Thursday 7 June 2012

Tuesday was another 6-pipe monster but by the time I booked on the Jubilee celebrations had moved from St. Paul’s Cathedral and were centred around Westminster so we didn’t see much in the way of crowds on the Central. Despite that the automated PAs at STP continued to exhort passengers to use the full length of the platform and not block the entrance though there were never more than half a dozen people waiting for a train each time I went through. It rained, more people got wet and ATP/ATO did its usual thing of stopping wherever it felt like.

And so to Wednesday. I started with a trip round the loop to WOO but as soon as I got on the train there was a “platforms and hold” call from Wood Lane on the WB for signalling problems between STR and MIE and by the time I reached HAI we were shut down between LES and LIS, later ammended to LES-BEG. A water main had burst and water was pouring down the Old Ford fan shaft leaving an 800 yard stretch of tunnel under four foot of water. When I got to WOO I was told to put my train in the sidings and head back to LES for instructions.

After that I did some LES-EPP shuttles but it was obvious that there was no possibility of getting the service back before the close of traffic or beyond. I was told that they couldn’t just pump the area out as if the water has got behind the walls the pressure could cause a collapse. Obviously electricity and water are not good companions so there’s a lot of trackside equipment that will need replacing and reports were that everything in the sub-station down there went bang in a big way. Expect this one to go on for a while longer.

TfL did manage to find some spare buses to put on a rail replacement service which is quite a feat as unlike the days when the buses were publicly run the private operating companies don’t have a great deal of spares hanging around for such occasions. The last time they did was for the Millennium when spare buses would sit in Stratford and North Greenwich bus stations waiting to ferry people to and from the Dome should the Jubilee Line fail.

To compound matters there are engineering works between BEG and MAA planned for the weekend, if we are up and running by then I’d be surprised. I’ve got a four day weekend coming up and was hoping to spend some time up town getting all cultural; bloody Tube, never works when you want it to………

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