Transport in London is shit

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...or so I've been told (and experienced from time to time) my whole puff. But it's come to my attention (during a phone conversation with my mum in which it was revealed that my sister and my future brother-in-law is, are getting married), that I haven't heard a single anti-tube rant so far this month, and that luego it must be de facto better than it used to be.

Discuss.

Gatinha (rwillmsen), Monday, 13 February 2006 21:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

what about public transport in the suburbs?! FUCKING WAGN!

Vintage Latin (dog latin), Monday, 13 February 2006 21:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

anyone who thinks should be bussed (specifically bussed) to A N Other city in th UK stat

ambrose (ambrose), Monday, 13 February 2006 21:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

transport in london is great*

*maybe not if you use the northern line

terry lennox. (gareth), Monday, 13 February 2006 21:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Not to simply express the sentiments already aired, but I was thinking about this only yesterday, and I agree that anyone who thinks London's transport system is bad has obviously never witnessed the sheer horror of transport outside of the M25.

tissp! (the impossible shortest specia), Monday, 13 February 2006 22:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

*maybe not if you use the northern line

And the Hammersmith&Shittyline.

Gatinha (rwillmsen), Monday, 13 February 2006 22:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It's shit - if you consider that it's a 'world city' in the 21st Century.

It's surely more balanced to compare London with Tokyo, New York, Paris etc rather than Basildon, Letchworth, and Chorlton-cum-Hardy.

Bob Six (bobbysix), Monday, 13 February 2006 22:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Transport in London is LOTS better than transport in any other part of Britain I've ever lived in or stayed in for more than a couple of days.

Transport in London is LOTS better than transport in New York.

Basically, transport in London is far from shit.

*maybe not if you use the northern line

That's been my primary line for about 4 years now and I'm not complaining, it's fine.

JimD (JimD), Monday, 13 February 2006 22:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Swap you for trying to get out of central Glasgow after 11.30pm any night of the week...

ailsa (ailsa), Monday, 13 February 2006 22:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It's people not complaining, and not comparing it to more modern transport systems, that's partly responsible for London's transport remaining shit.

International competitiveness studies highlight the expense of transport, crumbling infrastructure, and historic lack of investment as a negative factor in London's economic position.

Bob Six (bobbysix), Monday, 13 February 2006 22:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Call it selfish, but I would rather someone unfuck the rest of the country before London gets improved any further.

tissp! (the impossible shortest specia), Monday, 13 February 2006 22:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

No, I think that's sensible - at least sorting out the ridiculous cost of travelleling by rail across the UK.

Bob Six (bobbysix), Monday, 13 February 2006 22:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

OTM. For all the posturing of the government regarding public transport, the sad truth is that I still drive everywhere because public transport is such a shambles—from the local buses that can't turn up for hours in a morning to the national rail network that costs £50 to go somewhere that £20 of diesel in a car can get me.

Not, of course, that it's the government's responsibility nowadays.

tissp! (the impossible shortest specia), Monday, 13 February 2006 22:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Btw I wasn't talking about the price. Although the Oyster fares are obviously much fairer, I have got a sneaking suspicion that they're gonna wait 'til we've all got one and then jack up all the prices like mad and KILL US ALL.

That said, anyone who lives in London who DOESN'T buy a monthly travel card is either an asylum seeker or mad.

Public public public money money money is what is needs.

Gatinha (rwillmsen), Monday, 13 February 2006 22:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I know the Evening Standard is almost universally hated here, but one of its good points is the current campaign to name and shame unmanned rail and tube stations, and to push for improved passenger safety.

Bob Six (bobbysix), Monday, 13 February 2006 22:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i don't buy a monthly travel card!

but i only really use buses and not even daily -- i reckon so far i am up on the deal by some way though given the fierceness w.which they are policin the bendies now this will probbly have to change :(

mark s (mark s), Monday, 13 February 2006 23:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Is it not, possibly, slightly contradictory to demand more people manning tube/rail stations and to complain about fares being too expensive?

theantmustdance (theantmustdance), Monday, 13 February 2006 23:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

No, I think that's sensible - at least sorting out the ridiculous cost of travelleling by rail across the UK.

