The future as at best a haze. We can make or break it. My rants, visions, ideas and dreams hope to make a better future. Lets learn to live a better life. Raise your glasses (no it doesnt have to be alcohol - I am using orange juice!), and toast the future!

Monday, February 21, 2005

Tube trouble again

This evening, the Northern Line came to a standstill. The central line, and victoria line soon followed.
I ended up waiting on a Tottenham Court Road platform for over 30 minutes. It was heavily crowded and the upper section had closed to access. I decided to wait it out, as the buses may have been worse. I eventually got on a slow, packed train, which took me as far as Camden Town (all trains were to Edgeware on the Ch + branch). There was not going to be a High Barnet branch train for another 20 minutes.

One customer did ask them why they did not use the points at Camden town, and route some of the trains bound for Edgeware to High Barnet, and they were not able to give more than a vague answer (I am happy to hear one if somebody knows).

Once we were off the train, we were told to leave the station. I then ended up waiting 40 minutes for a bus - they were coming, but they were all full, and it was ugly - people were right out at the junction pushing to get on, when they had turned the corner, and nowhere near the actual stop. Annoyingly, by the time I had taken the bus, and changed a couple of time sto get to my stop, my flatmate had also taken the tube home - he used basically the same route I did, but he had left an hour later, and arrived 10 minutes before I did, blissfully unaware that there was any earlier problems with the tube!

All of this was caused by one broken down train in Kennington. There are questions to ask though - why was this train not shunted back to a depot, and why was it allowed to create over an hours worth of chaos? Now it may have been to do with the tiny little bit of snow we had (they always end up in chaos when a millimeter of snow falls). This whole situation was not satisfactory anyway, and TFL really need to start testing scenarios, making sure there alternatives. They need to make sure that people who have paid for a service receive it, or something satisfactory when it fails.

I seem to remember buying a TravelCard - not a Travel-When-We-Bother-To-Run-Competantly-Card. Stranding commuters for over an hour should merit a serious investigation of who wasnt doing their job properly - train inspectors (they do run check before they leave depots dont they?), engineers, station managers, signalmen, platform managers and ensure that provisions are put in plce to try and prevent it in future. When it works, the tube is one of the quickest, safest and most environmentally friendly way to get around London, a little more thought, and it really could be one of the best transport networks.


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