Saturday 8 January 2011

Well so much for a quiet Friday night sitting spare, a LOU duty was uncovered so I had to ride to WHC, pick up the train on the EB, go up to EPP, stable at WOO and then get a taxi back to LES just after 01:00. While I was on making my way EB I kept losing the “door closed visual” as I was pulling out of the stations, not long enough for DTS, the on board computer, to identify where the problem was but enough to jerk the train about. Eventually I announced that there seemed to be a reoccurring problem with the doors and if it persisted I’d have to take the train out of service. Strangely the loss of visual stopped after that……

It seems that both EPP and SNA have been unstaffed since Tuesday, the TOp who did the last EPP confirmed there was no one there Thursday night and EPP was locked up and dark when I got there. There was no station staff at WOO to help me close up the train and I had to tell a passenger who had wandered over to the WB platform that the last train had gone. As I crossed over the bridge I had to break the bad news to another passenger who’d got off the last EPP and was trying to get back to MIE. As I made my way out of the station a group of PWay workers waiting to book on outside the Super’s office which was ominously dark.

If this is the future for stations then I don’t see how we can keep up the level of customer service our passengers are used to. I’m certainly convinced that getting myself onto the train side of the business was the best career move I ever made in my life.


  1. Speaking of stations and staff and confused travellers, I was at Bank on Friday evening and it was insane. I was heading to the Northern line from the DLR, and it was so crammed that it was genuinely difficult to get to the platform. However, the Northern line itself was quiet - got a seat on the tube, and once onto the platform itself the crowd was much smaller and calmer. It was just sheer crowd control in the station itself rather than the trains being busy. If a fire alarm had gone off or something, people would have been injured, I think.

  2. This is why stations get closed sometimes, the staff on platforms are there primarily to monitor how crowded things are getting but the Station Control Room is also meant to be keeping an eye in things with CCTV.

    I think I read somewhere that there are plans for a major rebuild at Bank in the next few years in order to relieve congestion but obviously while the work is going on they will probably have to close parts of the station or maybe even shut it entirely for a while. I’ll keep my eyes open.