Still raining, lost count of the number of times Auto failed part-way into the platform, in the end I just gave up and went Coded whenever I was in open section. The second half started badly, I made my way down to WHC EB when my train reached NOA, there was a train sat on the platform with a TOp waiting to be relieved. When no one appeared he called the DMT on the desk who said that a spare should be on their way and while one did eventually appear the train was over five minutes down which left a considerable gap between it and the train ahead.
This was just before 5pm so those Zone 1 platforms must have been packed solid by the time it came through and packed platforms means further delays. Don’t know if it was the TOp or the DMT who messed things up but that is how easy it is to disrupt the smooth running of the Tube. My train was third in after the late one, all right up behind each other so I had a view of the taillights of the train in front m of me all the way through the pipe.
Things didn’t get better but that was in no way down the Tube of the passengers, it was entirely down to my digestive system. I been feeling slightly unwell all day though not enough to warrant calling in sick but between WHC and HAI the need to use the toilet became ever more urgent. When I reached HAI I was relieved to be directed to Platform 1 as there is a staff toilet halfway down.
The only snag was that because of all the delays I only had the minimum four minutes to change ends. In theory I should have told Wood Lane or the DMT on the desk at HAI that I would be late leaving but Wood Lane were busy and weren’t answering my call while to contact the DMT I would have had to walk all the way to the front of the train to use the phone by the signal and at that point I wasn’t sure I’d make it there and back to the toilet without needing a change of underpants.
So I was late going WB and despite my visit to the toilet I was still feeling unwell. I got up to WER with only enough time to change ends but halfway back through the Pipe I wasn’t sure I’d make it to HAI. I called up the desk at LES to see if I could get a PNR, basically a spare relieves the TOp in need, drives the train while the TOp rushes to the toilet and then they swap back again on the return. Sadly there were no spares available, when I’d booked on the DMT was on the phone telling someone that he couldn’t cover any more duties as all his spares were out running for LOU and HAI and the situation hadn’t improved six hours later.
The best the DMT could suggest was to send my train onto Plat 2 at LES which has a public toilet so they could then trains around mine while I did the necessary. The only problem with that is from Plat 2 you cannot go to HAI via NEP, you can only do that from Plat 3 and I had a trainload of passengers who were under the impression that was where they were going. I decided to brave it out to HAI though the bumpy ride between MIE and STR makes it very hard to concentrate on keeping the sphincter clenched.
I managed to get there but on the approach to HAI I was gutted (ho ho) to see that all three platforms were occupied. After what seemed an eternity a train went into the depot off Plat 3 and I was able to pull in, shut down, scurry over the footbridge and into the sanctuary of the toilets in the Train Crew Accommodation building.
This job is just all glamour........
In Photos: London In 1984
15 hours ago