Tube Strike (Was: [ANNOUNCE] [SOCIAL] Social at Dirty Dicks, Thursday 6th September)

Iain Tatch iain.tatch+londonpm at
Mon Sep 3 10:14:37 BST 2007

On 03/09/07, Peter Corlett <abuse at> wrote:

> Well, given that the Tube is constantly in near-meltdown due to
> jumpers, leaves on the line, faulty signals, driver shortages,
> shutdowns for engineering work, or just because they plain can't be
> arsed, it's fairly likely that the strike-ridden service will be
> indistinguishable from normal service.

That's the point, isn't it?  The normal course of events is:

* Signal breaks down.
* On-call Metronet engineer gets despatched to fix
* Signal gets fixed
* Trains resume running

If the engineers are all standing in a picket line, we won't get past
stage one so the affected lines will rapidly grind to a halt.  Not to
mention that AIUI it's metronet staff who are responsible for doing
safety checks on the trains each morning before they go into service.

Maybe a good analogy would be a data centre without any sysadmins --
in theory everything should tick away just fine and dandy, in reality
we all know that there would eventually be a cumulative effect of
little things that didn't get attended to and everything would soon
enough go spectacularly tits up.

> Also remember that London is a pretty compact place and everywhere
> useful is within walking distance. This is after all how people got
> round the place 150 years ago. For a lot of journeys within Zone 1
> there's not a lot in it between walking or taking the Tube anyway.

London's a lot bigger than Zone 1 though.  Unless you're a tourist, or
one of the tiny minority who live in the centre.  Even Zone 1's quite
a size as anyone who took to shank's pony on 07/07/05 will attest.

To answer the original question, my understanding is that the Jubilee,
Northern and Piccadilly ought to carry on as normal during the strike.
 You can expect those lines to be obscenely crowded though (as opposed
to just ridiculously crowded as is the norm).  The other lines are
likely to wind down from mid-afternoon today and I suspect that as of
tomorrow morning they won't be running a single train.

Of course as with all these things there's a lot of brinksmanship on
both sides.  I think there's a better-than-evens chance the strike
will get called off shortly before 6pm.  With both sides claiming a
victory, no doubt.

Iain (goes back to lurking)

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