Diary of a Tube worker: “Why not just tell us the info?”

Submitted by AWL on 18 May, 2021 - 6:13 Author: Jay Dawkey
Tube worker

“Red means stop. Yellow means slow down and green means proceed. Really it’s as simple as that... Now some signals you need to do a certain speed for them to clear and some will almost always clear as you approach them but they might not so you need to be ready to stop. If you are motoring into a red signal, you’ve got a problem”

“Hit a platform at a certain speed and you’ll be fine, you can crawl in for now but once out on the road you’ll want to keep to time. Then the routes will just become second nature and you’ll get used to driving in different weather conditions and then you’ll be fine”.

I’m growing in confidence but still get frustrated by mistakes. “Don’t dwell, you move on, next signal, next station and just apply what you know”. The radio flashes, the line controller is calling, my eyes flash towards the handset. “Bring the train to a stop first. They can wait, treat us like kids sometimes anyway”.

“Driver 224, hold the train at next station for 3 minutes”. The line clicks as soon as I repeat it back. “Did they say why?” My instructor asks. “No”. I reply and go back to checking my speed as I accelerate away trying to remember what the next station definitely is. “They do this. Why not just tell us the info and keep us informed? We might even be able to help. But there you go, that’s what driving is like.

‘ We’ll just keep going without question for now. But once you’ve been in the job a while don’t be afraid to ask questions. Some drivers really give it back to them. You’ll find what works for you. Just remember it’s a recorded line”.

• Jay Dawkey is a Tube worker, training to be a driver

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