Reader's Rant: How Not To Get To Farringdon

By Rob Last edited 158 months ago
Reader's Rant: How Not To Get To Farringdon

- What are you going to do today, Brain?

- The same thing I do every day, Pinky. Complain to London Underground.

Get to tube station on time, in fact, early, meaning to get to work and knock off early. Discover that there are 'minor delays on the Hammersmith and City Line'.


Train comes, packed to the gills (if trains had gills - do any land animals have gills? I believe grasshoppers and crickets have breathing holes or spiracles, but not gills to the best of my knowledge - we would all be fish, and thus packed like sardines). Cram on to train. Travel bumpily and uncomfortably from Ladbroke Grove to Edgware Road (about ten minutes).

Edgware Road = danger zone, I waited here once for half an hour for a train that resolutely refused to come, and then I took the bus.

Hear announcement saying the next eastbound train is on the next platform. Get shunted off train with everyone else and walk over to the next platform. Hear announcement saying the next eastbound train is, in fact, the one we just all got off.

Two minutes later, after walking back to first train, hear announcement apologising for the mix-up and that next eastbound train is the one we originally changed to in the first place. If you are mixed up by now, so was I.

Get back on right train (or left train - depending on platform orientation) and head eastwards towards Farringdon. In the vast waste of graffitied brickwork that is the no-man's-land between King's Cross and Farringdon, train grinds to a screeching halt (still packed). Announcements from train driver follow as such:

"Ladies and gentlemen, we're very sorry for the delays this morning but there's a defective train at King's Cross station which is causing delays all the way back to Aldgate...The train at Farringdon has just moved out of the station so we're waiting for the signal to go. In fact...the signal light in front of us has just turned green but the one after that is still red...oh, wait, there it goes.

(Train starts moving, slowly.)

"Now we should have no more delays all the way to Aldgate and beyond...

...But I wouldn't bet money on it."

(Actual announcement by train driver. Reason they shouldn't switch to fully automated trains.)

Finally arrive at Farringdon in probably more time than it would have taken me to walk to work from King's Cross. Conclusion: really ought to live nearer work.

Last Updated 26 November 2005