Friday, 28 June 2013

Last one for a few days again...

I'm working from home again today and have next Monday and Tuesday off, so this is likely to be the last update for a little while (enjoy the quiet while you can).

My  Bakerloo Line tube to Waterloo from Paddington yesterday was three minutes late.  This caused me to miss my connecting train, though that wasn't as bad as it could have been since the intended connecting train was a slow train, and the one I caught instead was a fast train.  Nonetheless, when you add the three minutes the fast train was delayed by (owing to having to wait for a late train to enter Waterloo before we could depart, apparently), that made me seven minutes late overall for £17.50.

There's other news out there today, but I judge it to be boring.  Have a nice Friday and weekend, y'all.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

In which Signal Failure supports Bob Crow's position

Tube from Paddington to Waterloo was on time yesterday, but the train suffered delays owing, sequentially, to a late departure from Waterloo because of a previous train being held at a red signal, and then congestion at Vauxhall, Clapham Junction, and Wimbledon.  Got home five minutes late in the end for £12.50.

This morning, the train from Hersham was a minute late by the time it arrived in Waterloo, and the tube to Paddington accrued three minutes from there.  Plus the two-minute Paddington penalty charge to make another 5 minutes and £12.50.  So 10 minutes and £25 in total.

And finally, whoever would have thought I would find myself agreeing with Bob Crow?  But he said:
"With transport taking a massive hit in the spending review, and with jobs cuts and fare increases looming large, it is outrageous that the top brass across TfL are raking in combined bonuses of £2.5m."
And he's right.  This was in reference to the news that TfL has been splashing around serious amounts of money for its senior staff because they didn't manage to cause any massive cock-ups during the Olympics last year, when there was a record number of passengers and a 20% reduction in delays.  I do have to wonder, though, whether there was a record number of passengers anyway, or if it's only because of the Olympics boost.  Because if it's the latter, then they're basically using the Olympics twice as a justification.  And potentially three times because they don't state how delays are calculated.  For example, if they were based on reported delays per passenger, likely a lot of Olympic visitors didn't know or couldn't be bother to complain (not to mention the regular commuters, who have learned it's rarely worth bothering to complain about delays), thus reducing the ratio.  Possibly that information is somewhere out there, and if anyone has more time on their hands than me and would be willing to check it out, I'll happily post an update/correction to the proceeding.

In for a particular windfall was head honcho "Sir" Peter Hendy, who got a £319K bonus on top of his £331K salary.  Nice work if you can get it.

Peter Hendy
(Graphic credit:

But much as I don't feel TfL staff in general deserve all the perks and pay they already receive (as mentioned one or two times in this blog before, I believe), it's hard to see how liberally dousing the bosses with cash can be reconciled with refusing to give any more to the staff on the ground (r under it, as the case may be).

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Your passport to TfL

So yesterday morning I made a little detour on the way into work to get a passport for my newborn son.  We're attending a wedding in Berlin at the end of July, so need to use the Fast Track service to make sure the passport's ready in time.  I won't bore you with the details of the bust that appointment proved to be, but I will bore you with the transport details: train from Hersham to Vauxhall was two minutes late (inside TfL's network).  Didn't affect the connecting Victoria Line to Victoria, which was a minute early.  Four minute delay taking the circle line from there to Paddington after my appointment (Circle line train simply didn't turn up when it was supposed to).  Five minutes overall for £12.50.

Going home that night, the tube from Paddington was two minutes late arriving at Waterloo, so I missed the fast train home, and the slow train was four minutes late (within TfL's network).  Meant I was 31 minutes late overall for £77.50.

This morning, the train from Hersham to Waterloo was bang on time - nice one - but the tube to Paddington was two minutes late.  And another two because it was Paddington, not Edgware Road.  Four minutes for £10.

So, overall since the last update, TfL owes Signal Failure another £100 for 40 minutes of wasted time.

Elsewhere, TfL has refuted claims it might sell the "mind the gap" announcement to some stupid drinks company.  Though the sponsorship money this would raise (reputed to be six figures) could be used to cut/maintain fare levels or fund network improvements, I have to approve of TfL's decision:

"This is a safety critical message and we have no intention of changing this for commercial sponsorship. We have been clear about this with Frank PR [representatives of drink firm Upbeat - ed.]"

