Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Day 260 : the other side of the tracks

It's another late night, I'm stood on Turnham Green tube station platform waiting for the elusive last tube to Richmond. The Richmond tube can a bit of a scarlet pimpernel, if this end of the District line is having an issue, the Richmond tubes suffer first. The reason is that the tubes go to sleep overnight on the Ealing Broadway branch of the District line so the onus seems to be on getting the drivers home, the trains home but not always, it transpires, the passengers home. And a few nights ago we suffered this cavalier attitude to us getting home and to bed. The rule is that as long as the London Underground run the last tube, at any time at all, there's no compunction to get the passengers home by any other means. This can mean that the last tube to Richmond from Turnham Green timetabled at 12.55am can actually run at 2am, 3am or whenever. Far from ideal, especially on a school night! If of course we know there's an issue we could make alternative arrangements but invariably we don't know until there are not alternatives. The other night we had the infamous “the Richmond train is ten minutes away” for well over an hour. There was a hardcore of passengers who were demanding answers but as usual, it was the “we will run the last tube to Richmond, but we don't know when”. Even though everyone was being terribly polite (we are going to Richmond after all!) the station staff exhausted by not having the information they needed to give to the increasingly demanding (though entirely to no avail) would-be passengers had called the police. I gave up just before 2am and asked for a cab to be called. The rest stuck it out but I don't know when they finally reached Richmond.

Tonight, thankfully, it seems we’ll get home without drama but just as our tube is snaking around the corner I spot a little scene on the Eastbound platform I want to grab. I like the fact on a totally empty platform they are sat on the same bench but they don't seem very together.

What I don't like, however, is that even though I'm stood square to the bench all the lines in the picture seem to diverge. Either the tracks are on a slant, the platform, the building opposite, I can't fathom it out. It's not that I'm just leaning over or something because when I straighten one line the rest are more askew. I'm very aware of the converging lines effect when taking pictures of tall buildings, and often exaggerate it but why would lines diverge so much? It’s a mystery for another day when it’s not the last tube coming!


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