from Platform 2 so I was surprised that as I approached I was directed to Plat 1. As I pulled in I peered up at the dot-matrix destination board and read “Terminates here”. I made an extremely apologetic PA to the passengers to inform them that I was going no further and then had to endure the walk of shame as I changed ends. The dot matrix now read “Ealing Broadway 15 mins” but on reaching the other end I found a HAI TOp closing the train up as he’d been told to put it in the depot. So I made my way back to LES trainless once more.
Friday my duty started in the depot at HAI but due to another signal failure, this time at BEG, I was kept in the yard for two hours. Fortunately I’d had the foresight to buy a paper otherwise I’d have been sat there slowly going mad but for the first time in years I can claim to have read The Guardian from cover to cover. Once they let me out everything went to timetable or near as damn it, certainly the better of the two days.
Saturday went timetable and as for Tubelines and the ERU the word coming down from the joint Union Safety Council is that we carry on as normal until something goes tits up at which point we "apply existing protocals". Just pray there are no one unders, track fires, etc, etc
The year schoolboys collected conkers for war
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