The Funniest Things You've Heard Tube Drivers Say

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 30 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


Bit of a late entry, but...Central line:
"The doors...those big red things....board while they're open, not when they're closing!"

Mathew Smith

"I can assure the passenger in the second carrage that it is not raining in the train, please put your umbrella down"


On the (old) East London Line: This train has six carriages. When you all board the first one, it causes the floor to bend and the doors will not close.

Same driver, different day: 5:30pm: That's it. Run for the train. It's the last train of the day.

Mark Beckwith

A classic from Credit Crunch times ...."Will the person with their bag stuck in the door, or the banker with their wallet, please remove it, or this train won't be going anywhere"

Mark Stone

Saturday night on the Victoria line
"The next station is Brixton... Oh yes. This station is Br-r-r-rixton: prepare to parrr-tay!"

Stephen Chapman

On the East London line years ago, the driver would often play classical musical quietly over the tannoy. Very relaxing.


Early in the Central line one Sat morning into town...
I'd like to welcome to the Central Line, we're travelling at a heights of -100 ft & speed of 40mph.
I'd like to highlight the sights on this journey. If u look out of the left windows you'll see grey tunnel , & if you'll look out of the right windows you'll see grey tunnel.
We'll shortly be landing at Bank . Hope you had a pleasant journey & u travel with us again soon.


It was April 2012 and I was on my way to the O2 Arena for the WWE Raw, it was 1-stop before the destination. The tube driver, assumingly also a WWE fan randomly shouted "Let's go Cena!". And as the tube were full of "hardcore" fans, the entire tube shouted back "CENA SUCKS!!". It happened for 2 minutes before we reach the arena.

Then at the end he said "keep it PG", and everyone lol'd.


'This train will be terminating all the way to West Ruislip'


'This is the third time I've had to re-open the doors because someone's blocking them. If it happens again I'll take this train out of service.'


Could the young couple in the second carriage please get a room!

R H E Wallace

You are here to wait for the train. The train is not here to wait for you.


Northern line - "please do not hold the doors open for your mates, this is a train not a taxi"


Waiting to leave Stratford a group were running down the stairs and the driver announced:"Good evening ladies and gentlemen, we are ready to depart, we're just going to wait for these people to rush along the platform so I can close the doors before they get here..." (he didn't) When they were on: "AS I WAS SAYING Good evening ladies and gentlemen, we are ready to depart, 20 seconds late thanks to the people in carriage two who can't run fast enough!"


Piccadilly line - "Next station is 'romantic' Acton Town"


On the North West line "As we pull into Liverpool Central, please show your tickets to the fat controller who will be there to greet you at the top of the escalator. Failure to do so will result in witches cursing you." We thought he was high.


'For those of you alighting here at Willesden Junction, welcome back to paradise' Bakerloo line driver in August 2014


A diversion is currently in place at this station, so please follow the signs on the platform. I took the liberty of checking them myself, so I know they're there, and if you can't see them... well, you should have gone to Specsavers!


My own favourite memory was an announcement on the platform loudspeaker, not from a driver. It was in November 1990. "I have to tell you all that Mrs Thatcher has just announced she is stepping down as Prime Minister. When jumping for joy, please be careful you do not fall on the track."


Ladies and gentlemen, we have to wait here for a moment as there is a red light ahead of us and my boss doesn't like it when I go through them.

Radek Simko

"Please stand behind the yellow line, we want you inside the train, not under it."


"Ladies and gentlemen, you may have noticed we've stopped. I don't know why. They haven't told me."


Station announcer on the Thameslink, just after I'd read this article. "Here comes the 19.00 to Luton, ten minutes late, tail between its legs."


'If you're leaving at the next station please mind the gap between the timetable and reality'. Overground at Sydenham


On a Victoria line train heading south: "Your next station is Oxford Circus. You guys watch out; it's a jungle out there."...then later "Our next stop is Pimlico, where all the posh people get off."

Also enjoyed a District line train towards Wimbledon a couple of years ago with a chatty driver, who escalated his commentary on passengers boarding the train and general jokes to keep everyone happy, with leading a chorus of 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life' (people joined in - at least for the whistling!), between Wimbledon Park and Wimbledon. When we'd arrived at Wimbledon, lots of people stopped by the cabin at the front of the train to talk to him and thank him for what had been such a unique tube ride :)


Heard a district line driver updating us during delays, at earls court the drivers swapped and had "I don't know what we're doing, but we're going to Ealing Broadway"

Boris J

The funniest is "We are being delayed for a signal failure" ... yeh right


On the Jubilee line a few years back. In a big booming voice: " This is the voice of the train! I know you can hear me, Londoners! There is a good service on all London Underground lines........oh and apparently the dlr is doing ok too, but I cant be sure of that because we underground trains dont speak to the dlr, its complicated".

"Tfl sucks

Funniest thing I've heard tube drivers say-
We get paid enough"
Don't worry, we won't strike"

-said no tfl driver ever.

Major Diby Dawlish

Overheard Distrct line driver talking to a colleague when aligting from the train at Richmond. "Yea Richmond is very affluent, where as Barking is more effluent."


Some time in the early '00s, a driver on the DLR (I think) announced "if you are consuming hot food on the train, please make sure you have enough for everyone".


