Thursday, January 19, 2006


It’s all gone rather quiet. Services on the Piccadilly ‘twixt beautiful Ruislip and the heart of darkness, aka Hammersmith, have settled down. Frequency and reliability are back to the standards of last summer when I made far fewer claims for delays than in the past. This is not to say the service is a particularly high standard – a ten minute gap this morning with at least one Piccadilly cancelled shows that. But all things are relative.

Ruislip Manor station continues to be a builder’s tip – what do they do all day, these men with their JCBs and colony of Portakabins? Some coils of wire have appeared adorning each of the metal poles on which the station lights are mounted. Maybe they will be used to hoist some brightly coloured bunting to cheer us up in these dark January days. Or to put in a loudspeaker system? That would be a waste of time. No useful announcements are ever made at this station – there are almost no staff to do them. Today there was a plaintive message on the information board that tells you about delays – it read “Unable to display information – our computer is down”. Quite out of the question for anyone on the staff to phone for info, of course.

One blessing is that there are no advertising hoardings but no doubt they will return. Meanwhile those of us pacing up and down (thanks to unannounced ten minute gaps, see above) can at least admire the view.

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