Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Met creaks

Is it me or is the Metropolitan Line going through another awkward phase? A bit like a surly teenager who now and then brightens up and says something intelligible before lapsing into reticence. Many journeys are marred by some sort of niggly problem, be it signal failure (the old favourite), or too many trains on a stretch of track, or trains with problems or passenger related stuff like the dreaded "person taken ill" a.k.a. another one's snuffed it. Nothing terribly serious to report in the past few weeks, just this on-going set of faults that somehow, every day, add 5 or 10 minutes to a journey. Doesn't sound too much? Let's restate that as a 12 - 25% increase in journey times.  It all adds up but you can't ever make a Customer Charter refund claim because a delay has to be 15 minutes on a single journey to count.

I've written about this sort of thing before and then comes a period when the trains just run as they should and nobody is taken ill and one begins to get used to one's train coming in on time and arriving on time.  And of course this creates a kind of "golden age" in the mind to compare to when the usual problems recur.

Oh well, at least the summer is nearly here so the trains should become less crowded, and the heatwave that seemed to be threatening us has vanished into a dull grey and downright chilly late June murk. The English football team performed about as badly as we feared in the opening stages of the World Cup but what the hell, the French are worse, Italy could only draw with New Zealand and the Germans lost to Serbia and missed a penalty. I almost expected a man with a monocle, a duelling scar and a plumed hat to call in at the Serb Embassy the next day and hand in a final note demanding reparations.

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