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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Train driver's view

I could never drive a tube train

One of the good things about travelling on the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) - in fact it's probably the only good thing about travelling on the DLR - is that you can sit in the front of the train and pretend to be a driver. I'm sure people initially find it quite disconcerting that no one appears to be in the driving seat apart from a random bunch of commuters. But as the
DLR's site says: "DLR trains are driven by an automatic system, they do not require drivers. Each train however is staffed by a highly qualified Passenger Service Agent."

Going into Shadwell each morning I sit at the back of the train so I'm near the exit of the station. Leaving I travel at the front so I'm near the exit for Bank. Most nights the train's pretty packed so I don't get to sit in the front seat, but last night, there were some spare seats at the front so I reminded myself what a dull view some train drivers must have.

Here's the wonderful view leaving Shadwell when you can see Docklands and the Gherkin in all its glory:

View from DLR leaving Shadwell


But here's the view that loads of London underground drivers have - although it will obviously be less blurry - not being able to take flash pictures on the London Underground and travelling at a blinding speed doesn't help my photography here.

View from DLR arriving at Bank


Imagine looking at tunnels like this every day. No wonder they look so bored.


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