Thursday 31 January 2013

3-2-1 I’m back in the room.  I’m still not fully recovered from whatever ails me, I have to go back to the doctor’s next week but I’m a hell of a lot better than I was.  I finally saw Morrissey after enduring a nerve wracking road trip over the Allegheny Mountains in a snow storm, Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh was a sumptuous venue, he was in good voice and my friend was utterly enchanted with her first live Mozzer gig.  Sadly for others he only managed one more night before succumbing to bleeding stomach ulcers; the poor lamb has no luck.

Anyway, onto things Tube related.  Yesterday our dark overlord, Mike Brown, gaily announced that as of 2015 we will be running an hour later on Fridays and Saturdays while at the same opening an hour later on Saturday mornings to facilitate engineering hours.  We’d heard nothing of this beforehand but then that’s nothing new, we’re used to discovering changes to our working lives from the Evening Standard rather than receiving prior warning from our employers.  This decision has been taken in the wake of the “success” of later running during the Olympics, “success” being a flexible term as when I was driving trains past 1:30am in the summer the platforms were virtually empty.

When later running was last mooted the biggest objector was Heathrow who pointed out that if the Tube opened an hour later on Saturdays the morning shift wouldn’t be able to get in on time.  This has been cleverly circumvented by excluding the Piccadilly from the plan, apparently they’ll still close at 1:30am while the rest carry on running.  The later service will be restricted to “core network” which I guess means we’ll get you out of Zone 1 and Zone 2 but after that there isn’t going to be much apart from night buses.

While we have two years to sort out the details as with the Olympics LUL will probably avoid negotiating with the Unions until the last possible moment, our current pay deal ends in 2015 so maybe they could roll the whole thing into one; two hopes of that and Bob’s dead.  Personally I've got nothing against later running, our lives are messed up already by shift work, another hour isn't going to make much difference.

Meanwhile over at Scotland Yard Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe called for all workers to be drug tested, naming transport workers as ones that should get special attention.  News flash, Bernie, we already have drug testing on the railways, get a clue, matey.


  1. I thought it was a later start on Sunday? You see at present the last tube train from Euston is around 1ish, so by 01:34, the time of the last mainline out of that hell hole, the station's shut up, locked off and maintenance have possession. If they run the tube an hour later, have they any assurance that London Midland will be running a later last train to take the SAs home? Those SAs that come in by LM have aggregated at Euston as a result of the convenience of it all, you see. The only hiccup is that on Saturday night / Sunday morning the last LM train is the 'Vomit Comet stopping at Wembley' at 02:34, which is a long wait with lairy drunk people throwing up everywhere and peeing all over the train whilst getting annoyed that it's not leaving for another hour and taking it out on anyone in a transport uniform... and then on Sunday morning, it's a drive into London as the first mainline train doesn't arrive until 30 minutes after start of shift. So I suppose a later finish on Saturday and later start on Sunday would work out OK with the mainline services as is, but Friday would be awful.

    1. In the ES it said that Sundays would still be a 7am start but Saturdays would go back an hour to 6am, other than that you know as much as I do.

    2. In that case... Urgh! Yeah, it was the first I heard about it too.

  2. Welcome back from an avid reader, its nice to read others comments in the rail industry who face similar predicaments from a Southern driver.