diamond geezer

 Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tube watch (13) Bow Road station update
When renovation work on my local tube station began we were promised completion by October. Unfortunately that was October 2004, and the whole project has now dragged on almost a year longer than originally planned. Nothing major's happened for months, but the portakabin out the front of the station remains occupied while repairs and renewals continue intermittently inside. New poster frames are still being erected, old surfaces are being repainted, and only last week several random paving slabs on both platforms were mysteriously replaced. Having been wondering for months why this project has taken so long, I've at last uncovered 'the answer' inside September's edition of Metronet's in-house magazine (downloadable here). And who'd have guessed - it's all somebody else's fault...
"Bow Road was the first station on which work started. It is a Section 12 station, which has tougher fire and safety regulations. The reason for the delay has been achieving agreement over the removal of old cables made redundant by our work. There are lots of other utilities' cables that we can’t whip out without prior consent."
Not that this appears to have stopped Metronet from installing huge lengths of new cable at Bow Road. It's been like the spaghetti harvest above some parts of the platforms and stairwells, even if much of the new wiring has now been hidden away inside non-heritage plastic ducting. And as for the 'Section 12' excuse, this relates to special fire safety regulations which apply only to stations which are 'wholly or partly underground'. That's 40% of all the stations on the network, then, including several which Metronet have yet to renovate. But reading elsewhere in the article it seems that an end to the Bow Road upgrade nightmare may (really, genuinely) be nigh.
"Following the 'handover' of the first station – North Harrow – to LU on 13 July, a further six will have been delivered into service by the end of September: Turnham Green, Northwick Park, West Ruislip, Roding Valley, Bow Road and Chigwell."
So the whole circus at Bow Road should be over... by the end of this week! Maybe. I'll let you know if Metronet meet the deadline. What do you think?

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