At Clapham Common in this morning's rush hour - 'No need to run onto the train, there's no free alcohol in the minibar'


"This is Richmond, where this train terminates. All change please, all change... " "it would help if I opened the doors, sorry"

Tony Bannister

"Please stand clear of the closing doors"
[doors close, and promptly reopen because someone wasn't standing clear]
"PLEASE stand clear of the closing doors. They're closing... now."
[doors close and reopen again]
"The doors are the big red slidey things on the side of the train that open and close. Repeatedly."


District line at Edgware road: "Ladies and gentleman rise and shine this is the end of the district line. Don't forget to take your smile, your bags, your kids and also to be polite to everyone!"


"sorry for the delay, Ladies and Gentlemen, but I've just been sick all over the cab, and have asked control to send someone to help clean up. You'll be pleased to know I feel much better now" Jubilee Line

Joshua Lewin

"We are just waiting for the right time to leave, so when we will be the right time"

In hindsight, it sounds almost spiritual


"Please stay behind the yellow line. It is located near your feet, is yellow in colour and resembles - a line"


When the on-board announcements weren't working: "I'm sorry but the magic lady who tells us where we are isn't in today, so you'll have to make do with me."


Jubilee Line eastbound at Canary Wharf: This train is for North Greenwich. If you are going to North Greenwich, stay on the train. If you are going to Canary Wharf; get off here. If you are going to Caning Town, get off here. If you are going to West Ham, get off here. If you are going to Stratford, get off here.


"The central line is stuffed, you may as well go home."


As a tube finally appears out of the northerly mists at Wembley Park, over the tannoy comes: "I do apologise for the late arrival of this train - it got lost in the fog." [Station-wide applause.]

tapesh majumdar

I have never heard anything like this at all !! Never nodded off in the tube ; this is all made up !!


A bit off the subject but I once saw a list of stops on a notice at the Railway Station at, I think, Richmond. Someone had added humourous comments. The only one I can remember is "Steak and Sidley pud".
Ooooh, how I miss the humour in London.

Robert Woolley

"We apologise for delays to your Piccadilly line service this morning. This was due to earlier late running."


Last train arriving at Richmond on the District Line "Wakey wakey, rise and shine, this is the end of the District Line!"

Hareem Sumbul

"Mind the closing doors, mind your bags, mind your feet, mind your hands, mind your FINGERS PLEASE!"
September 2015- Oxford Circus.


Platform Announcer: "ladies & gentlemen please leave the platform safely... now I'm off to get a cup of tea!"

Driver: "Apologies for the delay... they're actually testing new self driven trains... oh wait, I don't think I was meant to tell you that..."


"Passengers are advised not to give money to beggars on the tube...however should you wish to give an anonymous donation to your driver,
there is a collection bucket at the front of the train"

Paweł Buderaski

"Hello ladies and gentleman welcome to the sunny Oxford Circus!" Faces of soaked wet people on the platform are priceless.


A Jubilee Line driver a few years back when we arrived at Wembley Park. "This is Wembley Park - where you get off for Wembley Stadium. This is as close as I ever get though being as I'm a QPR fan".


On the Central Line the doors are closing "To the young man there in the last carriage, When you hear and see the door closing it means you wait for the next train, I'm not giving you a medal for running on to the train"


Jubilee Line - Southwark on an early Friday evening - station announcer to the driver once everyone had got off or on - "Take it away, Errrrrnie!" (a la the shrunken head on the Knight bus in Harry Potter)


In the early 90s I was on a Piccadilly Line train somewhere around Acton Town. The driver announced something like "Ladies and gentlemen I would just like to announce that all services are running on time. We make these announcements as a way of patting ourselves on the back. And now here's your reward" [cue Thomas the Tank Engine theme music]


I've got a few good ones complied over the years:
Moorgate station one morning "Ladies and gentlemen, we apologise for the delay. This is due to...unexplained reasons"
On the district line one Saturday night: "good evening, the next station will be Cannon Street, we will not be stopping at Mansion House due to (pause) a total lack of interest"
On the Jubilee line en route to the 2009 Chelsea/Everton FA Cup final at Wembley "guys and girls, I hope you all have a wonderful afternoon at the football. I was going to invite you all round for a BBQ, but I don't have enough sausages"
Canada Water station "To the kids who just jumped the glass...I hope you hurt yourself. Next time I'm calling your parents"
At Liverpool St during evening rush hour "we are sorry that the 17.50 service to Enfield has been cancelled. This is because the train has disappeared. We're going to make a phone call." Later on the same evening "ladies and gentlemen, the 17.50 service to Enfield has now been located. It was stuck behind a cargo engine. It's still stuck, but at least we've found it."


Approach to Christmas, jubilee line as we arrived at Stratford:
"Please remember to take all your personal belongings with you. Anything you leave behind however will mean less Christmas Shopping for me though; every cloud eh!"

dave trott

As the train was pulling into Olympia, the driver started singing (to the tune of "I did it my way"):

"And now the end is near
and now we've reached our destination.
We've come from High Street Ken
and gone through all
those other stations....."

He did the complete song like that and everyone in the train applauded

My Name

Southern conductor: ladies & gentlemen, we have now arrived at Tulse Hill... yes we have". I couldn't help but let out a giggle