Thursday 19 January 2012

Despite being a bit warmer last night ATO was still about as much as a chocolate teapot and I ended up going Coded on the open sections but at least there was a bit of entertainment to brighten the evening. At EPP both the Super and I tried to wake the “suit” but he resisted all attempts to wake him so I took him back to LOU.

Sometimes when we reach our destination a member of station staff will help us close up the train and remove stray passengers, sometimes they just leave us to it. My job is to get the train into the sidings or depot asap so that the cleaners and train maintainers can get it ready for the morning but also so they can switch off the juice and carry out any maintenance scheduled in that section. If the Super or a CSA is there helping me close up I will give them as much assistance as I can but I’m not there to deal with a drunk who’s ended up somewhere they didn’t want to be; once they are off my train they are the station staff’s problem.

While there had been a helpful Super at LOU the first two days this week the night shifts change over on Tuesday and we’d been left to our own devices. I managed to raise the suit in stages, like a strange inflatable doll with a slow puncture, every time I stopped shaking him or taking to him he started to slump back into his seat. When I finally managed to get him upright he stopped and surveyed the gap between the train and the platform as if it were the Grand Canyon before launching himself into infinity.

Having got him off I closed up the rest of the train before he could attempt to get back on and sure enough when I’d closed up the back end I could see him trying the door buttons in the vain hope that he could get home. I have no idea where home was as he never spoke a word the whole time. As I walked back the Super made a PA informing the gentleman that there were no more trains, the station was closed and that he should make his way down the stairs. And almost predictably he went and sat down in the waiting room.

When I reached the front end I looked back to see that he had resumed his forlorn wandering of the platform. The Super appeared at the top of the stairs shouting for the suit to come with him to the exit but then went back down without waiting to see if he was following. When I sat down in the cab I could see him on the CCTV still wandering about so I pulled out of the platform slowly until I saw him stumble back into the waiting room.

By the time I got back to the platform from the sidings there was no sign of him so I assume that the Super finally realised that if he wanted to get the man out of his station it would require his physical presence. Either that or he fell asleep in the waiting room and spent the night there. I’ve got a vague feeling that I’ve written a similar post before, about LOU, about this particular Super; strangely he's not popular with TOps.

As I said some Supers come up and give the TOps a hand closing up and making sure that the station is clear of passengers, some seem to prefer to sit in the nice warm station control room and do as much as possible with CCTV and the PA system. With LUL’s focus on “modernisation” and "automation" replacing staff I suspect that we’ll be seeing less of the former and more of the later in future.


  1. If I'm honest, it being this cold I'd also have stayed in the nice warm station control room, unless you asked for a hand!

  2. And there was me thinking that it was a Supervisor's responsibility to ensure that all passengers were off the station before closing up. The night-turn Super on duty Sunday and Monday came up to help close up and it was considerably colder.