I still have trouble understanding why/how Virgin charge £75 return to Manchester (with other return options reaching over £400) when you can fly several times the distance for half the price. And why does it take twice as long coming back? Can trains not tilt southbound?

Sororah T Massacre (blueski), Monday, 13 February 2006 23:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i don't buy a monthly travel card!

we all know you arrived here just a few days ago from Kabul. the game's up, sonny chief.

Sororah T Massacre (blueski), Monday, 13 February 2006 23:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I've not had any bad experiences travelling through and around London for a while now. I don't use the trains much but when I do they look and feel new, clean and seem to run fine. I am even cool with the Bendies, but only when they're quiet and you can get one of those big comfy seats (must face forward though).

Sororah T Massacre (blueski), Monday, 13 February 2006 23:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The trains are really good, the tube is depressing.

Markelby (Mark C), Monday, 13 February 2006 23:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Is it not, possibly, slightly contradictory to demand more people manning tube/rail stations and to complain about fares being too expensive?

I don't know about the tube, but the rail companies apparently make over £100m profit a year in London, and the cost for providing staff is estimated to be between £2m to £4m a year.

Bob Six (bobbysix), Monday, 13 February 2006 23:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

T/S: Nationalisation vs. Privatisation

tissp! (the impossible shortest specia), Monday, 13 February 2006 23:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Actually, we must have done that thread already...

tissp! (the impossible shortest specia), Monday, 13 February 2006 23:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

those big comfy seats

I don't find them comfortable in the slightest. They seem much harder than the seats on most other buses * and, into the bargain, the poor suspension on those vehicles gives a very bumpy ride in my experience.

* the notable exceptions to this that I've found are a few of the buses used on the 341 route which have purple seats with ridiculously thin upholstery; but these are not to be confused with some others on the same route which also have purple seats but which are wonderfully comfortable.

Oak (small items), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 00:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the tube is depressing

Very true. Resolving as I did about 4 years ago not to travel on it any more was one of the best decisions I have ever made, in a number of ways.

Oak (small items), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 00:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Flights, to anywhere in europe should never be CHEAPER than a rail ticket, advance or not.

fandango (fandango), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 00:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

http://www.monorails.org/webpix%202/Puppy07.jpg

Rotgutt (Rotgutt), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 01:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

No, pet. Transport in Los Angeles is shit. There is none to speak of. Come try it and see if you don't agree. If you don't have a car you're sk-rewed. If you DO have a car you're sk-rewed too since there are too many cars and not enough roads and freeways to move millions of cars holding ONE person per car. London transport rocks, comparitively. Off your thread topic, but lending my own obnoxious perspective - welcome or not.

Wiggy (Wiggy), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 01:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Transport in London is LOTS better than transport in New York.

Is this actually true? I'd always thought received wisdom said the exact opposite.

Public transport in London is good, but wasn't really designed to serve a city that's growing this fast - seems to be where all the problems stem from.

Oak - are you the person I think you are? Something rings familiar here.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 09:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

transport in london (on the tube) is expensive.

The Man Without Shadow (Enrique), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 09:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

My personal experiences weigh towards London being a little better than NYC.. on the other hand, I didn't need to get from one neighborhood to another after midnight in London... The "after midnight" factor makes the difference here, I think.

Dom iNut (donut), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 09:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

transport in london is great*

*maybe not if you use the northern line

kings cross - south wimbledon, last thursday, circa midnight = 100 minutes

but yeah, mostly its good. 24 hour tubes would be nice.

i am not a nugget (stevie), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 09:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

anyone who thinks London's transport system is bad has obviously never witnessed the sheer horror of transport outside of the M25.

outside london you can, you know, walk or cycle places.

The Man Without Shadow (Enrique), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 09:26 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

how much is a monthly travelcard anyway?

