Saturday, June 30, 2007

Yesterday morning was bad for someone, for many and for the Central Line

Yesterday (29th June) I had an early morning meeting in Canary Wharf. It is the first time I have had to travel directly all the way from leafy Buckinghamshire to Docklands. While the Jubilee Line (and Chiltern Railways) were as good as ever, I am pleased I don't have to make that particular journey every day.

The return trip from Canary Wharf to Tottenham Court Road was, unfortunately, not good.

It is always a bit of a lottery: Is it better to take (i) the Jubilee Line to Waterloo and then change to the Northern Line to Tottenham Court Road or (ii) the DLR to Bank and then the Central Line to Tottenham Court Road?

Yesterday we chose option (ii), the wrong one. Unfortunately there had been a serious incident at Liverpool Street on the Westbound, so our journey ended up being:
  • Walk to Canary Wharf DLR
  • DLR from Canary Wharf to Bank
  • Stand on Westbound Central Line platform at Bank until we gave up
  • Northern Line from Bank to Euston, change to Charing Cross branch
  • Northern Line from Euston to Tottenham Court Office
  • Walk to office
What is usually a 25 - 30 minute door-to-door journey turned into a very hot and sticky hour long expedition.

My only observations about the root cause of the problem would be (a) it wasn't the fault of London Underground and (b) however bad life gets, why the flipping heck should should train drivers and the emergency services have to deal with such crap? Seek help or find a way that causes less distress to other people.

I am not a weather professional

My postings currently have a bit of a rarity value. This month not only have my musings had almost the same scarcity as elephants in Iceland, but I clearly talk rubbish as well.

I previously said 'Hot, Hot Hot!' and then waffled on about carrying water on the Underground. Since then the UK seems to have entered monsoon season. In the South East we have had nothing like the bad weather or floods seen in South Yorkshire or Worcestershire but it has still been rather wet.

A short sharp thunderstorm last week led to a two foot flood at the bottom of my road (an excuse to go to the pub) and there has certainly been little opportunity to mow the lawn in the last few days.

I do not work for the Met Office (ie don't listen to me) but the current weather warnings even creep into the South East of England. You have been warned!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Hot, Hot, Hot!

I was behaving a bit like a yo-yo on the central bit of the Central Line this afternoon. It seemed particularly warm to me. Oh the joy of things to come.

It would appear to be time to pack the recommended bottle of water when venturing onto The Tube.

Anyone for The Zoo?

London Zoo is in Regent's Park, but apparently the closest underground station is Camden Town. I've learnt something this evening!

Anyhow, after a possible slight blip today, it seems that Regent's Park underground station is to re-open at Noon tomorrow (12th June) after being closed for about a year for refurbishment. For those who don't know, it is on the Brown (Bakerloo) Line. [Edit (13June): Apparently Regent's Park reopened at about 17:20 today, 13th June 2007]

The bright shiny new tiles look good and thankfully they seem to have kept the 'old fashioned' look. I seem to recall that new lifts were being installed- usually an interesting time follows such an event.

The Live Departure Boards have remained alive and kicking. Hurrah for Regent's Park and 2 minutes more traveling time per day restored to my commute.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Along the Central Line? Only a Little Bit...

After a few teasing hints and 18 1/2 years living in West London, I've gone and done it.

Yes... I've moved to the country.

It will take me about 25 minutes longer to get to work. I will still use the Central Line most days (so this blog's name shouldn't be changing) and my Annual Travelcard now costs an enormous amount of money.

There is a downside, from an underground perspective, in that I no longer have an Oystercard. Because I now live way outside the Travelcard Zones, my season ticket has reverted to to old fashioned cardboard variety. You know the ones- they get bent, thumbed and dogeared. They also react violently to the close proximity of mobile phones or laptop computers, which will inevitably lead to bi-monthly visits to the ticket office to get said worn ticket replaced.

Despite the Big Brother overtones I have always been an Oystercard fan. Please don't tut at me too much while I fumble to extract my ticket from it's natty little folder and then watch as it takes an extra few nano-seconds to feed through the ticket barrier.

Lots of good things about the countryside to bore you with coming up.