Wednesday, 1 January 2014


Boriswatch noted yesterday that the plan to convert the Sub Surface Lines from manual driving to ATO has come to a shuddering halt as after two years of trying to get things to work Bombardier (pronounced the French way; Bom-bar-dee-yay, they're Canadian) has had to admit that their Cityflo signalling system (as used on Madrid Line 1, Line 6 and Shenzhen Line 3, all single lines with no branches) is unable to cope with the complexities of the Circle, District, Met and H&C.  So the SSL won't be going ATO by 2018 and there will still be a TOp on the handle until around 2021 which must come as a bit of a blow to the hopes of infamous dingo's gonad squeezer AM Richard Tracey as the arrival of driverless trains recedes even further and further into the future (can something recede into the future?  Discuss).

Bizarrely I have just discovered that "Dick" Tracey and I share the same birthday but to my shameless satisfaction he is 18 years my senior.  As I'm sure the prospect of more train drivers in future rather than less will irk him greatly I can only think of Kathleen Tuner's lines from the wonderful "The man with two brains"

"I love to see those veins in your temple throb……I get so excited when you get angry, it makes me feel so much closer to the reading of the will."

10 comments:

  1. Tfl press release states upgrade on Sub Service Railway still on track for 2018.

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  2. TfL say a lot of things, considering that they will have to go through the tendering process again it seems unlikely they will be able to stick to the deadline.

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    1. If only blogger had a 'like' button for ^that^ comment :P London Reconnections have also run an excellent couple of articles on the upgrade in the last few days (in one of which you were again immortalised in print (well, in cyberspace anyway)) :P

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    2. Big respect for LR, they cover the deep and meaningful stuff whereas I just do it for shits and giggle.

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    3. Absolutely, it's a great website. But you, in turn, give us a lot of giggles, a lot of insights, and generally fascinating reading. I must confess I've read this through twice at this stage :P Well, I know 2013 wasn't great and I know over at LUL things aren't looking amazing for the staff these days either, but I really hope - one way or another - 2014 is a happier, better more productive year for you and not just because I want my Central line gossip back :P Tc

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  3. "...dingo's gonad squeezer..."?? I love this blog. :-D I'm in Canberra (ummm... do I need to add that it's in Aiustralia?) and I look forward to every post.

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    1. I was either that or "wombat molester"

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  4. Drivers in 2021, yes; but on what salary? Mike Brown's promise made no mention of terms & conditions remaining for existing staff, merely that they could continue in a driving role. "Fit For The Future [sic] - Trains" is surely on the TFL drawing board.

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    1. According to an FOI request made by the good people at Boriswatch a couple of years ago the projected number of TOps on LUL should currently be 3492 with that number rising to 3629 by 2020 although I doubt if that number included the extra 200 it is suggested will be needed for Night Tube. Most of those 3492 will still be working in 2021, any reduction in pay, terms and conditions will be resisted nor will the unions accept new drivers being given anything less.

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  5. Good news is that Mike Brown will have attend a Select Committee Hearing over this fiasco and even better that the 'Head of Capital Projects' (CBE) has been put on 'Gardening Leave' in consequence.

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