Wednesday 9 March 2011

I wasn’t spare for long yesterday as we had a duty that had been left uncovered for whatever reason. It was a beautiful sunny day which was a shame as the duty consisted of shuttling back and forth between NEP and WHC almost all of which is underground with the exception of NEP, WHC and the stretch between LES and LEY.

On bright sunny days the glare off the track can make seeing some things on the CCTV a little difficult. Not big things like a whole person stuck in the doors, that you can see plus you wouldn’t get a “Door Closed Visual”, the little blue light in the cab that tells us that all the doors are closed. However something like the straps of the bag of someone who jumped on the train at the very last second leaving the bag outside the train while allowing the doors to close and the DCV to illuminate can be missed.

One place where the sun shines bright is LEY WB. I’d only moved off about half a car before someone pulled down the Passenger Emergency Alarm (more commonly know as “the handle”) and the emergency brakes slammed on. On the 92s someone was bright enough to stick a microphone and speaker with the PEA so the TOp could talk to whoever had activated it and find out what the problem is. At the same time “PEA activated” flashes up on the DTS and tells us which car it’s on; in this case it was Car 1.

The person who had pulled the handle told me that there was a bag stuck in the doors, I squinted at the monitor but still couldn’t see it so I opened the cab door and there it was plain to see. As we’d pulled out I couldn’t open the doors up again but fortunately the owner managed to pull the bag in while I was pondering the best course of action, as I said it was pretty small which made it hard to spot.

Another stroke of good fortune was that there was a member of off-duty staff in the car who reset the PEA for me, not that going back into the saloon of the lead car on a quiet Tuesday afternoon would have been a great hardship, bet there wouldn’t have been a handy off-duty member of staff if it was car 8 during the peak.

Nothing else of note except for being held at BOS for a couple of minutes while staff carried out a “small investigation” at MAA and then waiting for five minutes outside LES while the train in front sat on the platform with no explanation from Wood Lane then only being told it had been waiting for a technician to check a fault as it was pulling out. If they want TOps to keep the passengers informed of what was going on it would be helpful if they gave us some information.

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