Thursday, July 14, 2011

Branch Blues

The trouble with any tube line with branches is the tendency to a lack of balance. Tonight, on my homeward journey, I took an Amersham to Harrow, hoping as usual to catch up with a slower Uxbridge. No chance, not even a sign of one leaving as we came in, even though we had made very good time up the fast track from Wembley Park and we were supposed to be just behind one. Then in came not one, not two but three Watfords. The last was so delayed getting away that the driver made a point of announcing that his train was "finally departing". And still we waited for an Uxbridge.

Now I will admit that there are times that the Uxbridges are thick and fast leaving the other branches bereft. Which only opens up the obvious question - why? Why can't the service run roughly equal numbers? What is the point in scheduling, assuming they were scheduled, three trains to run up one track at five minute intervals while an announcer tells us, with obvious joy, (or at any rate a total absence of apology) that the next train on the other branch is 14 minutes away? Oh, and inevitably, tells us that a good service is running. And given that the Uxbridge frequency is a train every 6-7 minutes, as you can see from the screenshot from the TFL site, I fancy a hint of apology would be, shall we say, appropriate.

When I am king I will put passengers in charge of deciding whether the service is good or not. That should sort it.

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