Engineering and fleet

Sparing The Blushes

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sat, 10/14/2006 - 11:33

Well, that's odd. Metronet's chief executive appeared before the GLA's transport committee on Thursday afternoon. And a shedload of P-way work was called off without warning on Wednesday night. A coincidence? Surely not.

When Metronet protection masters tried to book on with the Track Access Controller, they were told that Metronet had withdrawn their SABRE job numbers without explanation. So only a few of the 30ish sites currently being worked on by TrackForce were active and hundreds of engineering workers were left with nothing to do.

Blocked Drain

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 09/22/2006 - 14:30

After five months' closure, the Waterloo & City line reopened last week, and immediately ran into trouble.

The cabling was incompatible with the signals, causing surges. The Correct Side Door Enabling kit didn't work. There were power feed problems - all of which should have been sorted through a testing process before the line reopened, you'd think. Passengers who've already had five months' inconvenience don't usually take too kindly to a line breaking down as soon as it reopens.

It all adds up to grief for the signallers, drivers and station staff.

Sub-Safety On The Track

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 09/01/2006 - 20:24

LUL and the Infracos have allowed even the most vital, safety-critical services to be contracted out. One result is a crisis of confidence in Protection Masters as the role is given to cowboy companies who do not train their people properly.

Engineering workers have experienced horror stories including one PM who put the CRID on the running rail, and another who took people onto the track while trains were still running.

Big Brother is Back

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 07/17/2006 - 10:34

Metronet and Tubelines have revived their plan to make their staff book on duty using a 'smartcard'. This would carry biometric data with a capacity to include everything from fingerprints to credit records.

LUL has no plans to foist this on its own staff - yet, but station supervisors will be expected to operate it for booking on Infraco staff and contractors. Ironic really, as the company probably thinks it can develop this system into a robot SS that will replace humans.

Another Metronet Cock-Up

Submitted by Tubeworker on Sun, 07/16/2006 - 23:29

The Victoria Line took the brunt of this Metronet incompetence. Monday morning, 10th July, saw a late start to the line following over-run of weekend engineering works. The next day the service startup was again delayed, because of damage to cables and air pipes, apparently caused by an engineers train. It appears that Metronet took two hours from the damage being reported to actually take any action.

Metronet (and its subcontractors) show time and again why privatisation on the Tube benefits no-one except the bosses and their profits - certainly not passengers and staff!

Ultrasonic Boom

Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 07/10/2006 - 10:12

Specialist P-way workers who use ultrasonic kit to check for cracked rails are employed by TubeLines but also provide the service to Metronet. That was, until Metronet got the hump about the prices TubeLines was charging them.

TubeLines ultrasonic staff then became much in demand with mysterious contractors, apparently trying to poach them.

The madness of the market, some might say. And further evidence that this task should be carried out by a unified, publicly-owned London Underground.


Submitted by Tubeworker on Sat, 06/17/2006 - 22:16

The joys of PPP reared their head again when our friends from Metronet were rumoured to be having problems replacing CRIDs (Current Rail Indicator Devices to the uninitiated).

Because of a technical hitch with their modifcation programme Metronet were unable to replace CRIDs on stations.This potentially left stations without a vital piece of safety equipment when requiring to confirm traction current is off.

LUL's response was to advise stations to send their CRIDS back for recalibration but in the interim they would be without them for about a week.

Stuck in the Pipe Again

Submitted by Tubeworker on Fri, 06/16/2006 - 21:09

First, it was Victoria Line passengers trapped until 3am on the last Monday in May.

Then it was 500 trapped on the Central line for 80 minutes on a Thursday afternoon.

And for the hat-trick ... The very next day, 800 punters stuck in the pipe between Bank and Liverpool Street for more than two hours in the morning peak at 38C temperatures. They had to be given oxygen and water to counter heat exhaustion and dehydration.

Gutter Press Goes Down The Drain

Submitted by Tubeworker on Thu, 06/15/2006 - 21:11

Metronet appears to be on a charm offensive, or is it a desperate attempt to rescue its deservedly woeful reputation?

Whichever, they invited the media down into the Drain, to tell us what a fabulous job they are doing down there and how confident they are that it will be finished on time. What do they want? A medal?! The Evening Standard (Falling Standards to you and me) and the BBC duly obliged.