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December 15, 2005

Notes from the Underground # 1066

It was being put about that gorgeous people-person and newt-lover Mayor Livingstone is Xmas-gifting us London tube vermin with an extra carriage on all Jubilee Line trains. Yay! But what’s this…?

From the Transport for London site:

What is happening and why?
From Monday 26 to Friday 30 December 2005, the entire Jubilee line will be closed to customers. An additional carriage is being added to Jubilee line trains,boosting all trains to seven carriages in length to meet increased passenger demand. In addition, four extra new trains are being added to the Jubilee line fleet.

What! So forget about more seats, extra passenger satisfaction etc, its just to get more passengers (i.e. tourists) in. Thanks, Kenny.

(As news sinks in..): But why does this require closing down the Jubilee for four days, thus confining everyone south east of London Bridge to an isolated and static term of home arrest at the very height of the festive season?

And especially why is this, after the Jubilee Line has been running a ‘reduced service’ (i.e. no trains) since last Friday which is promised to continue until Boxing Day, for exactly the same loudly-stated reason? What’s so mind-numbingly difficult about adding an extra carriage to every train?

How to make a Jubilee Line super seven stretch job::

  1. Arrange for one old six-carriage train to stop a short way up the line, with the back of its last carriage pointing towards you
  2. Place your new carriage on to the rails
  3. Shunt your new carriage up against the old one until they lock themselves together
  4. Congratulate yourself on a job done well, and wave the next train up into position.
  5. Continue till done.

Surely nothing so simple would require the total shut down of London’s newest most high-tech tube line at the worst time of the year? (Would it?)

So, assuming (perish the thought) some nefarious deal has not been made with LUL employees whereby they get four days off at Christmas in exchange for keeping schtum about how-much-it-cost/massive-hidden-danger/doomed-after-14-days/whatever., then what else could justify this absurd shut down??

Are they lengthening all the Jubilee Line platforms? In four days? Surely not. A more likely response to such length-orientated problems, in keeping with the merry tradition of passenger mindfuck games already up-and-running, would be simply requiring passengers to escape from platform-deprived carriages by ‘using the front set of doors’ or ‘exiting via the next carriage up’, or any variation on this well-loved theme the driver might think up to brighten his day while simultaneously bringing about maximum despair among his happy customers.

Perhaps these four lost days have been taken from us to train staff on the ins and outs of the new seven carriage challenge, so radically different to the old deprecated six-carriage technology we have sadly grown so used to

“Erm… this is an extra carriage. What this means is you’ll now have to remember you have a seven carriage payload during standard quantification procedures and not the old six as you may from time to time imagine. So…any questions? No, Mrs Patel-Prendergast, we feel sure your memorably robotic voice will reach easily throughout the extra carriage without any need to strain it further, thanks to the advanced public address electronics we have installed as a plugin module for the carriage enhancement system. Oh yes Mr Sandringham-Churchill, you are as ever right - it will very much be necessary for drivers to include the additional carriage in all designated search operations for bombs, terrorists, WMDs, passengers on line, suspect packages, etcetera, and yes,of course, all extra time such stretching of available resources will inevitably incur will be reflected in overtime disbursements, disordered stress compensation payments and so forth, to which you are justifiably and legally entitled, plus a little bit more for luck.”

And so on…tra la la…

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Posted by Iain Stewart at 7:45 PM in london and london travel
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