Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Points failure at Baker Street

Just two weeks since I began regular commuting on the Metropolitan/Bakerloo to get from Ruislip Manor to Waterloo and I’ve encountered the first real problem.  Arriving at Baker Street last night I was struck by the number of people pouring down from the Met platforms towards the Jubilee/Bakerloo platforms. So dense indeed was the flow that I was unable to make any progress in climbing the stairs and had to wait until several hundred had passed. Gathering from this that something was wrong, I found two northbound Mets, both jammed full, and announcements of a points failure. After a fruitless wait in case they fixed it, and already knowing that my main alternative route, the Piccadilly was up the spout with “severe delays”, I had to resort to the emergency route, the Central Line and a long wait for a bus from South Ruislip.

This was an irritating experience because had it happened a little earlier I would have diverted onto the Central Line first and not wasted half an hour. And had it happened a little later, I would have been on a Met moving away from the stuck points and would not have been delayed at all.  Communications within the tube network remain awful. Some fifteen minutes after the Met came to a halt, the announcer at Oxford Circus (where I was transferring to the Central) did not know that anything was amiss.

So, 11 days of travelling, a couple of minor glitches, just one headache so far. Seems reasonably promising.

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