The Man Without Shadow (Enrique), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 09:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

outside london you can, you know, walk or cycle places.

you can do those things inside london too, you know.

i am not a nugget (stevie), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 09:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

death wish

The Man Without Shadow (Enrique), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 09:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the cost for providing staff is estimated to be between £2m to £4m a year

Eh? How many people do you reckon they employ?

James Mitchell (James Mitchell), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 10:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

trains between countries in europe are always more expensive than flying! eg london > barcelona - train - 180 euros, plane 110 euros.

i cant see train travel getting much cheaper as a result of competition from air travel. maybe we should read my friends dissertation about rail/air competition for business travel between leeds and london. isnt the problem partly that franchising to an extent creates kinda flabby uncompetitive practice, where profits can be made in relative safety from predatory activity, if there isnt strong enough contractual arrnagements or tight enough regulation on the performance of the franchisee?

eg "we award you this contract but will continue to allow you to increase fares/reduce penalties for poor performance, and you can do this for the next 10 years" as opposed to "you have a guaranteed revenue stream for the next 10 years but oyu must ensure to do X Y Z and not do P Q and S"?

i dont really know anything about this anyways.

i guess in a sense i dont really compare london to other cities in europe so that gives me a warped sense of how good transport is in comparison to other UK CITIES (dear sirz, outside of london there are population sizes larger than Basildon, Letchworth, and Chorlton-cum-Hardy). but then again what other european cities are comparable? how does paris do? it might be hyperbole but what euro cities are comparable in terms of geograpohic spread, density of developemnt, population etc etc?

moscow was pretty awesome but they run everything on vodka there, or something. actually it was sort of shit outside the metro, but it depends what your criteria for "good public transport" are

ambrose (ambrose), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 10:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

paris is a lot smaller than london, it's true. for me it's all about money. £2.50 for a tube journey is fucked.

The Man Without Shadow (Enrique), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 10:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The prices are ridiculous, thanks a lot Ken Fucking Livingstone

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 10:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I thought the subway in New York was more confusing (all that fast train / slow train business, and the lines don't have nice names like Victoria and Piccadilly) but much, much cheaper - about a third of the cost.

When it comes to the 'after midnight' bit, in London that usually means walking through the rain then freezing at a bus stop for half an hour then sitting on a very slow nightbus full of nutters, or paying twenty-five quid to a random ex-convict with a 'taxi' who'll drive you home (eventually, after getting lost) while spouting reactionary nonsense at you the whole way. In New York there seem to be five yellow taxis waiting for you immediately at any time, they don't cost much, and with the grid system they don't get lost.

Tehrannosaurus HoBB (the pirate king), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 10:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The bus service is great, but they're (now) far too expensive too

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 10:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It's not perfect, but Wiggy is right, compared to LA it's the best transport system ever. I thought it was about the same as NYC although it is more expensive. The buses have got a lot better in recent years, and I think CCTV has made night buses a bit safer, at least I never see any trouble on them these days.

Colonel Poo (Colonel Poo), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 10:26 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

lol lol lol!!!!!

again, its hard not to laugh when you are subject to the whims of a properly deregulated market outside of london. First Groups bus fares went up 4 times in a year in s yorks, now its 1.50 a single on first buses. still 1.20/30 in london?

as for tube fares, what is expensive about a 2.50 tube fare? in comparison to previous prices? or are you assessing the cost of labour, infrastructure, distance travelled etc etc and concluding that it is overpriced?

ambrose (ambrose), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 10:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

as for tube fares, what is expensive about a 2.50 tube fare? in comparison to previous prices? or are you assessing the cost of labour, infrastructure, distance travelled etc etc and concluding that it is overpriced?

-- ambrose (ambrosewhit...), February 14th, 2006.

what's expensive is, it's expensive! let someone else do the math. but yes 'distance travelled' being about 2-3 miles, it does seem out of proportion.

