Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jams and suspensions

Before leaving my office last night for my homeward journey from Waterloo I checked the TFL website. Delays on the Jubilee (which I don't normally use), Bakerloo ok. So off I set and imagine my surprise when I find three fire engines and an ambulance waiting outside the tube's South Bank entrance. No sign of any firemen or paramedics in the station though. Down the escalators we go and lo! the Bakerloo is suspended with the metal gates drawn across the entrance to the platforms and station staff standing by. A hand written board informs us that the service is suspended due to a defective train.

Guessing that the emergency services are there to help passengers out of the tunnels, and therefore that this will be a long job there is no point in waiting. There is an announcement that we should take the Northern and change for a Piccadillly and then back to the Bakerloo at Piccadilly circus. Sod that. I take my chance with the Jubbly, arrive on a heavily crowded platform, notice a train is due with another 2 minutes behind, let the first one go and manage to squeeze into the second. As full as it can be but at least it moves quickly. Baker Street is attained.

Naturally the first trains out are going to Watford. They are rebuilding platform 3 for the new S stock due next year (or maybe in 2016 depending on who you ask) and Uxbridge services are restricted. So I get to Harrow, wait for the Uxbridge that was suppposed to be right behind the Watfords but which arrives several minutes later and get home about 15 minutes later than planned. Pretty much par for the course these days. Oh, and whilst at Harrow they announce that the Northern is part suspended, but in the usual helpful way they don't bother to say which part, so leaving any would-be travellers on that line without any idea whether they should or should not change their route. So that is all three of the tube lines going through Waterloo screwed up. What are the chances of that happening?

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