Sunday 31 March 2013

My apologies for not writing, my personal life has been rather fraught of late and frankly I simply wasn’t in a writing mood.  Since my last post we’ve had an outbreak of Spice Girls and royalty with Kate Midddleton being given a “Baby on board” badge.  Unsurprisingly they are now in great demand  having sat unwanted in boxes at 55 since 2006 but my friend was ahead of the trend, three years ago she asked me to get some for her and all the other ladies in her “Bump Group”.  Today is her daughter’s 2nd birthday, thankfully she wasn’t born a day later and thankfully she wasn’t a he, she’d have ended up as Humphrey.  Philip Larkin was right.....

There was a strike that didn’t happen on the Jubilee Line over aggressive management practises but which the media trivialised as being about tea and toilets.  Harry Beck has been honoured with a Blue Plaque at the house where he was born which is in the street next to mine.  As the wonderful Diamond Geezer pointed out he only lived there until he was two then moved to Highgate, the house he lived in when he drew his Tube Map is in West Finchley and there’s a Blue Plaque already there so this seems a bit of duplication.

There seems to be a shortage of TOps on the west end of the line, I’ve covered for WHC and WER over the last few weeks as well as the usual HAI and LOU duties.  At one point we had HAI spares covering LES turns because our spares were all running for the other end.  We’re supposed to be getting loads of new TOps to enable the introduction of new timetable with more evening and weekend trains as well as later running and a Sunday service on the W&C but we’re struggling for staff to cope with the one we have at the moment.

The new timetable has now been put back to September which isn’t anything new, I can’t think of one instance in the 15 years or so that I’ve worked for LUL when a timetable has been introduced when it was first meant to but this time the trouble of the Bakerloo Line with detraining at Queen’s Park seems to have given management reason to reconsider introducing the same regime on the Central.  No doubt the bods up at Timetables and Rosters are busy juggling times in order to give us the extra minutes to close up trains and make sure that they're empty.

The only major hiccup was with the planned engineering work last weekend, we were meant to be shut down both days between LIS and LES then round the Loop to GRH.  I was working Saturday with a rather bizarre duty, I started off on “Duty Manager’s Instruction” for a couple of hours, took the replacement bus to STR, jumped on the mainline train into LIS and then made my way to WHC.  Having watched “Kung Fu Panda” I went to LIS and back, had my meal break, did an EAB and back before heading back to LES to finish my duty.

Not that I was alone spending more time travelling and sat around than driving a train, there were some LES duties that ended at WER then coming back across London in taxis after the close of traffic while HAI TOps were getting taxied from there too.  The night turns were getting taxis to LIS, doing the last trains and then getting a taxi to LOU to bring the first trains out in the morning.  Because of the cold weather Wood Lane were thinking about running sleet trains and as both west end night turns would be coming east they were going to send the night spare in yet another taxi to WER.  Apparently we’re trying to cut costs on the Tube…..

All of this was pretty pointless as the shutdown got cancelled, the rumour being that someone left the juice on in a section where work was being carried out and a piece of equipment got welded to the track.  The engineers refused to continue on safety grounds and Wood Lane were asking if the DTSMs could ring round everyone who was due in Sunday to ask them to come in at the regular start times.  How exactly how five DTSMs are meant to ring up all the TOps late on a Saturday night is beyond me but the idea was quickly rejected and the next day we ran a special ten-minute service while the replacement buses sat unused at LES and STR.

1 comment:

  1. Too many more q's than a's here: CANNOT phone staff at home, so who's silly idea; why not just continue with paid for replacement buses?; ended up complete cock-up late on the Sunday with LUL stating 'shortage of staff' causing delays. Big knobs just keep lying to the people that pay ALL our wages, and increase costs for their so-called 'customers'(that they clearly don't give a toss for).
    Keep posting - people keep reading and take note!