Friday was a bad day, at around 15:45 there was a “one under” at NOR which shut down the WER branch for 90 minutes, thankfully the victim survived but it seems that he tried to jump under a train at GRE earlier that afternoon. The TOp involved will be off the trains until he and Occupational Health think he’s ready to come back, we’re unlikely to see him this side of New Year but when he does he’ll have an IOp in the cab to monitor him for the first few weeks. Some TOps don’t come back at all, they simply can’t face driving a train again and end up getting a job elsewhere on the Tube.
Obviously with the WER branch suspended we had a lot of trains with nowhere to go so as I approached WHC I was told to tip out, go into the sidings and then come back out when it was time for me to go back east. The EB platforms were packed from SHB to LES even though two trains had gone in front of me while I was on the platform at WHC, both of which were HAI via NEP and unsurprisingly when I got onto the EPP branch the platforms were abnormally busy.
Even when I got to EPP there were a good two or three dozen people waiting to go WB at a time when no more than half a dozen would be expected. As I left DEB Wood Lane called up to inform me that the TOp who was meant to take me off at LOU was still somewhere around WER, there was no spare available to cover and I should put the train away. Needless to say I encountered some rather frustrated passengers as I closed up, especially as the next train wasn’t due for ten minutes and they were still there when I got back to the platform after walking out of the sidings.
I got back to LES to find that my next train had been shunted away somewhere but while I was on my meal relief a train arrived on Plat. 2 with no one to take it over so they kindly made that into my train. I ended up with the minimum 30 break between trains before I was away again, probably the only train on the whole of the Central Line running on time.
One annoying thing I noticed recently is that one of the people up at Wood Lane makes “platforms and hold” calls without giving a reason, not much use when we are required to inform our passengers over the PA whenever we are being held at a signal or at a station and we can’t tell them why. We have a choice of guess, make things up or share our ignorance; I opt for the later.