The Man Without Shadow (Enrique), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 10:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I've never seen any trouble on a bus in London ever. If you think night buses in London are dodgy, you should have tried spending most of your adolescent Friday and Saturday nights getting the night bus from Glasgow to Paisley at George Square.

still 1.20/30 in london?

It's now £1.50. Considering that, what 4 years ago(?), local journeys were 70p, I'd say that is somewhat above the rate of inflation.

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 10:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

are you assessing the cost of labour, infrastructure, distance travelled etc etc and concluding that it is overpriced?

another factor to consider might be the *vast fucking profits* made by the operator too?

The Man Without Shadow (Enrique), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 10:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

But Londoners moaning about having the best transport system in Britain is a bit boring, I agree

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 10:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

but maybe justified on a thread of this name?

The Man Without Shadow (Enrique), Tuesday, 14 February 2006 10:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

if(MARK)
‏@MarkChutney

My favourite #Bowie track is This Town Isn't Big Enough for the Both of Us

Eats like Elvis, shits like De Niro (Tom D.), Monday, 9 January 2017 09:14 (two years ago) Permalink

So this is a sort of clueless hipster Barry Shitpeas perhaps?

Eats like Elvis, shits like De Niro (Tom D.), Monday, 9 January 2017 09:15 (two years ago) Permalink

woah, imagine being that guy, and spending moments of your painfully finite life trolling people so ineptly and pointlessly

It's called, "giving a shit". (stevie), Monday, 9 January 2017 09:16 (two years ago) Permalink

East London equality!

It's called, "giving a shit". (stevie), Monday, 9 January 2017 09:16 (two years ago) Permalink

Coffee, gin, East London, equality!

lex pretend, Monday, 9 January 2017 09:17 (two years ago) Permalink

Is Sadiq Khan's bus driver dad still alive? Needs to take his boy home and ground him for his bullshit rn.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 9 January 2017 11:31 (two years ago) Permalink

so it seems if you are fighting for better working conditions in London or against your own gentrification then mayoral candidates Zac Khan or Amir Goldsmith are both useless fuckers.

calzino, Monday, 9 January 2017 12:08 (two years ago) Permalink

...

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 9 January 2017 12:12 (two years ago) Permalink

Khan previously made it quite clear (i think actually 80 times) that getting into power is all that matters, so you can erm.. make a difference or something.

calzino, Monday, 9 January 2017 12:12 (two years ago) Permalink

seems unfair to expect a boxer to have much effect on London transport tbf

Neil S, Monday, 9 January 2017 12:13 (two years ago) Permalink

unfair tbf

Neil S, Monday, 9 January 2017 12:14 (two years ago) Permalink

lol! I mean Sadiq of course but Amir might even do a better job

calzino, Monday, 9 January 2017 12:15 (two years ago) Permalink

Sadiq Khan is at least trying to hold talks! Other mayors in recent memory refused to do this.

jane burkini (suzy), Monday, 9 January 2017 12:23 (two years ago) Permalink

The way he shills for affordable housing is exactly what Zac would have done imo

calzino, Monday, 9 January 2017 12:28 (two years ago) Permalink

Wouldn't trust Sadiq Khan as far as I could throw him tbh.

Eats like Elvis, shits like De Niro (Tom D.), Monday, 9 January 2017 12:38 (two years ago) Permalink

He's a little lad tbf

nashwan, Monday, 9 January 2017 13:14 (two years ago) Permalink

Walked in... Did notice that some of those new to walking and cycling in London could do with basic training.

Dr Drudge (Bob Six), Monday, 9 January 2017 13:54 (two years ago) Permalink

@PeterTatchell
I support rail workers but strikes hurt commuters, whereas opening barriers & allowing passengers to travel free would hurt rail bosses

Tatch one of many calling for rail workers to actually break the law as opposed to simply taking conventional industrial action.

nashwan, Monday, 9 January 2017 15:38 (two years ago) Permalink

Relieved this is over. I walk to work anyway, but the guy I share an office with kept yelling TUBESTRIKE! in a put-on scottish accent and hitting me on the arm. It was starting to hurt.

sktsh, Tuesday, 10 January 2017 12:52 (two years ago) Permalink

Ticket revenue from Southern goes to the government, not the rail management company. idk what the point would be when the vast majority of people have already paid for their weekly/monthly/annual tickets. Not sure how it works for TfL.

