Wednesday 14 March 2012

Communication; we suck major league.

Friday was reasonably featureless but we had engineering works shutting everything west of MAA on Saturday. There are more than enough buses trolling up and down Oxford Street already and the stations along the Bayswater Road/Holland Park Avenue are well served so rather than have replacement buses further adding to the congestion by blocking things up outside MAA they send everyone up to Willesden Junction on the Bakerloo then bus them from there the short (and comparatively less busy) ride down to WHC and NOA. They put up notices, they make PAs on the stations, we make PAs on the trains, do the passengers take a blind bit of notice? Do they buggery.

As the Piccadilly was a mess due to a one under at Wood Green several passengers heading for the western end of the District Line had decided to try taking the NHG route and were not best pleased to find their route blocked. One wanted to know why we didn’t temporarily suspend the engineering work and reopen the Line while the Piccadilly was having problems. I can only assume that they imagine “engineering works” to mean a dozen blokes with spanners tightening bolts.

Otherwise the majority of lost souls were tourists who understandably fail to grasp the complexities of the Tube, are forgivable and infinitely less aggressive about the whole deal. Fortunately I only had to endure that three times while I was between trains but having worked stations when I first joined LUL I know what it’s like doing that for 8 hours a day. In addition as there were no trains running out of WER and WHC they sent surplus TOps to help tipping out, probably a suitable reminder of what the Station side have to suffer daily while we’re safely isolated from the masses in our cabs.

As I was heading back EB the first time there was talk over the radio from Wood Lane of a train at STR WB having problems and a call for the Train Technician (TT) to go meet it. By the time it reached MIE it was smoking and the trains behind it were given a “platforms and hold”. When I reached LIS service was suspended in both directions LES to LIS so it came as a surprise when a few minutes later I was given a green signal to carry on EB rather than the shunt into the sidings to go back west.

I didn’t want go up to BEG only to find that someone was already there and end up stuck in the tunnel with a train full of passengers so I called up Wood Lane to ask them what they wanted me to do. This caused a degree of confusion and it took couple of minutes before I was informed that the Super at MIE had declared that the smoke wasn’t severe enough to warrant shutting down the EB.

By the time I handed over my train at HAI Wood Lane had given the all clear but if anything things were worse when I remerged after my meal relief. I was supposed to pick my train up on the WB at LES after it had been to EPP and back but it had only just arrived EB, going into the middle platform and tipping out.

As I made my way across the passengers were scurrying down the stairs from Plat.2 and up the stairs to Plat. 3 where there was an EPP train waiting. They’d not been told about the change of plan but then based on my own experience it’s likely that Wood Lane hadn’t told the TOp until the train had left LEY.


  1. I woulda seen you then..I was running like an idiot when the driver took his sweet sweet time walking from the front of Plat. 3 to Plat. 2..

  2. And why shouldn’t they? As I was relieving the TOp on Plat.2 I’d imagine they were either starting their meal relief or finishing their shift. The driver of train on Plat. 3 would have been someone else.