Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Normal Service on the District..!

One of the things I love about our beloved leaders are that they are forever thinking of ways to get the message over that we are actually running a decent service.
Not-so-very-long-ago, the expression was "A normal service is operating", but many customers rightly assumed that the normal was to have signal failures and no trains for ages! We now use the term "Good service" to differentiate between a decent service and a 'normal' service.

On booking on for my duty bank holiday Monday evening, I was informed that there were severe delays to all destinations due to a signal failure at West Kensington. Hmmm.
It worked out ok for me though, because instead of running to Upminster and back, I ended up going to Earl's Court and running to Wimbledon and back.

The second part of the duty was what I call boring... Earl's Court - Ealing - Tower Hill - Ealing - Tower Hill - Ealing - Depot. Exactly 4 hours and 15 minutes of work, which is amazing seeing as that is the maximum amount of driving we can legally do without a break anyway! Good old schedules department work everything out to the second!
Anyway, on arrival at Ealing on the first trip, I exit my cab and spot two sealed shoe boxes which have been left directly behind the cab. Now (and excuse my ranting here, but it needs to be said) Who in their right mind, in this day and age of terrorism, leaves two sealed shoe boxes on a tube train? It really makes me wonder whether some of these people should actually be out on their own.
So I called in to the station supervisors office and explained the problem to him. As far as I'm concerned, they're suspicious, and the Supervisor is trained to deal with them better than me.
He comes out of his office and takes a quick look. He goes towards them as I run the other way. "All clear, just rubbish" he announces. That man must have x-ray eyes! There's no way I was going to pick them up and shake them!
Personally I'd have waited for the police, but thanks to the supervisors bravery (or stupidity, depending on how you look at it) we weren't delayed or anything.

The rest of the shift goes without any problems (other than the Kylie fans again!). However on my last trip to Tower Hill, I notice the describer on the platform reads "Parson's Green" instead of "Ealing Broadway".
I ring the controller up to query it, and he informs me that my train is being reformed at Earl's Court.
This means that another driver takes my train, and renumbers it to what he's should be doing. In fact it is renumbered to 152, which has been cancelled all day because of the signal failure. This train is one of the last eastbound trains, so has to run.
I have no complaints, it means I get off at Earl's Court and just hitch a ride back to Acton... Saves the walk out of the depot!


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