Bubba H.O.T.A.P.E (ShariVari), Tuesday, 10 January 2017 13:23 (two years ago) Permalink

The weekend disruptions email seems to now be missing the single most useful feature - the map of tube closures. Maybe the bloke who does them is still on holiday.

(There's usually one when you get to the station but that might be too late. And goldhawk road station always has the map the other side of the barriers, which is idiocy iyam)

koogs, Thursday, 12 January 2017 12:02 (two years ago) Permalink

I think Diamond Geezer covered this on his blog on 5 Jan.

Th map is also disappearing from the station posters as well. He quoted part of an internal TfL document:

"Over the past year, we have been continuously working with research agency 2CV to better understand what customers think about the posters on our whiteboards. From now, the posters on our station whiteboards will have fewer words, more colour, more graphics and simpler information, with the most important information shown first. This is so that our posters stand out and quickly communicate what is most important. For example, the weekly closures poster will no longer contain a Tube map as over 90% of customers surveyed said they found it confusing rather than helpful."

"The research also highlighted the ways in which our staff play a vital role in getting messages across and how we can make their jobs easier. During the consultations, staff said that they found the new posters were clearer, stood out better and helped them direct customers better during closures."

"All of the changes are supported by trials with customers and staff at Liverpool Street, Brixton and King’s Cross St. Pancras stations."

Dr Drudge (Bob Six), Thursday, 12 January 2017 12:57 (two years ago) Permalink

I highly recommend reading his entry for Jan 10 - http://diamondgeezer.blogspot.co.uk/ (no direct link afaict)

brekekekexit collapse collapse (ledge), Thursday, 12 January 2017 13:19 (two years ago) Permalink

The problem I have is when the words say something like the central line is closed between x and y and neither x nor y is on my usual route. So is my trip ok or not? One glance at the map will tell me.

koogs, Thursday, 12 January 2017 16:27 (two years ago) Permalink

They have ruined london by doing this.

koogs, Thursday, 12 January 2017 16:57 (two years ago) Permalink

Apparently there is snow in the South East of England so it is now officially a national crisis/disaster/calamity, expect questions in Parliament, wall-to-wall media coverage etc etc.

Eats like Elvis, shits like De Niro (Tom D.), Thursday, 12 January 2017 17:24 (two years ago) Permalink

i think i mentioned elsewhere that rush-hour Underground was terrifying to me; hats off

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 12 January 2017 17:37 (two years ago) Permalink

did it twice a day for 10 years

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Thursday, 12 January 2017 19:25 (two years ago) Permalink

> (no direct link afaict)

click on the time posted. the hover text says 'permalink'.
http://diamondgeezer.blogspot.co.uk/2017/01/express-tube.html

koogs, Thursday, 12 January 2017 19:39 (two years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

There is a link to a map in this week's email, albeit in the text not at the top.

However, clicking on this link on my phone (eventually) shows the required map but doesn't let me see more than the top left corner of it. I can zoom in and scroll, but not beyond the top left. Is this the same for everyone? It's not particularly useful...

koogs, Friday, 24 February 2017 12:36 (two years ago) Permalink

Worth keeping an eye on:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/feb/28/uber-v-tfl-court-hears-written-english-test-will-cost-33000-driver-jobs

Not a fan of Uber but this looks like a completely unnecessary law designed simply to inconvenience minicab firms at the behest of the taxi lobby.

