Thursday 20 September 2012

I have complained in the past about some of the announcements Wood Lane have made but yesterday had me screaming abuse in the cab, Lord alone knows what the passengers sat the other side of the J door thought.

A PEA was activated at BOS WB and the news was conveyed to us by someone at Wood Lane who shall be referred to as Mumbles. When Mumbles said “BOS” he sounded like he was saying “WAN” and it was only a short while later when Johnny Two Times repeated the announcement I realised what he’d actually been saying.

Johnny Two Times was a character who appeared for a few seconds in “Goodfellas” who gained his nickname by repeating everything twice; the example given being “I’m going to get the papers, get the papers”. This particular member of staff has the same habit, example from a few days ago “Will the east end DRM please contact the control room, will the east end, east end DRM please contact the control room”

Last night we got “all westbound trains, westbound trains between LES and BOS platforms and hold, this is due to a PEA on a train at BOS” and he then repeated the whole phrase again. It got worse when we were given the “clear signals and codes”, he repeated the same message three times with variations each time as to which phrase or words he doubled up, like some freestyle railways obsessed rapper. A good few minutes later Mumbles repeated the “clear signals and codes” though I doubt if anyone would have missed J2T’s announcement as it went on for well over a minute, the Ramones would have had enough time to play one song and for Joey to count "1-2-3-4" for the next. And even then his BOS sounded like WAN!

Now J2T is annoying but with a little therapy I’m sure his verbal diarrhea could be treated however one has to ask how Mumbles and the equally bewildering Nasal, who sounds as if he's dealt with a chronic nosebleed by inserting a tampon up each nostril and whose announcements are sometimes unintelligible, managed to get the job making announcements over the radio to the whole Central Line. What next, Line Information Assistants with Tourette’s?

I often heard the phrase “a good face for radio”, I think I’ve invented another; “a good voice for silent movies”.


  1. Are these announcements audible in the cab, or do they come through your phone handset?

    Sitting behind the front bulkhead on a Central line train, I usually hear a voice. Am I right in assuming that this is the LIS?

  2. They are audible in the cab so that's probably what you can hear coming through the J door though we get announcements from the Line Controller and the signallers too so not necessarily the LIS. Either that or it's the TOp talking to themselves, not unknown, it can get quite lonely down there and we end up doing strange things. I sing Smiths songs sometimes......

  3. Don't forget quite a few LISs are in 'sick jobs' having medical conditions preventing them retaining in previous their safety-critical roles so appointment is not always done on suitability.