The Funniest Things You've Heard Tube Drivers Say

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 32 months ago
The Funniest Things You've Heard Tube Drivers Say

Recently we asked Londonist readers the funniest (or weirdest) things they'd heard a London tube driver say. You responded in your droves (fitting, as a tube driver drives). Here's a compilation of our favourite answers.

"Sorry for the delay, we are just waiting to clear a drunk dancing topless man from the tunnel." Photo by version3point1, in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Helpful tube drivers

"Depart here for Winter Wonderland, or as I like to call it, how to spend a lot of money very quickly." - Jamil Mohideen

"Just want to remind you that the Jubilee line is partially closed between Waterloo and... somewhere else. I don't remember. Sorry." - Maciej Zamarlik

Victoria line southbound, in a thick Jamaican accent: "Dis train, eet go ta Breeex-ton!" - Lizzie Jones

I once had a District line driver live-updating all his passengers on the Murray v Federer Wimbledon 2012 final. - Ruth Hargreaves

There was/is a District line driver who would give out facts and info about the various stations and the history of the District line. - Claudia Ruane

Nonchalant tube drivers

"Sorry for the delay, we are just waiting to clear a drunk dancing topless man from the tunnel." - Sharan Clair

"There's a man in the tunnel ahead and he might want to die but I'm not going to run him over so we're not going anywhere." - Katie Goates

"Would the guy with the piano accordion please put your trousers back on." - Stephen B

"Please let passengers off the train before boarding. It's not the storming of the Bastille you know." Photo by t-a-i, in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Apologetic tube drivers

"Apologies for the delay but we have lost the driver." - Alex Rodriguez

"My apologies for the delay to the service. We forgot to stop at Kentish Town and must now reverse." [And he did] - Matt Brown

"We have to go back because I forgot something..." - Ramanankohajaina Toky Baritafika

"We are currently experiencing delays on the Northern line due to a handbag on the line at Bank." - Matthew Frost

"Sorry for the delay, it's not my fault. I love you all really." - Mike Acord

"On behalf of the passenger with the folding bike, I would like to apologise for hitting you all." - Mark Reid

Exasperated tube drivers

"Ladies and gentleman, upon departing the train, may I remind you to take your rubbish with you. Despite the fact that you are in something that is metal, fairly round, filthy and smells, this is a tube train for public transport and not a bin on wheels." -  Jamie Scott

"Whoever is playing that terrible music could you turn it off." - Charlotte Anderton

"Would the gentleman in the rear carriage carrying the bike across his shoulders either get off at the next station, or come to the front of the train, as I'd like to have a quiet word. That's the gentleman with the bike." - Dave Skinner

"Hurry up and let the doors close. I want my dinner." - Drew Gibson

After being stuck behind a broken down train for 45 mins, we finally moved. The driver said: "Ladies and gentlemen, if you look to the left shortly you will see the offending train. So if I could ask you all to stick two fingers up at it as we pass, we can be on our way." - Anna-Louise Leonard

"We forgot to stop at Kentish Town and must now reverse." Photo by 2 dogs, in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Family-friendly tube drivers

"Please do not obstruct the closing doors. Specifically, please do not use your children as a wedge to hold the doors open." - Sarah Moore

"Please keep your kids with you at all times. Even the annoying ones." - Kay Short

"Don't forget to take your children and livestock with you." - Daniel Castleman

Droll tube drivers

Stuck still for 30 mins. Train creeps forward then abruptly stops. Driver: "Only joking."" - Dale Moody

At the time when Boris Johnson's affair was in the press, I was aboard a Piccadilly line tube which stopped and started and stopped and started between Hammersmith and Acton Town. The driver apologised, stating: "I am sorry. This train is bucking like Boris Johnson's wife, and I won't tell you how I know that!" A huge cheer went up in the carriage. - Ian Ross

The driver said he was turning off the female voiced announcements as they 'reminded him of his ex-wife'. - James Morritt

"Please let passengers off the train before boarding. It's not the storming of the Bastille you know." - Andy Thornley

"Turn em red, turn em yellow, turn em any colour you want. But this is Turnham Green." - Wayne Green

"Welcome to St Paul's, where you pay £12 for an audience with God." Must be a while back, God now charges £17. - Pav Singh

"Please keep your kids with you at all times. Even the annoying ones." Photo by El Zoid, in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Reassuring tube drivers

"This is your driver speaking. We are aware that all the lights have gone out on the train but there is absolutely nothing to be worried about... or is there?" - Diane Hullah

"There's a dog on the line ahead. They've sent a manager to rescue it. That's not going to help. [10 minutes later] The dog is now at Plaistow. So it's making better time than us." - Paul Cowdell

"This train is early and is now being delayed so that it is late. I don't understand this either." - Bob Harris

"Need help. Suitcase exploded. Contents everywhere." - Peter Bailey

Musical tube drivers

I remember once, probably around 1990, being stuck between Leytonstone and Leyton for around 45 minutes in the height of summer. There were two drivers for some reason, and they both started singing over the speaker! A hearty round of applause followed. - Bernard Pressman

On New Cross station platform when the East London Line only went as far as Rotherhithe, back in the 90s: the Star Trek music played, followed by "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the East London Line. The final frontier." - Jane Harrington

The sound the tube makes when door shuts didn't work, so the tube driver made the sound himself. - Byung Sung Kim

Once had a driver play the Thomas the Tank Engine theme music at every stop. - Peter Bailey

"Stand clear of the doors. If you get trapped and hurt, your insurance company won't pay out." Photo by chutney bannister, in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Warning tube drivers

A Northern line driver at morning peak time: "As you're getting on the train, please let me point out that some of you stand too close to the edge of the platform. A 28-tonne train versus your body — I know which of the two my money would be on." - Agata Sadza

"Stand clear of the doors. If you get trapped and hurt, your insurance company won't pay out." - Jamie Watters

"Wake up! You'll end up in Stanmore and there's nothing there!" - Fingerless Gloves Fletcher

[At Heathrow] "Ladies & Gentlemen, welcome back to life in the fast lane... and we're off!" - Stick Man

"Have you all got tickets? Don't make me come down there!" - Beth Parnell-Hopkinson

"Mind your fingers, mind your toes, watch the doors, they're gonna close." - Debi Samuels

And now for the punch line...

When we asked what the funniest/weirdest thing you'd heard a tube driver say, many of you replied with something along the following lines. Come on guys, you LOVE the Underground really.

"Every line has a good service today." - Gabi Enahoro

"There is a good service operating on all lines." - David von Hostitz

"This train is running on schedule." - Gurvinder Singh

"We are currently operating a good service." - Mike Hemsley

Want more? Here are some recordings of a particularly garrulous Metropolitan line driver, a Hammersmith and City line legend, and a melodic announcer on the platform at Bethnal Green. Thanks to everyone who sent in their suggestions.

Last Updated 19 January 2016