diamond geezer

 Saturday, July 06, 2013

VICTORIA: Up the line

From Brixton's buzz the hordes descend, then left or right to board the train;
The siren sounds, the doors slam shut, we're off to Walthamstow again.
Delayed at Stockwell, driver growls "please board the train now please!"
"You, the passenger holding the door!" We turn and glare, he flees.

At Vauxhall more wait to pour on, the line's last punters from the south;
But few spread out, and so they clog the small space by the platform mouth.
It's mostly quiet at Pimlico, the Vic's non-intersection;
But don't stare at the tiles too long, the dots need circumspection.

Victoria's roundel? The 60s writ large, with letters thickly drawn;
"This train is ready to depart", staff cry, but we've already gone.
Beneath the Palace to Green Park; she boards and quickly starts to eat,
The sesame snap goes in her mouth, the wrapper she leaves on the seat.

At Oxford Circus shoppers flock, that's on with bags or off with dosh;
While most push on a few hold back, reluctant yet to join the squash.
To Warren Street on Euston Road, where "doors will open on the left";
It's one of only three like that, the other two I'll let you guess.

Mum waits at Euston with her pram, I wonder if she'll board in time;
It's toddlers first, then front wheels raised, and all pushed through before the chime.
King's Cross St Pancras boasts the longest "change here for" list on the Vic,
Five tubes, plus rails and Chunnel tracks, or British Library, take your pick.

We're emptier now, with seats for all, at Highbury and Islington;
A high pitched whine of tunnel-whizz accompanies as we speed along.
At Finsbury Park a simple link, cross platform to the Piccadilly;
It's hot aboard these new trains with no aircon tech to make it chilly.

Some trains halt at Seven Sisters, diverting off to the depot;
Not us, we pause awhile for time, then door lights fade and on we go.
Our litterbug stands at Tottenham Hale, pretends the wrapper wasn't her,
I try to catch her eye but no, she's gone, and striding off without a care.

At Blackhorse Road the equine tiles resemble branding for Lloyds Bank;
The front of the train remains packed, the rear is almost blank.
We terminate at Walthamstow, so "all change please" and take your stuff.
From SW9 to E17, one Vic line ride is quite enough.

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