Person under a train

Is it only on the London underground where they say, nonchalantly over the tannoy whilst giving service updates: “there are delays on the X line between Y and Z due to a person under a train“. You know what it reminds me of? “Leaves on the line”. A phrase familiar to all UK residents who use trains in autumn, especially commuter trains that end up delayed at this time of year due to leaves on the track, making it slippery, thus requiring trains to reduce speed. It’s like “the wrong type of snow”. We’ve heard that one too.

It’s how matter-of-factly they announce it in their service update that unnerves me. I don’t know how many ‘persons under a train’ we have in this city, but I have a nasty feeling it’s quite high. The tube network is so large

And as an aside – on my short train journey home, after my tube journey – the middle-aged man sitting opposite me took out from his bag a mini bottle of red wine (like you get on planes) and a small polystyrene cup. Could he not have waited until he got home?! Obviously not. Or perhaps his wife is a die-hard teetotaller who doesn’t let him drink in the house…

8 thoughts on “Person under a train

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  1. The man with the wine sounds like a ‘character’. It is surprising there hasn’t been some ‘management speak’ to replace ‘person under a train’; something like ‘railway/human based interaction problem’?!

    I was on a train the other night; it just pulled out of the station when it stopped, and I saw a guard running down the platform with a hat in his hand (and one on his head); I can only presume the driver had forgotten his hat!

  2. I wonder with this one, as with so many other incidents on the tube, whether it’s just another excuse. I hate to think that there could actually be that many people throwing themselves under tube trains.

  3. I made exactly the same remark in London. Surely commuters don’t want to stomach the notion that somebody did indeed get ripped to bits under a train. But SO said, enquiring minds want to know and leaves on the track just sounds like a lame excuse, I suppose. Just like the cables that snap due to snow on Belgium’s rail network.

  4. I’ve not used the Tube much. Love the Metro in Lisbon. I could spend hours there looking at the stations.
    Enrico – I’m so glad I didn’t have to watch that live – she had lucky escape.

  5. I’ve only known one fatality on the railway here, and that’s exactly what they called it, although this is Australia – I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they told us their full name and how many limbs were severed. Turns out it was a man having a heart attack on a train, no throwing himself under it.

  6. Ryan – it has its moments now and again! Lots of the time it’s a nightmare though.

    Richard – yeh, ‘person under a train’ seems odd in this day and age. Oh, drivers with hats sounds very early last century – the golden age of rail!

    Sookie – hard to say. I think there is genuinely a high number of accidents.

    Lula – yeh is awful, and very frequent.

    Enrico – ughhhhhhh! Frightening!

    Mancais – I moan about the tube but it’s useful to have. Much more efficient than the buses.

    Sven – wow that’s low!!

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