Me and my big keyboard……
I guessed there was something wrong when I was walking over to the WB platforms at LES as the train on Plat 1 had a clear signal but wasn’t moving. We learnt from Wood Lane that there was smoke coming from the train up at LEY and when I met the TOp involved he confirmed that this was the case. I spent the next hour using all the knowledge I’d gained working as an SA at STR trying to direct passengers to their destinations via the buses and other trains while the Fire Brigade did their thing.
Just as we were given the all clear at LEY we were told that another train had gone defective at BOS WB. I was told to move up as far as STR, at LES the Super thought I was going to be held there and at STR a CSA on the platform was under the impression that I was going through to HOL.
After a few minutes I was told to move up as far as BEG, when I reached MIE I made a PA to say that I’d only be going one stop and a fair number of people got off to use the District Line. Before I could close the doors we were given the all clear so I relayed the good news to the passengers and they all got back on again.
As I approached LIS Wood Lane told me to reverse at MAA, I got up there without any further delay, tipped out quickly, went up the sidings, came straight back out and I was now only a few minutes late. With all the disruption the platforms were heaving so I was packed out after only two stops.
When I reached TCR Wood Lane announced that there was a signal failure at HOL on the WB, which was fine for me as I was going EB but as I approached the signal that covers the points out of British Museum sidings it remained ominously red. I called up Wood Lane and they confirmed that there was a possibility that the signal failure could be EB as well and I’d have to walk through the train to take it back to TCR. As the passengers were squeezed in like sardines the prospect did not fill me with joy.
Wonder of wonders the signal cleared and off I went but I’d only got as far as CHL before the sirens went off to tell me that a Passenger Emergency Alarm had been pulled down in the rear car. With no member of station staff on the platform to go reset it for me I had to make my way down the very crowded platform to sort it out. Whoever pulled it down had left the scene before I arrived so I never found out what was so damn important to warrant stopping the train.
There were more delays at LIS as a train was reversed over the crossover west of the station and then an almighty train-jam at LOU before I finally reached EPP. Back at LIS someone turned off the WB traction current, Wood Lane didn’t know why as it had been discharged locally which usually only happens when someone or something is on the track that shouldn’t be.
I never found out the cause and even through current was switched back on after only fifteen minutes or so that further delayed things. I got back to LES for my meal break nearly four hours after I’d started work and barely half an hour before I was due to pick up my next train.
It didn’t matter, my next train had been withdrawn from service so I ended up doing two trips to EPP and back. In all the years I’ve worked here I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I’ve never known so many things go wrong in such a short space of time.
You will never see the words “quiet” and "day" together in this blog again.
Free entry to National Trust properties this autumn
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