Suspended Due To Static

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Tue, 17/06/2008 - 13:33,

Yesterday evening, management's failure to fix the Northern line train radio led to the Edgware branch being suspended.

For years, there has been an intermittent problem with the radio on the Edgware branch, where static become such a problem that it is hard or even impossible to hear messages. Although one-to-one and OPO alarms are OK, it can become impossible for the control room to do a general call that includes the branch.

Controllers and drivers have been complaining about this for ages, but management have done diddly squat to fix it. Apparently, because of PPP, it is always someone else's job to mend it.

Rumour has it that the problem started right about the time that work started to install Connect. It is possible that there was some cable damage in the Hampstead area.

But yesterday, the static problem was so bad that general calls to the Edgware branch could not be done, so the decision was made to staff all platforms on the branch - something of a struggle, given the appallingly low staffing levels. Drivers, noticing the problem, kicked up a fuss, and so at 7pm, management had to agree to suspend the service.

The lesson from this fiasco - you can't even trust management to fix the bloody radio! They had better do so soon - because the consequence of a train radio failure could be a lot worse than a service suspension.

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