Wag1 Shree Rajneesh (ShariVari), Tuesday, 28 February 2017 12:37 (two years ago) Permalink

that is idiotic, unpleasant and unnecessary. i took a black cab the other and the driver was a gobby anti-everyone "guvmint shd do something about it" card, uber later on, driven by an intermittently comprehensible but charming senegalese, who told me, i think, about how his dad can't really go out all that much any more because he's losing his marbles a bit and who had studied engineering.

one thing they shd do is apply congestion charge to uber which wd level the playing field a bit, plus perhaps help with the fact i think there are something like 28,000 additional PHVs on the road since 2008. don't quote me before i dig up the stat.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 28 February 2017 19:57 (two years ago) Permalink

"charming senegalese" f'ing hell i'll just take my pith helmet off.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 28 February 2017 20:07 (two years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

Holy shit do they sting you if you forget your wallet & have to pay with (borrowed) cash.

angelo irishagreementi (ledge), Wednesday, 9 August 2017 07:50 (one year ago) Permalink

Yes. Discovered this the other month when I went over my overdraft for a day. OUCH.

Senator Luther Strange (stevie), Wednesday, 9 August 2017 10:36 (one year ago) Permalink

thought i'd lost my wallet for a panicky half-hour last year and it was so expensive i was going to have to walk from holborn to clapton. found wallet in duffel bag shortly after.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Wednesday, 9 August 2017 10:53 (one year ago) Permalink

I have to be honest and say that I don't exactly know what my daily commute costs when I touch through on my card (this might be why I occasionally tumble over my overdraft), but fuck me is a one day travelcard ridiculously expensive now.

Senator Luther Strange (stevie), Wednesday, 9 August 2017 10:58 (one year ago) Permalink

Ding dong the bridge is dead:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-40921373

angelo irishagreementi (ledge), Monday, 14 August 2017 12:11 (one year ago) Permalink

fuckin finally

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Monday, 14 August 2017 16:53 (one year ago) Permalink

We are continuously updating our map database... #gardenbridge pic.twitter.com/aO73FbhJeQ

— A-Z Digital Mapping (@AZdigitalmaps) August 14, 2017

angelo irishagreementi (ledge), Monday, 14 August 2017 18:28 (one year ago) Permalink

three months pass...

typically exhaustive and fascinating piece at london reconnections about upgrading holborn underground station's capacity.

nothing like large infrastructure project timetables for making you feel mortal either.

Fizzles, Sunday, 3 December 2017 08:25 (one year ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Jesus fucking Christ, that is hellish.

Andrew Farrell, Monday, 5 March 2018 15:58 (one year ago) Permalink

As soon as it is known that the train is likely to be stranded for a considerable time (> 30 minutes), efforts should be made to identify any particularly vulnerable passengers.

buried in the middle of an official guidance pdf linked from that site but also hardly rocket science, fuckers.

lana del boy (ledge), Monday, 5 March 2018 16:03 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Bit of fucking rain and I'm stranded in Tonbridge waiting for a taxi. Good thing I don't have work tomorrow oh wait

Colonel Poo, Wednesday, 30 May 2018 00:53 (nine months ago) Permalink

^ got my delay repay declined for this, assumed because I got the departure wrong by one minute, phoned up to try and fix it and the operator said normally they check 5 minutes either side, I said well they obviously haven't this time, and he denied the existence of the train I got, said it's not on his computer. It's listed on southeasternrailway.co.uk at the time I told him. How are you meant to argue with that? I guess it's an effective way to get around paying compensation if you just deny any trains exist, which given it's Southeastern railway, is I suppose quite believable.

Colonel Poo, Monday, 11 June 2018 13:15 (nine months ago) Permalink

six months pass...

Can we please nationalise these cunts

Colonel Poo, Thursday, 13 December 2018 23:13 (three months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

typically excellent London Reconnections article on Crossrail delays.

Some key points

  • Crossrail Ltd. infra build issues are the cause of current delays in being able to test trains
  • *No* Bombardier trains have been tested yet (this bit and the mitigation of leasing rolling stock to open the Heathrow-Paddington part of the line helped answer some questions i had about the rolling stock they’re using for that, which i had from using that service reasonably regularly - ie no these are *not* the final trains.)
  • Much of this effectively becomes a software project, integrating Siemens signalling and Bombadier on-train software, and software projects have a bad habit of overrunning (i’m never quite sure why this is *more* the case than physical engineering projects - tho as this shows these can easily overrun as well - my rudimentary hypothesis that we have much more historical and systemic experience of physical engineering projects than software projects feels way too basic. Regardless, the impression the article gives is that people are saying “once we’re over the build hump we’ll be fine”. That seems highly unlikely.
  • Sadiq Khan has made some serious missteps which include probably lying. Two interesting sub-points from that
  • It tells us something about him as a political operator. The article points out that his response to this was the same as his response to the fare freeze argument - effectively that he doubled down on a misunderstanding, said it was still possible, and distributed blame elsewhere. (fair to say he would have been *crucified* if he had reversed on that promise, but it sounds like his handling of it was bad). The article is probably right to say this is a v “Westminster” approach. The fact he’s done the same thing again suggests a character issue with someone who seems to be a fairly savvy political operator usually.
*- As a consequence he’s created a bunker mentality which could cripple the project effectively creating a shitload of admin designed to ensure everyone is safeguarded against any blame stopping with them. It sounds like governance could have been better, but as a response to what is effectively a Sadiq Khan lie, and an unnecessary one, saying he wasn’t informed when he was it seems suboptimal at best.
I feel it’s a fairly safe 2019 bet that crossrail will not be substantially open in 2019. If that turns out to be wrong it means they’ve nailed the software bit, but all signs are there will be lots of pain along the way. one thing i’m not clear on is how much experience Siemens and Bombardier have with this sort of integration. It sounds from this LonRec article that they’re working on the edge of new technology. This bit is amusing and hair-raising:

ETCS is a European signalling specification for the safe operation of trains. In fact it is used throughout the world, especially in China. The current National Rail standard, Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS), is very safe. TPWS is largely responsible for the incredible safety record achieved in recent years. It is not, however, 100% fail-safe in all circumstances and does not always protect against human error. For example, it won’t always prevent a buffer stop collision at a terminal – not the sort of thing you want to happen on a terminal platform in an underground tunnel at, say, Terminal 4.

The problem is that whilst very reliable once working properly, ETCS is known to be a fickle beast. Like all electronic signalling systems, it is very susceptible to hostile electrical environments. Unfortunately, it seems that a hostile electrical environment is exactly the sort of thing one finds in a round bored tunnel with a 25kV, 50Hz AC catenary running alongside it, with the added complication of a similar but different signalling system already present. Which is an accurate description of the Heathrow tunnels.


I suspect the gap identified here will be where there are substantial problems:

Howard Smith’s comment to the TfL Board perhaps sums the current situation perfectly:

It performed as expected as in functionally it works, but the reliability needs a lot of work before we’d be happy with it as a passenger service.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 1 January 2019 09:08 (two months ago) Permalink

of course the impact is that they’ll probably have to go back for even more money and that other projects will shelved or delayed.

i’d like to see a pie chart breakdown of the comparative impact of lower passenger numbers, the removal of government subsidy this year, and split out from the passenger numbers the likely impact of full Crossrail service being delayed. Of course these aren’t strictly comparable as the loss of government subsidy has been modelled into the business plan (TfL becomes a real estate developer! what a world), but the passenger numbers were not.

all of this also feels fairly luxurious when you look at the state of Northern travel systems - intercity, suburban and at the city level - but after all money for this is not zero sum. We just have a government that hasn’t invested in transport infrastructure and expects TfL to run without subsidy. The impact on productivity of failing transport systems, whether in London or in the north is huge.

Fizzles, Tuesday, 1 January 2019 09:24 (two months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

odd question:

did jenny holzer ever have her truisms printed on the back of london bus tickets or did i dream that? i can't find a single picture online but i'm sure i have a couple somewhere, probably tucked into books.

koogs, Thursday, 14 March 2019 09:50 (one week ago) Permalink


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