My occasional posts on the hell of the Northern line continue and it’s never in a positive way I’m afraid.
For some reason the Underground in general and the Northern line in particular cannot get its act together between 7.45 and 8.45am – ie the peak of rush hour. At this time there needs to be a train every minute. If there isn’t a train every minute, then everything gets clogged up and they end up having to shut the gates at the entrance of the tube. Recently they have started playing classical music in the ticket hall area of some tube stations – presumably this is in attempt to calm people down as they are being held like cattle at one side of the ticket barriers, before being let loose like cattle to stampede down on to the platform and then get squished onto a tube – the cattle analogy ends there because there are EU and animal welfare regulations which prohibit cattle being subjected to your average commuter lack of space once actually on the train.
So my heart sank when I got down to the platform today and there was no Bank train for six minutes. You just know it’s going to get vile. Sure enough I had to let five trains go through before I could squeeze myself under someone’s armpit with an elbow in my back and having to hold my head at a peculiar angle so I could actually breathe*. Then – the joy! The train was diverted via Charing Cross – NO NO NO! Trains to Charing Cross start from Kennington. Do not mess with my Bank train. So I had to get off the train and undertake another shoehorning exercise to get on the next Bank branch one – grrr!
So my journey took about 25 minutes longer than it should have and the grim realisation is that a lot of people are still on holiday so the prospect of next week is even worse.
*Breathing on the tube of late is a rather hazardous experience. Not only are you likely to catch something but – at this time of year in particular – people’s breath and other air excretions are particularly noxious. Some of the stenches were so bad this morning I thought I was going to throw up.