Thursday, 30 September 2010
When he arrived he didn’t have a clue what to do and only around 10:30 told us that “Route retention” now meant hiking around Ruislip depot. Apparently someone had refused to take a train into Ruislip and now we all had to have a guided tour to “re-familiarise” ourselves. So an hour on the train, a pointless wander around the depot, which is huge, covering every possible move we could do which most of us know and then an hour back.
Today we did stock training in HAI depot with the IOp simulating faults on the train and us getting the train moving. If a train stops in a tunnel and the nearest technician is at WHC or LES we have to get it to the next station and get the passengers off. It doesn’t happen often but when it does it’s our train, we are responsible. They don’t do that on the mainline, they can sit and wait while a fitter drives to where they are and walk up to the train to fix it. We are stuck in the pipe, a fitter isn’t going to walk up to us and solve the problem, we get it moving and we are the only drivers who are expected to do this.
That is why we get paid the big bucks.
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Don’t expect much till next week. So boring I could feel myself falling asleep........
Monday, 27 September 2010
So this how things were supposed to be Saturday; I start work around 16:00, go to HAI, EAB, HAI, LES, get off on the WB for grub around 19:30, pick up again at 20:15, HAI, EAB, WOO via HAI, back to EAB, off around midnight.
Except some ragamuffin decided it would be a spiffing idea to grab some lady’s handbag/purse/whatever and make their escape down the WB tunnel at LAG. The Line was brought to a complete standstill in both directions while BTP waited at QUE and LAG for the villain to reappear. My first train turned after 20 minutes, around the time BTP finally accepted that he wasn’t going to come out of his own accord and set off to flush him out.
I got to HAI without any problem and then sat there for half an hour before we finally got the “all clear” and I started heading west. I got held at BOS for another ten minutes, no word from
Another five minutes outside WHC, no word from Wood Lane but as I pulled in I could see a train going into the sidings and that the platform was crowded with very pissed off looking people. As I left WHC I could see the train in the sidings still had WER as it’s destination which would suggest that they hadn’t told the driver they were short turning the train until they’d reached WHC. At EAB I had four minutes to change ends before setting off EB at which the time I should have been arriving at HAI. At this point
By the time I’d got to LES EB it was 19:55 and there was someone waiting to take me off for grub. Sadly for one of the spares my second train was on time, at CHA EB, a mere 19 minutes away, which didn’t give me the 30 minutes break that is legally required so someone got to do my HAI and back and I picked up on the WB by which time it was ten minutes late. After that everything went timetable.
In conclusion I think the only thing I can offer is that the platform of LAG is possibly not the best place to commit an act of robbery.
Saturday, 25 September 2010
Congestion back to normal, the bottom of the stairs at LEY EB was as rammed as usual, yesterday must have been an aberration. Still a few platforms without SATS in the peak so I reckon this must be a result of the overtime ban. Otherwise a very quiet evening.
Friday, 24 September 2010
Timetable. When I came out to pick up my second half at WHC it was raining heavily and the train came to a stop about a car short so rather than trust Auto for the trip to EAB I drove in Coded.
Oddly it seemed very quiet during the peak, the platforms appeared less crowded that I would usually expect. One place that gets very congested during the peak is LEY EB, we have a “countdown” in the cab and usually there are still people getting off the rear car when it gets to zero with a queue to get up the stairs but not tonight. On the second time through it was back to it's normal busy level so maybe everyone decided to pop out for a drink after work or something.
During the peak most Zone 1 platforms have a member of station staff doing SATS, waving the baton to your normal people, but a few were noticeably absent. Station staff have an overtime ban so maybe this is the result. RMT and TSSA are out on strike again in October, according to the memo sent out by our beloved leader they wouldn’t discuss anything until the job cuts had been cancelled, no doubt the Unions will tell another story. Still they have a few weeks to go, anything could happen.
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
No major problems, a passenger ill on a train (PIOT, another abbreviation from our massive list) at STR kept me outside NOA EB for a while and then some lost property at LEY kept me at TCR for five minutes so by the time I left EPP I should have been getting off at LOU for my meal break. Otherwise reasonably timetable.
WE have engineering works coming up in October that will shut the line down between WOO and LIS and in a bid to save money LUL have come up with an interesting idea. Rather than laying on taxis to ferry TOps four at a time from LOU, HAI and LES to LIS we will get the replacement bus service to STR and go in on the mainline. Needless to say some of my fellow TOps are none too keen on sitting in full uniform on a bus full of passengers pissed off that there’s no service. Will be interesting to see how that one plays out….
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
So I was at Waterloo for 09:00, much to the amusement of the regulars who know the only other time I've been down there was for my initial training and I managed to avoid that for three years. I endured a very boring morning going over the same thing I did last year and then drove a train up and down for a bit. All it did was to confirm that I find working the W&C tedious in the extreme. Back on the Main tomorrow, at a reasonable time.
Friday, 3 September 2010
On Sunday platform 3A will be opening at STR WB so we will be opening the doors on both sides of the train from this weekend. Naturally we are predicating that someone will forget and only open on one side leaving a load of irate passengers behind.
One of my colleagues is going for six month’s secondment as a DMT and as I’m top of the list in the Pool to be rostered I’m covering him in his absence so I can plan my life once more. Which is nice….
If something does happen in the next two days I will relay it here but if not I will be back in sixteen days time. Take care out there, folks.