Technical difficulties


altI should have known better than to rely on the Circle Line on Thursday evening, but you only live once. As the man down on his luck picks up with quivering hand the weighty revolver to take that chance at Russian roulette, in a rush to get from Westminster to Barbican I followed the Delphic Oracle of TFL Journey Planner and jumped with trepidation onto the shaky tube.

Approaching Tower Hill we were hit like a bullet and came to a complete stop. After a couple of minutes came over the speakers. Apparently we were having technical difficulties. And then silence…

After fifteen minutes the voice was back. The technicals were still difficult, but all will be fine. She cannot move the train without authorisation from her superior. As such Mr or Mrs superior will need to catch a train heading in the other direction, board this train and cast the magic spell needed to get the cattle truck moving again. A wise guy in the carriage shouted: “So we drive trains by committee do we?” We laughed, but the frustration was growing. And then, once more, silence…

Another fifteen minutes and the voice from above had one Herculean Labour before this lump of metal could move. She would have to come through the train, reverse it back a few metres, and then goback through the train; then freedom would be ours. Another wise guy suggested that this was a trip she should not make, we laughed, though the smell of blood was in the air.

With this final mission complete, she thanked us for our patience. Little did she know how close she came to wrath of the mob. The line between civilization and terror was almost crossed. We had two options: paciencia-o-muerte. At last we were moving. Nearly an hour trapped in the dirty inhumane cage of the tube.

And whowas to blame for this? Later, when returning to the dreaded tube to go home all was revealed: signal failure. So no blame for anyone connected to London's useless state run public transport system. No blame, no responsibility. It was the siganls fault. Glad that was cleared up.