diamond geezer

 Monday, January 29, 2007

London EC2: There's an "Emergencies" notice above the rear door of the train carriage which is meant to provide helpful advice and reassurance to members of the travelling public in situations such as this. We've been trapped down here for so long now that I've finally got around to reading it.
Alarms are provided at all doorways and can be operated by passengers in the event of an emergency. Operation of the alarm will enable you to talk directly to the train driver and will automatically stop the train if it is in a station.
We've tried the alarm already, of course. Ages ago, and at regular intervals ever since. But we get no response from the driver, and he's not announced anything over the loudspeakers recently either. Martin says our driver must have walked up to the next station when whatever happened happened. Martin's the accountant stood across the gangway from me, and he's busy expounding his theories on "what happened" to anyone who'll listen (which unfortunately is everyone in the carriage). It's aliens, he says. Definitely aliens, or perhaps Iraq, or maybe meteorites like that DVD he watched with his girlfriend over the weekend. He says Sylvester Stallone will soon be knocking on the window of the carriage, and guiding us all safely to daylight over a heap of burning rubble through a flooded water main. We wish Martin would shut up.
If the train is in a tunnel it will continue to the next station before stopping.
But our train never made it to the next station before stopping. St Paul's must still be several hundred yards ahead - so close and yet tantalisingly out of reach. If the train had been fifteen seconds further ahead in its journey then we'd all have disembarked normally, several hours ago. Instead we're sitting out eternity in a metal box with no obvious means of escape.
In the event of power loss the emergency lights will come on automatically.
The emergency lights are all that's keeping us sane down here. Our subterranean prison would be unbearable in pitch black darkness, but with illumination we can carry on some semblance of normal commuting. A lot of people have turned to the Metro's Sudoku for sustenance, and some have surprised themselves by completing it for the very first time. One important-looking lady has kept herself occupied by composing a stern letter of complaint on her laptop. Men in suits have been pointedly staring at their watches every few minutes or so, as if to say "I have somewhere so important to be, and I'm oh so very late." Bad luck, gents. Some people have attempted to hide behind a screen of headphoned music, at least until their iPod batteries run out. And others have finally broken the habit of a lifetime and are talking to their fellow commuters. "Hi I'm Sheila from Wanstead, and I have three kids and a poodle who I love to bits." "And I'm Sandra from Chelmsford, and my boyfriend works as a fireman, and I wish he was here now." Or maybe not.
To provide emergency ventilation, operate the slide mechanism above the seats or lower the window in the end door.
We're in great need of emergency ventilation right now. There's been an all-pervasive smell of urine inside the carriage since one of the younger passengers couldn't hold himself in any longer, and promptly dribbled embarrassedly down his trousers. Since then we've ganged together and rounded up all the empty coffee cups and Red Bull cans in the carriage, ready for if (or when) another bladder emergency arises.
Do not attempt to leave the train outside a station unless instructed to do so by a member of London Underground staff.
And here's the real problem. There are no London Underground staff to instruct us. The driver's long vanished, and there never was a guard on the train in the first place. The withdrawal of guards may have saved London Underground a lot of money over the years, but on this occasion it's left us lost and leaderless fifty feet down. Nobody's yet plucked up the courage to "attempt to leave the train", just in case the rails are still connected to a live supply of electricity. They probably aren't, but without any official guidance that's not a risk anybody's been willing to take. Except for Martin. He's all for taking a look up the tunnel, because it's better than standing around waiting to be rescued. And who are we to argue, because no rescue is apparent. We don't even know that anybody knows we're here.
Posted at 11:49 from 51°30'51"N 0°5'41"W via my Z470xi mobile

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
life viewed from london e3

email    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

What's on this month?
28 Jan – 23 Apr (10am-4.30pm)
Sussex Modernism
The sixth annual exhibition at Two Temple Place focuses on radical art/writing in Sussex, and is damned excellent.

twenty blogs
ian visits
blue witch
city metric
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
london museums
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
The DG Tour of Britain
Comment Value Hierarchy

read the archive
Feb17  Jan17
Dec16 Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
capital ring
river fleet

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards