Saturday 6 August 2011

A strangely slow week of nights but understandable as I was over the west end of the line. The only aberrations were down to staff shortages, THB was unmanned for two nights and one morning HOP was closed. Following the King’s Cross fire, 18th November 1987, and the recommendations of the Fennel Report all sub-surface stations have a minimum staffing level which due to some reason or other HOP failed to meet.

Fortunately WHC had a CSA who was familiarised with the HOP station layout that they could spare without dropping below their own minimum level so he was duly dispatched to make up the numbers. I once did the same at North Greenwich on the Jubilee one Christmas Eve; this was before it became the O2, the Dome was a giant disused tent and I saw about twelve people in four hours. Ho bloody ho.

HOP couldn’t officially open until he arrived and booked on with the Super so in order for me to drop him off he had to jump in the cab and I had to go Coded from SHB. If I’d been in Auto “station skip” would have rolled the train straight through and if he’d been in the car then the passengers would have got off too and we'd all have got a jolly good spanking.

Now how would they get around that with driverless trains? I suppose by then they’re hoping they will have staffless stations too. All very well if you are able bodied and know where you are going, not so much fun if you are “visually impaired” and have never been there before.

My comments about the refurbishment of the 92s seem to have been somewhat premature, a bulletin appeared on the notice board this week announcing that the repainting of the outside of the trains and the replacement of panels will start next month.

In addition the trains will be covered in an “anti-graffiti” film; must be one of Charles Bronson’s “Death Wish” series, where he stops shooting drug dealers and pimps and turns his guns on any near-do-well carrying a spray can after dark. I always thought he was a poor man’s Clint Eastwood…….

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