Tube trains are noisy: there are heavy metal trains that run on metal rails in underground, completely enclosed tunnel systems. They're loud, it shouldn't surprise people that sometimes one can hear screeches, clunks and bass thumps while travelling. Complaints loud enough to close a busy station during rush hour is a more extraordinary noise that we should hope not to hear ever again. We'll say it just once, and quietly: it's health and safety gone mad.
Fuming passengers were made to wait outside Bank station for 90 minutes last night while a 'technical difficulty' was dealt with - this being the hasty application of lubricant to some squeaky tracks that were apparently breaching acceptable levels of noise. The unacceptable levels of noise may have been noticed earlier in the day, when it was perhaps quieter in the station and less mobbed by chattering City workers trying to get from A to B... but action was not taken until the place was overflowing with commuters, who then faced station closure, trains not stopping there and massive disruption while the screeching noise was investigated.
Squeaky wheels did indeed get the grease yesterday evening - they also got the blood pressure up of everyone trying to use the Central Line at key commuting time. We suspect the complaints came from a small number of disgruntled City workers suddenly being thrust into the world of ambient sound on the death of their iPods, stunned and appalled at the sound of the Underground in motion, unfiltered by the 1,000th replay of something booty-ful by Beyonce. It's loud down there - if you can't cope, then walk. With your fingers in your ears if necessary.