Wednesday, June 08, 2005


I know you see footballers spitting constantly, and many people feel the need to spit their germs onto our pavements, stations and trains, but there are a minority of people who seem to prefer spitting at people.

Spitting is a disgusting habit and is a notorious way of spreading disease, but LUL (and many mainline train companies) have recently been introducing 'spit kits' to stations. Basically, these kits contain sterile equipment and swabs so that if a member of staff is spat on, they can take a swab and seal it, and the police can then attempt to match the DNA to anyone listed on their files.

During the year 2004, London Underground recorded more spitting offences than any other BTP area. There were 54 swabs submitted, resulting in 16 being prosecuted, 38 with no match or still awaiting results, and a total of 23 matches.

This may seem like a minor crime, but if you've ever been spat at by an unknown person, you'll know how disgusting it is. Apparently, this is classed as an assault by the police.

If you've ever travelled on the District line heading westward towards Acton Town and been held outside for a few minutes at a red signal, the chances are that the Piccadilly line train approaching on the adjacent line was given priority over the District train into the District platform!!
I was held for almost ten minutes outside of Acton Town today while the signaller put two Piccadilly trains into my platform at Acton. This is a regular occurence, and after a bit of research, I discovered that since PPP, the signallers for that area are actually employed by the Piccadilly line (or the JNP group)... No wonder the District rarely get a clear run!

No, this isn't going to be another rant by me! It's a story I was told today by one of my colleagues concerning a steam special excusrsion on the District they were running a few years back from Upminster to Ealing Broadway.
Loads of people had bought tickets for the event, but as the train was heading west, LU were getting complaints from loads of people (including the fire brigade) that the steamer was setting fire to allotments, garden sheds, grass, in fact anything alongside the track as it was going,
The line controller made the decision to "get that piece of junk of my railway", so it was shunted back to Upminster.
Now the passengers were all understandably upset at not getting their trip on the District hauled by a steam train, so they came up with a novel solution... They attached a battery locomotive on the front of the steamer to haul it to ealing Broadway, but so the passengers wouldn't be disappointed, they still pumped smoke up the steamers chimney!!
Wouldn't happen these days!


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