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Monday, September 27, 2004

Just seconds out

Apologies as I'm going to be all 'Neil' sounding here, and divulge with you some of my daily travelling dilemma.

I got to Victoria this morning (already running late thanks to a cancelled South West Trains service which would have normally taken me into Waterloo) at 09.48

I work at White City/Shepherd's Bush - I don't mind which station I get to as they're both damn close to Auntie Beeb herself.

So what would be the quickest way from Victoria? Up to the Central line on the Victoria and then head west? Wait for a Circle line train and go round to Notting Hill and then head west? Or perhaps get a District to Hammersmith, and then change to the H&C and go north a couple of stops?

[FX: Adopts geordie accents - What would you do? You decide! ]

Sorry, I came over all Big Brother there for a moment.

Well in the end, I opted for the District/Circle platform figuring I would just take whatever came first. That turned out to be an Ealing Broadway train which was already on the platform as I got it. Now sadly enough I happen to know the exact times of the H&C trains out of Hammersmith at this time of the morning. They're at 10.04, 10.12, 10.20 etc.. 8 minutes apart - and so I'm doing rough mental calculations in my head, and I figure that I should be able to make the 10.12 with a couple of minutes to change - providing I run all the way and avoid getting run over at the crossing of Hammersmith's one way system.

Except - of course - just after leaving Gloucester Road, the driver cheerfully announced that his line controller had informed him that the train was now going to Wimbledon instead. "Aggh" I thought - if he'd of announced that a station back, I would of got out and got the Circle line train that was 3 minutes behind.

Instead I get out and wait on the platform at Earl's Court for the next District train to come through which is an Ealing Broadway one and will take me to Hammersmith. But it's only then that I realise that the smart thing to have done would have been to dash down to the Piccadilly line platforms and get to Hammersmith that way - more quickly as the trains don't stop at West Kensington! And I'm supposed to be the bloody tube expert around here!

The result? Well I hardly need to tell you, do I - because you know what's coming. I get to Hammersmith at 10.10 and a few seconds. I jump out - sprint up the steps in my big coat and work bag (not easy), and see my life almost flash before my eyes as I race across the crossing just as the the traffic starts to move, run into the H&C line station .. I can see the 10.12 waiting to leave! The signal is on green! I slide my ticket into the barrier (I live outside Zone 6, so no 'Oyster' for me...) through the barrier .. run towards the train ... just as the doors 'beep' and the doors close as I'm a few metres away ... Aaaagh!

I look at station clock and my watch. They're the same - it's 10.11 and 57 seconds.

Who says that the tube never runs to time?

; Posted by geofftech Monday, September 27, 2004 Permalink COMMENT HERE