Thursday, September 08, 2005

Would Inspector Sands please come to the operations room

Some excitement on my journey into work this morning. The Waterloo & City line train I was taking arrived at Waterloo and we spilled onto the platform and I headed for the exit.

I always try to position myself so I exit the train as close as possible to the platform exit I want. This meant I was one of the first people to bound up the steps to the main concourse..... except the gate at the top was shut.

So I turned round and tried to follow the rest of the crowd who had also seen this and were heading towards the other exit. Foiled! I hate being at the back of lines.

And then, in the distance, I could see half of the passengers turn around and start walking towards us - the other exit was presumably also closed. Excellent! They weren't going to get out before me after all!

I thought I'd better listen to the incessant passenger announcement in the station which was increasingly intruding into my enjoyment of the music on my iPod. There was some sort of emergency evacuation underway it seemed. Inspector Sands seemed to play a big role in all of this.... that means fire if I'm not mistaken. So locking us on the platform was probably a thoroughly sensible thing to do.In some alternate reality.

I followed a passenger back up the original staircase and saw that the gate wasn't locked. He opened it and we left through that exit.

I have no idea what the real issue was but I'm glad I travel the "wrong" way on the Waterloo & City for my commute and so have to share the train with very few people. If London Underground had decided to trap the W&C passengers at Waterloo during the afternoon rush hour there would have been mayhem.

In other exciting Underground-related news, they now have online "ETA Boards" for some of the lines. Hurrah!

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