Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Not a good morning

Warning: if you don't want a depressing read then skip this article.

It all started with a wet walk down to Ruislip (my normal station, Ruislip Manor, being closed with rebuilding). They told us there were delays on the Metropolitan. So my usual Piccadilly (which did come in time, the only thing to go right today) was overcrowded by the time we had reached Sudbury Town just 5 stops on.

Stopped outside Acton Town. After ten minutes or so the driver told us that we were being held because there was a faulty District Line train blocking our route. We move off and as we leave Acton the driver tells us we are making a stop at Turnham Green. Doesn't say why. We stop there. A long wait. A couple of District Line's come in alongside and go. Then we are told there is a security alert at Hammersmith and no Piccadilly's are running.

Oh well never mind, here is another city-bound District line. So we all change. It gets one stop down the line and stops at Stamford Brook and now we are told that no trains are running through Hammersmith.

So a long wet walk to find a bus. We crawl (slower than walking) into Hammersmith where the northern entrance (but not the exit) to the bus station is closed by police, and indeed the tube is also shut and ringed by police. So we drive around to the southern entrance and a few moments leave by the northern exit. No idea why the entrance was shut, obviously not on safety concerns or they should not have allowed the bus into the station at all.

At last I debark from the bus, at 10:10 and reach my office after a journey of 1 hour and 50 minutes to go about 12 miles.

There, I told you not to read it.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Hail ! The Spring (and delays)

After a cold and dreary few weeks the weather is warming up again. This week should really feel like the first week of spring as temperatures climb towards 12c or so. So what better way to start the week than with a serious delay and juicy lie.

The delay hit me this morning. Five minutes after boarding my train we stopped near Rayners Lane and stayed there. For thirty minutes. "Points failure at Rayners Lane", we were told and although I usually very sceptical about the bog-standard Tube excuses, I think this one might have got it right.

The lie was on Transport for London's website. They posted a notice saying that no trains were running between Uxbridge and South Harrow, effective 8:52am. But my train finally left Rayners Lane for South Harrow at 9:15.

So hey ho for the joys of spring and another refund claim.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

A touch of the chills

Cold isn't it? Well, not really, temperatures around 0c first thing in the morning and rising to 4 or 5 by afternoon may be uncomfortable but we've had worse. In fact this will be probably be one of the milder winters of recent years. But that won't stop London Underground. Today's excuse for severe delays on Piccadilly and District this morning? - overrunning engineering works. So if it's the right kind of snow for a change then they get you some other way.

Actually I wasn't late today. Soon after I reached the station, a Piccadilly came in. But it filled up to the gunnells (that word looks odd but it sounds right. Gun-holes I suppose, in the original) at South Harrow and was jammed tight thereafter.

And in other news, broadband has been installed in the Ramblings household. So these despatches can now be easily created at night rather than at work as has been the case up till now. Wonder if that will change the essential, how shall I put it, ethos of the site? We shall find out....