Saturday, 20 April 2013

Okay I’m back again, I won’t go into the whys and wherefores for my absence but one is that there’s been very little happening when I’ve been at work.  We managed to have three “one unders” on the Central Line within two weeks but I was either having a day off or it was before I started so I only got the tail end of the disruption.  There have also been a number of “platforms and hold” for various reasons, handles down, signal failure, train faults, passengers ill but they all seem to have been either in the other direction, behind me or so far in front that they’d been resolved before I got there.

I actually had a new experience a couple of weeks ago with a signal failure at NOA, at STP I was told to reverse over the rarely used crossover at QUE, something I’d never done since I started as a TOp.  For years this was out of commission, I’ve heard various reasons, one being that when they introduced the 92 stock trains they were taller than the old stock and used to hit the tunnel wall when going across the points, another being that there were problems with the track bed.  Whatever the reason we perform the move at a stately 10kph.

Unlike MAA, HOL or LIS where you sit in the sidings until it’s time for you to come out again at QUE the WB train goes into the EB platform so I had trains stacking up behind me and had to head straight back as quickly as possible.  All I had left to do was go to HAI and into the depot which I did a lot earlier than timetabled but I didn’t get much of an extended meal break thanks to either the staff at HAI station’s dislike of making PAs or Wood Lane’s inability to communicate with them.

When I got back to the station there were trains on Plat. 2 and Plat.3 but the dot matrix board by the gateline indicated that the first WB train would leave from Plat.1 in 15 minutes.  A train duly arrived, I got on board, it sat there for well over the 15 minutes and then the train on Plat.3 closed its doors and left without a soul on board. Fortunately I was sat in the lead car and all the other passengers where further back along the train otherwise as the only uniformed presence I might have been the victim of severe scowling.

Last week I got held outside WOO on the WB, I could see the train on the platform and assumed that it was tipping out to go up 21 road.  I did my PA within the required 30 seconds to inform my passengers of the cause of the delay and after two minutes called up Wood Lane to see if there was a problem.  The train was indeed going up 21 road but the points had failed and Wood Lane told me that they were going to “jiggle them about a bit” to see if they could rectify the problem.  And so I passed on that information to my passengers, the first time I’ve been able to use the word “jiggle” in a PA announcement.  It will not be the last.


  1. Was the jiggling successful?

  2. It was, only a few minutes delay

  3. Sorry for commenting so late, but I thought this was the place to ask this question. I had no idea trains could reverse at QUE and I'm actually quite curious to find out the places where trains can physically be reversed. Obviously during the weekday (especially during the peaks), the following stations are regularly used for reversing trains: West Ruislip, Ruislip Gardens, Northolt, Ealing Broadway, North Acton, White City, Leytonstone, Newbury Park, Hainault (via Newbury Park), Woodford (via Hainault), Loughton, Debden and Epping (I don't think I've missed any) and I'm aware that in times of disruption trains can also reverse at - to the best of my knowledge - Queensway, Marble Arch, Holborn, Liverpool Street, Grange Hill (via Woodford) and Hainault (via Woodford). Am I missing any (also, in case i've rather boringly answered my own question, I wonder if I could ask (perhaps too much of you) but I can't imagine I'd be the only person interested in a blog post about reversing trains in general, e.g. how, for example, it's done at Holborn, etc.