Thursday, 19 July 2012

Diarhea Trains

Interesting journey in to New Cross today. As I entered the station they were saying that they were only advertising trains they knew to be running.

Well, good.

Inquiries suggested a major signal failure at London Bridge. Quite what that means, I don’t know; and it is beyond the linguistic abilities of Southern Trains to tell us.

There are signalling failures every day. It seems.

I did write to them some time ago, suggesting that as most trains are a few minutes late, they might add a few minutes to every arrival time. No response.

I am making something of a study of Southern’s announcing, purely informally, to pass the time while I wait for trains.

Slowly they are phasing out explaining delays and they only give reasons for what I believe they regard as acts of god. Signalling comes into that.

There was an episode of Startrek where vast underground halls are filled with machines which maintain automated services. None of the indigines understands them. “The Old Ones built them.”

Same with our trains. The old ones built the signalling systems. They go wrong and now witch doctors are called in to pray.

Sometimes, I believe, it has been suggested that the services of Jimmy Mubenga Disposal Society be utilised – for a small human sacrifice.

Signalling is not the responsibility of Southern. They’re still trying to understand train vehicles. (When it rained the other day water poured through the roof of my carriage – 77587 was the number. See how well I committed it to memory; but I did nothing with the memory. If I reported it, they’d throw it away: “It’s not my job to report faults.” Who do I contact? “I don’t know.” Why not? “It’s not my job to know.”

I asked them twice why they don’t put pressure on those who are in charge. No answer.

There is another question.

The CEO of Jimmy Mubenga Disposal Company said he regretted signing the contract to supply guards to the Olympics.

I have often wondered why our train companies signed contracts to supply what they cannot supply because of their own incompetence and the lack of infrastructure.

Apart from greed and the hope they could get away with it.

And they do get away with it. Look at JMDC! Still hoping to charge for management services. Management?

There was no information about S E London services. At that time of day, everyone is going to Victoria or changing to Overground. They are supposed to provide a seamless information service; but they believe that saying “we have no information” and making no attempt to get it is adequate.

Tubs of lard for ever!

At West Croydon, which I got to on time, the train I had left stayed at the platform for ages, over five minutes, with some airhead advancing the “Expected” time 1 minute as each minute passed. Up to date information you see.

Then the 10:09 to Highbury (Overground) was announced; but what was displayed was “7:22 delayed”. I should say it was.

After a while that changed to “10:09 delayed”; and we all knew why.


No, a Southern train in the way at the platform. Southern should have their own tracks; or even better a sandpit, with plastic Tonka trains, for real thick managers.

Then the Overground arrived at its usual funereal pace. We got on. I got off. Almost on time.

It takes much longer when there are no problems with the signals. Or seems to. Truth is, it’s all random. A room full of monkeys pulling levers and making announcements at random. Sometimes something appears to work.

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