Monday, 2 December 2013

I seem to be regarded as a reasonably cheerful soul, in the past some have commented how happy I seem when I’m at work but I simply explain that every day when I book on I think to myself “at least I’m not on stations any more”.  However there are things that annoy the hell out of me (no, really, you all gasp in amazement) and anyone who has read this blog will be aware that I get rather irritated by the people in the Control Room at Wood Lane and their calls over the radio; yesterday they were exceptionally annoying.

Just like our poor passengers who have to suffer the automated announcements every ten minutes informing them that “there is a good service on all LUL lines” we get something similar from Wood Lane, except it’s only every half hour and it’s not a recording, it’s the Line Information Assistant.  This in itself is not annoying but for some reason yesterday after telling us that all was well in the world of LUL, LO and DLR he added that “the W&C will resume at 06:15 Monday”.  Even when he modified his half hourly announcement to mention a delay on the Circle and H&C he added the blurb about the W&C.

Now I don’t know if he’d been told to do this or if he thought this would be helpful but I doubt if there’s a TOp on the Central Line who doesn’t know that the W&C is closed on a Sunday and the only ones who care that it reopens precisely at 06:15 are the dead early turns from LES depot who will be driving the first trains down there.  We did get a reprieve for about an hour when there were no announcements at all, probably when our chatty friend was off on his meal break.

While he was absent another denizen of Wood Lane informed us of a delay caused by a defective train at WHC but rather than simply telling us that he also gave us the train number and that it would be going to HAI depot empty.  Five minutes later he declared that the train was on the move, again stating the number, its destination and that it was sans passengers then he came back a few minutes later to tell us that it had reached QUE.  I was wondering if we were going to get regular updates on the train’s progress all the way to HAI but the W&C obsessive returned from their break and we heard no more of the faulty train which we must assume reached its destination without further mishap. 

While I will admit that I complain about Wood Lane not giving us enough detail and in the last week we’ve had a repeat of the annoying “platforms and hold” with no explanation but there is a difference between giving us the relevant information when we need it and yesterday’s somewhat pointless announcements.  Nothing major but bloody annoying when you're on a six-pipe 8 hour turn on a pleasantly sunny winter's Sunday wishing you were at home, out walking the dog or sat in a pub watching the footy.


  1. Working on another line I can well empathise with your comments about communications from "on high," with too much irrelevant info from LIAs and not enough from controllers when something is happening, along with a particular bugbear, delays in answering (or ignoring) radio calls. I appreciate the LIA calls are done for us to pass on to our punters, but apart from not being able to always hear them when rattling along, they are rarely updated until the next one in 30 minutes. So, if say I am 20 minutes away from an interchange when one is broadcast, do I still tell folks that, say, "The Jubilee line is suspended," or "The Bakerloo line has minor delays" when I get there as the problem may already have been resolved? I know we're supposed to let them know when the broadcast is made, but a lot of the information may be irrelevant depending where I am at the time.

  2. The Bakerloo gets updates every 15 minutes!

  3. reasonably cheerful soul.......I dunno about that. I seem to remember when I was a test train operator on JLE and you were station staff at Stratford and one time you and the lad with the long permed surf hair tried to stop me from getting on one of the test trains cause I was wearing a black top, even though I produced documentation to prove who I was, which I didn't really have to, but I did just to make the two nazis feel big and important ;-)

  4. ......but I digress a little, too literal and take things seriously (yeah right!!!). I can honestly say that I don't really 'hear' those kind of updates. However, what really does irk me is TOSMs making unimportant work for themselves ala the staff errors lists, and then recording them with the accuracy of a poorly sighted sloth i.e. where T/Ops cause all the errors and management/LC cause none!