The maintenance firm Metronet had been grinding the rails in the two tunnels, and was surprised by the levels of residual dust after their own attempts to clear the dirt failed. The line was reopened on Monday afternoon and early Tuesday morning, but closed again on both occasions after drivers complained of poor visibility.
London Underground boss Tim O’Toole laid the blame squarely on Metronet’s door:
Liquid was used to keep dust levels down but drivers complained they could not see the signals properly this morning.
It shouldn’t come as a shock that dust is the latest phenomenon to disrupt our train journeys. In an age of miniaturisation it was only a matter of time before leaves on the line made way for something smaller. Considering the age of the tube we should count ourselves lucky that the lines haven’t been ravaged by something a little more suited to ancient times – a plague of locust perhaps; maybe even a downpour of frogs and toads?
With celebrities stepping in to save flagging businesses, Tube bosses could follow the trend and turn to private hygiene consultants to ensure that our Underground network is spick and span. Channel 4’s dust-busting duo Kim and Aggie have made it known that they would be more than willing to grab Metronet by the scruff of the shammy and give it a hearty squeeze.
Ken Dodd will also be appearing in our stations to put his feather duster to good use. Exactly what he plans to do with it remains a mystery.
Image taken from beatdrifter's Flickr photostream.