My deepest apologies for not writing but there has been a lot going on at Chez Shrugged and very little on the Central Line, or at least while I was there.
Following on from where I left off my remaining four night shifts were thoroughly featureless, the only incident of note was on Thursday. On reaching EPP one sleeping passenger failed to respond and as I was running late I left him until we got to LOU. When I finally managed to wake him and informed him that the train was at it’s final destination he replied that he couldn’t possibly agree with me.
I will admit that at 01:30 in the morning I was unprepared for a philosophical debate with a drunk but any further discussion on the subject was curtailed by the Station Super who entered the car happily enquiring if I needed assistance. He kept up his non-stop merry banter as without hesitation he marched over to the passenger, hauled him up onto his feet then frogmarched him off the train and down the stairs. I don’t think the poor passenger got a word in.
Just to re-cap we do seven nights in one week and then carry our two Rest Days over to the following week, so I’ve only worked three days since Sunday and things went pretty much to timetable.
One thing that has become apparent is that the refurbishment of the Central Line trains for the Olympics has been drastically scaled down from what was originally planned. We were going to get a full repaint both inside and out, lighter seats with new upholstery, new lights inside and new windows but in the end only the windows and the new upholstery have been done, everything else is as it was.
The paintwork on the inside is still scratched while the outside still bears the scars where graffiti has been cleaned off. The lights diffusers appear to have been cleaned so the cars are a little brighter but the seats are still as heavy to lift up and as uncomfortable to sit on. For all the fuss of bringing in a new timetable very little appears to have been done.
We are still short staffed, every day there are a dozen or so duties uncovered at my depot but all is not doom and gloom. While casually reading the notice boards I cast an eye upon the Instructor Operators’ schedule and blow me down one of them was taking out a trainee for one day on their first week of training.
When we get TOps transfer over from other lines they go straight into a whole week of stock training but here was somebody starting at the very beginning, undoubtedly moving up from stations to trains just as I did almost eight years ago to the day.
Finally someone has decided we need more drivers!
London’s Alleys: Hare Place, EC4
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