A brilliant transportation website linked to this blog recently and I learnt that on buses in Iceland they attach paperbacks on the seats so that people have something to read. What a fantastic idea. Unlikely to last for a second if it was on buses or any other public transport in London - unless they were books by someone very very dull.
* To hold the politians and civil servants who made the train unprofitable.
* Make it into a tourist attraction (mmmm lovely views of tunnels, dirt, dust and shite)
* A luggage check in procedure for people using the Heathrow/Paddington Express
* A pub crawl
* Sell to Dr Evil so he can transport his henchmen to and from his underground lair
* With the four foot height limit, it is not suitable for commuter traffic, but it could perhaps be used to ferry parties of young children on school runs.
Secondly, big thanks to Neil for linking to the blog yesterday and to the driver's quotes on the main goingunderground.net site too. Never had so much traffic to the blog so I'll have to watch what I say from now on ;-)
Metro Newspaper moment
Reading in more detail about the Chancery Lane tube accident. It's quite disturbing yet fascinating to read about train crashes when you're on a train yourself. I was in two minds whether to report on this - with so many new people coming to the blog, I was tempted to go down the usual route of weird, unusual and funny things spotted on my daily commute from Kew Gardens to Piccadilly Circus. But then I thought WTF, it's important, people could have died and safety is normally taken for granted on the tube, that we should sit up and at least think about what happens when things go wrong.
Fortunately January's accident didn't lead to any loss of life, but it did lead to closure of the Central line for months and months. The parts of Metro's front page report which really disturbed me were as follows:
1) Why was full service only returned two days ago?
2) OK, I joke a lot about driver's announcements, but the poor driver of this train must have been really disturbed and hit the wrong button when calling the line controller and the words "mayday" and "fire" came over the normal public address system.
3) When people were escaping the staff did not have torches or megaphones and no one could see exits properly because of the thick dust.
4) There would have been no escape route at all if the derailed train had blocked the platform exit.
Anyway enough said - from a practical point of view expect to see nothing on the tube's official site about today's report from the London Assembly's transport committee, except for the "helpful" note that the claims refund telephone line is now closed. A few months ago I reported on my main site about an email doing the rounds encouraging everyone to try to make a claim as the London Underground were giving refunds to all people affected by the closure of the Central Line, even if you didn't use it every day.