Monday, 24 June 2013

Was there something special about 20th June?

I ask because I got a massive spike in readers for some reason, despite having posted noting for three days and not having posted anything else until now).  About that: I thought last week was going to be a good one for updates because I had a trade show to go to for a couple of days, which involved me travelling more, and on a variety of different routes, across the TfL network than I normally do.  Sadly, fate conspired against me and I developed a rather violent GI infection on Tuesday night, so wasn't able to complete any journeys after that.  Even more unfair, it wasn't due to any trade show parties - just one of those things!

Still, I'm back at work now, and in the office again from tomorrow, so you'll see a couple more updates before the month is out.

As for what little there is to report on from last week:
  • Monday night, I arrived at the Bakerloo Line platform at Paddington at 18:08, but had to wait until 18:15 for a train to depart (no reason given for this, but it appeared to be to do with station crowding).  This made me 10 minutes late arriving at Waterloo, so I missed the connecting fast train to Hersham, arriving there four minutes later than the later train was scheduled to (all within Zones 1-6).  This made me 30 minutes late home altogether for £75.
  • Tuesday morning, the train from Hersham into Waterloo arrived a whole four minutes early, though at that time it didn't let me take an earlier connecting tube than planned.  The tube did, however, run perfectly to time
  • Coming home Tuesday night, I went from Custom House (DLR) to Waterloo, which involved changing to the Jubilee Line at Canning Town.  According to journey planner, I was 14 minutes late on this journey.  Amazingly, this didn't cause me to miss a connecting train.  I'm not quite sure how that happened.  The train arrived back at Hersham one minute early, but that minute was gained outside of TfL's sphere of influence, so no refund
All in all, then, 30 minutes and £75 added to TfL's tally last week.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Half time

UPDATE: forgot to add two minutes to the tube journey for having to use Paddington instead of Edgware Road.  That's another £5.

The train from Hersham to Waterloo this morning was a minute late arriving - gained within Zones 1-6.  Not much, but as a special additional treat, however, the train was half its usual length at only four carriages.  Reading higher up the platform as I was, this almost caused me to miss the train entirely, and made the rest of the journey a disgusting, sweaty and crowded affair.  Apparently, the train had developed a fault somewhere near Southampton - one that could only be solved by cutting its length in half or else cancelling the service.  So I suppose I should be grateful, though it seems difficult.  Not TfL's fault, I know, but I've been known to enjoy the occasional gripe...

Meanwhile, the tube connecting me to Paddington was also a minute late, so we add a total of two minutes and £5 to the tally.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Bridge over troubled water

Working from home as is usual on a Friday, so will just round off the week with this post: yesterday evening's Bakerloo Line from Paddington to Waterloo arrived a minute early, which was nice.  That was still one minute compared to being able to set off from Edgware Road, and it didn't change the connecting train I could take, but still.  Nice.  The train was three minutes late, none of which was accrued within TfL's network, somewhat surprisingly.

In a bit of non-personal news, TfL has decided to splash on a new bridge across the Thames.  Naturally, it will be placed in East London, which for years has been underserviced and crying out for a third bridge, with an impressive economic case behind it and supported by the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry in central London, where you already can hardly see the river due to the unearthly preponderance of bridges.  It's also a 'floating garden bridge', whatever that means, but it will cost £60m, so I'm sure it's good and definitely worth another fare increase.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The perils of integrity

Despite being a minute late setting off from Paddington, last night's Bakerloo Line arrived on time at Waterloo.  Of course, if I'd been able to go from Edgware Road, I would have arrived still two minutes earlier and been able to catch the fast train from there to Hersham, so that's a black mark right there.  The train I did catch was on time, but that's still a 26-minute delay over if I'd been able to use Edgware Road.  I guess in fairness I can't really charge for that, though.

This morning's train from Hersham to Waterloo was two minutes early in arriving.  This enabled me to get an earlier connecting tube so that I arrived four minutes early in work.  But we subtract two minutes from that for the Paddington-Edgware Road thing.  Nonetheless, that's two minutes and £5 credit to TfL.

