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What did underground staff think of ‘The Tube’?

Posted at 8:30 am, March 30, 2012 in Secret London
The tube

We loved finding out what goes on behind the scenes and getting an insight into the workings of the dark tunnels we travel through daily with the BBC’s documentary ‘The Tube‘. But what did the people who actually work on the underground think of the show? We asked @AndrewBarber79, a Central line train operator for this thoughts…

How long have you worked on the tube?
I’ve worked for the underground for eight years in total, two on the stations, six driving trains. An average day can be quite monotonous, although every day is different. Things go wrong, trains break, people get ill. It all adds variety. Different days bring different customers too and they all need different things.

What did you think of ‘The Tube’?
It was really good. It showed the general public and staff things that wouldn’t normally be seen. Very informative. I think it portrayed many different aspects of the job really well, highlighting the challenges we face individually and as a company. There were many areas not covered though, like trains not available for service in the morning, staff shortage due to sickness, but understandably, these aren’t conducive to good PR. Every workplace has good and bad areas within it, but ‘The Tube’ showed a fair representation.

Did you find out anything new?
Personally, I learnt about how the Network Operations Centre operates, not somewhere I have ever visited before. Gives me a better understanding of how information reaches us and how decisions are made.

Best bit?
My favourite part was the insight into Bank station. Having worked there in the past, it was good to see how the daily operation has changed as customer numbers have increased.

Tell us a tube secret:
Central line trains know how heavy each carriage is with passengers and automatically adjust the motors and brakes accordingly, ensuring the smoothest possible ride.

What did you think of the show? Tweet us at @TimeOutLondon. Watch BBC’s The Tube on iPlayer until April 2.

Discover the mosaics that adorn the Underground, ridiculous names for sponsored Tube stops, or the petition to install slides at a station near you.

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