Sunday 15 August 2010

A very quiet couple of night so either passengers on the West End of the line are more civilised or it’s the middle of the month and thus too far from payday to really go out on the razz though I suppose this "austerity" government could be affecting drinking habits. One bit of bad news, I’d heard that there was bad blood at WHC and after spending last night there I have more details though once again I’m not sure if I have the entire story, as always our world is full of rumours and gossip.

When a WB train terminates at NOR you tip out, close up, take the train up the siding and then come back onto the EB platform. A WHC TOp was doing this but neglected to turn his train radio on when he changed ends. Wood Lane decided for some reason that the train would go back into the WB platform and carry on up to WER but couldn’t pass the message to the TOp. Regardless they set the points for the WB and cleared the signal.

All signals at points will either have an arrow or a number, counting from left to right, to indicate the direction the points will take you, in the case of NOR you have 1 for EB, 2 for WB. Taking the train down the wrong road is almost as bad as SPADing a red signal but it would appear that the TOp didn’t notice the change of destination so when he suddenly found himself heading in what he thought was the wrong direction he slammed on the brakes.

This is where he made his big mistake, he panicked, put the train into reverse and went back into the siding blind; very bad move. I don’t know when he realised he’d left his radio off or what he said by way of explanation but it is alleged he tried to cover his mistake, another thing you just do not do. Whatever occurred this is the sort of thing that gets you hauled into the office where you can expect to get monitored in the cab by an IOp for a few months, sent back to Ashfield House for further training or at the very worst dropped down to Stations for a while.

He was sacked, told to clear his locker immediately and return his Staff Pass the next day. As by all accounts he had a virtually spotless record this is regarded as harsh in the extreme and naturally the other WHC TOps are furious about his treatment. His Union has balloted for strike action though predictably as this is RMT they had to do it twice as they cocked it up the first time but it is virtually guaranteed that his colleagues will support him. I doubt very much if any ASLEF drivers will cross the line as he was well liked and if they can kick him out over this any of us could be next.

Hopefully management see sense and reinstate him but then this is LUL where sense and logic play a very small part in our world. When I joined as a Station Assistant my instructor’s first words were “watch you own back” and it seems that his advice has never been more relevant. Perhaps this highlights why there is such a “them and us” attitude on the Tube.

Have a nice week at work if you have it.

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