The news that drivers on Thameslink trains could be replaced by computers will come as a surprise to no-one who is familiar with the DLR.
The overcrowded north-south route is being given a £5.5bn upgrade which will apparently include whizzy new technology guaranteed to upset the RMT. The opportunities for humour in travel announcements are endless, though we assume Thameslink won’t be getting Emma Clarke to record the reminders.
One of our favourites is HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey being asked to open the doors. Or maybe Joshua from War Games, ‘Mother’ from the Alien films, or Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet? And any recordings would be incomplete without the infamous ‘Computer Says No’ quote.
If Thameslink are looking for a more human quality then they could do worse than Tom Baker, who everyone will remember did a sterling job of reading our text messages.
‘Waiting at Blackfriars for a train on a misty evening in February is a bit like lurking outside the gates of purgatory.’