Friday, March 06, 2009

The vapidity of announcements

Late running on engineering works at Neasden brought both the Metropolitan and Jubilee lines to their knees this morning. With no trains southbound from Harrow, I resorted to my fall-back of the Piccadilly and got in 20 minutes late. So far, so routine but it struck me, as I heard one interminable announcement after another telling us that there was no service, that the real piece of information we would like to know was how long until normal service resumed.

I don't think this is an unreasonable request. Engineering takes place overnight. By the time I start my journey - 8:30 am - any delays will have been known about for at least three hours (in fact the first Metropolitan trains start around 5:00 am). So someone somewhere must have said to the line controllers "er sorry about the ballsup but my lads will have it all cleared up by...". Now if they tell me that it will all be sorted in about 15 minutes I will wait, rather than cram into a train that hundreds of other frustrated passengers will be similarly filling. And if the delay is going to be more than hour, then I cram in with the best of them. I'd just like to know that my cram was worth while.

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