Friday, 17 April 2015

We have engineering works on the Central Line this weekend, track replacement and drainage works at WHC, nothing unusual about that but what has raised eyebrows is that rather than terminating services at MAA on the WB every second or third train will be running through to QUE.  The QUE crossover, to the east of the station going from the WB approach to the EB platform, was out of service for ages and only came back into service a few years ago but it is very rarely used.  In my whole 12 years as a TOp I’ve only ever gone over it once, an event I recorded on this blog back in April 2013.

The general opinion around the mess rooms as to why the QUE crossover is so rarely used is that it can be a little “unreliable”, as its hardly been used I have no idea if this is the case or not  but if it is then sending five or six trains over it every hour seems a little optimistic.  What also seems a little optimistic are the lifts at QUE which also have a reputation for being “temperamental”, one of the two lifts is invariably out of service and should both fail the only way out is by the 109-step spiral staircase. 

Tomorrow could be interesting.......

Sunday, 12 April 2015

On Thursday LU upped their initial “fair and affordable” pay offer to 0.75% for Year 1 and RPI for Year 2 but on condition that we accepted the changes to our agreements for the introduction of Night Tube and dropped all our other requests.  In addition to the two £250 bonuses for accepting Night Tube they are now offering an extra £250 specifically for TOps on the lines that will be running overnight.  Management have made reassuring noise about permanent “fixed links” and/or part-time TOps covering the extra night shifts at some vague point in the future but initially they want to put additional night duties at weekends into our roster and somehow I suspect that is how it would stay

Obviously this is less than satisfactory with us but according to an RMT memo from two weeks ago it seems that management share the unions’ opinion that this will never be acceptable.  It seems that Boris has put restrictions on how much Night Tube will cost so rather than management being stubborn and unreasonable they’re having to negotiate with their hands tied.  If this is true then I actually feel quite sorry for our management which in itself is disturbing.

In January TSSA claimed they’d seen minutes from an LU meeting which estimated that Night Tube will lose £19.6m in the first year and not break even until 2033.  Presuming that calculation was based on staff accepting the paltry offer initially presented then Boris is either going to have to accept that it’s going to cost him a lot more or he’s going to have to scrap Night Tube and go back on his promise, something he’s had plenty of practice doing while mayor.