The first train from WER to EPP was a little late this morning because when I reached my alloted train it was as dead as a doornail, shutdown and with the air-gage reading zero; see my previous post on the importance of air on Tube trains. I had to climb into the train next door just to radio the shunters to tell them that my train wasn’t going anywhere for a while and eventually a train maintainer wandered out of the sheds to tell me to take the train two doors down.
This had been shutdown too which meant that the pressure vents had been off all night and the saloons were freezing. As I changed ends on the platform at WER three passengers yelled out at me to turn the heating on but I didn’t have time to stop and explain that the heating was on, it would just take rather a long time for them to notice it.
To add to the delay when I got to LIS the CCTV was blank. LIS is Category A, a platform where you can’t see the back cars from the front cab and so I can’t dispatch myself; once more see previous post for details. There wasn’t a member of station staff around so I called Wood Lane and thankfully they could see LIS EB on their screens. They watched me close up, confirmed that no one was stuck in the doors and then counted the cars as they left the platform.
I think some people are unaware that the Tube is one of the safest railways in the world because we have these procedures that have developed over the years and we are subject to more legislation than anywhere else. Last year I saw a train driver on the Chicago El lean out of his cab to close the doors on what was obviously a Category A; sent shivers up my spine.