Friday 21 September 2012

The evening peak was busy last night, perhaps a little more than usual, with the WB platforms from LIS onwards packed out. When I closed the doors at OXO I could see people still pushing on and as expected I didn’t get the blue door closed visual. I hit the “re-open” button which opens doors that aren’t closed but not those that are but before I could try closing them again the PEA alarm started squawking. I tried to talk to whoever had pulled the handle down but got no reply so I opened up all the doors and checked DTS which told me that the handle was down in car 1. I made a PA to inform the passengers what was going on and jumped out to check what the problem was.

I was pointed towards a young lady stood at the back of the platform who I was informed had got her head caught in the doors. She didn’t look badly injured so I said I'd get the station staff to come and deal with her. As she was off the train my responsibility was to the thousand or so passengers who were still on board along with the thousands more on the trains behind me so I reset the PEA and went back to the cab.

When I checked at the CCTV the SATS was still stood where they’d been when all this started so I made a PA asking them to come and speak to the driver, I even said it twice just to be sure, slightly hypocritical considering my last post. When he finally battled his way through the crowd to the front of the train I explained the situation and left him to deal with it while I got the service moving again.

I realised that the one thing I hadn’t done was contact Wood Lane to tell them what was going on; big error on my part. What brought me to this realisation was the wonderfully sarcastic tone of the Line Controller giving a “platforms and hold” for a problem at OXO, adding that he had no idea what the problem was. By the time I got through I was already on the move WB again and I was met at WHC by a DRM who asked me to give my account of the incident.

Now I worked stations for nigh on 5 years and when I was doing platform duties if a train wasn’t moving for no apparent reason I’d automatically make my way to the cab to ask the TOp if there was any problem and if I could offer any assistance. Station Assistant Train Services; SATS, that's what it means, you are there to assist the trains. There’s more to it than standing in the same spot for two hours sticking a baton up in the air and saying “stand clear of the doors” on the PA. If Station Staff are going to be any use then they need to be trained and understand their role in all this. Once again I thank the day I made the decision not to pursue a career on the Stations side and become a Super. Rant over.

Other than that we had a shut down between LES and HAi on the Inner rail later in the evening peak due to a “person taken ill on a train” at NEP. Most of the time this is someone fainting and that is quickly dealt with but when Wood Lane suspended service we knew it must be serious. All was revealed when I was taken off at the end of my first half by a HAI TOp, his wife had been on the train involved and had texted him to say they’d all been tipped out and sent to the buses as some poor soul had a suspected heart attack.

Enjoy life while you have it, folks, every day is a day closer to the grave.

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