No interesting news elsewhere still...

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Been busy again

Big radio silence, eh?  It's been busy at work!

Still is, in fact, so this is going to be a very quick one: yesterday morning's train was six minutes late arriving in Waterloo (all withing the TfL network).  The tube was two minutes late, and that made me five minutes late to work overall because it was a later tube than I could have taken had the train been on time.  And then I add two minutes more for it being Paddington, not Edgware Road, that I had to travel to.  So seven minutes overall for £17.50.

Last night, the tube was actually two minutes early arriving at Waterloo from Paddington, but that only put me on an even keel with how the situation would have been had Edgware Road not been closed.  Further, it didn't let me catch an earlier train, so no real effect on my journey.  The train to Hersham was then two minutes late, accrued within Zones 1-6, so that's £5.

This morning, the train from Hersham was six minutes late by the time it arrived in Waterloo.  Two minutes of that was outside Zones 1-6, so only four minutes charged.  The connecting tube was two minutes late.  Plus another two minutes for it being Paddington, plus another two minutes to account for the earlier tube I could have taken had I not incurred the four minutes delay on the train, so six minutes in all.  Making 10 minutes in total for the journey and £25.

Altogether since the last update: 19 minutes and £47.50.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Despite ample opportunity to burn the evidence, Fire Brigade shows TfL how to do it

Everything perfectly on time for my journey home on Wednesday evening.  I had they day off yesterday, and am working from home today, so no personal updates till next Tuesday (I'll be working from home Monday too).

In the non-personal travel news, London's Fire Commissioner sets an example for the TfL bosses in the wake of their expenses scandal.  I particularly like the phrasing from
"Commissioner Dobson’s expenses are dominated by a fixed special payment made in lieu of any monthly mileage or standard travel claims and which is paid 'in recognition of the on call requirements placed upon the Commissioner.'
"That all seems reasonable because fires, as the Fire Brigades Union has told us a few times, don’t happen at regular, predictable and scheduled times. Unlike presumably the meetings of senior TfL officials who get a free Oyster card yet still need taxis to get through their schedules.
"Also wholly absent from the Brigade management’s claims are toy vehicles, hotel Wifi and magazines."
This morning in the car, I briefly overheard on Magic FM a story about the UK having the worst and most expensive rail service in Europe.  I wasn't really paying attention at the time, hence my vagueness.  I've been unable to track it down, so if anyone knows what I'm talking about and point me in the direction of a link, I'd be very grateful, since this will scupper TfL's draconian attempts to control the news agenda and remove detrimental stories...

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Little to report

Nothing in particular in the TfL-related news caught my eye this morning, and last night's journey home was fairly uneventful, with just a two-minute delay on the train from Waterloo to Hersham - only one minute of which was accrued within Zones 1-6 (for £2.50).

This morning, the train into Waterloo was actually two minutes early, despite sitting just outside Surbiton for a while to let a different, delayed, train pass us.  That allowed me to catch an earlier tube, which was delayed by a minute, but still arrived two minutes earlier than the one I was supposed to catch would have done.  That looks like two minutes back to TfL, but for the fact that I had to use Paddington instead of Edgware Road, thus making for a journey two minutes longer than necessary in any case.  Nil points, as they say on the Continent.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Today's post brought to you by...

This morning's journey in came with a two-minute delay to the train from Hersham, cause by it sitting somewhere between Surbiton and Waterloo (i.e. within TfL's sphere of influence).  'Luckily', the connecting tube was also running two minutes late, so I still caught that one.

Nonetheless, that puts me in work two minutes later than advertised on Journey Planner, and another two minutes for having to travel further to Paddington, rather than Edgware Road (owing to that station's unnecessarily long closure).  £10.

On the lighter side, could all tube stations be about to be renamed after new corporate sponsors (as in the case of the O2, formerly the Millennium Dome?  No.  Not by the looks of things...

Still, if anyone has any particularly good suggestions - and they have to be better than these weak jokes - feel free to leave them in the comments!