Friday, 11 February 2011


Another email from Pauline took my fancy, this time some train announcements by frustrated London Underground drivers. I know that people complain about Warsaw's public transport system, but after years in London, it was as close to heaven as I could have hoped for, even with its defects. Many of these announcements are similar to one's I've heard and problems are, if anything, worse on suburban trains than the Underground. Drivers talking like this bring a bit of humour into what can be a horrendous experience.

The pictures are taken from a visit to Sochaczew Railway museum, west of Warsaw on the Poznan road and just down the road from the Chopin's birthplace Museum in Żelazowa Wola. There are train journey's into the national park on summer Saturdays (June 25 to September 25 in 2010) and other events with journeys (into October in 2010). Pictures of someone's trip are available here.

From 2004 09 John 07 Train Museum Sochaczew

Ladies and Gentlemen, I do apologize for the delay to your service. I know you're all dying to get home, unless, of course, you happen to be married to my ex-wife, in which case you'll want to cross over to the Westbound and go in the opposite direction.

Your delay this evening is caused by the line controller suffering from E & B syndrome: not knowing his elbow from his backside. I'll let you know any further information as soon as I'm given any. {NB for Polish readers, the normal phrase here is 'arse from his elbow' - the driver was being polite.]

Do you want the good news first or the bad news? The good news is that last Friday was my birthday and I hit the town and had a great time. The bad news is that there is a points failure somewhere between Stratford and East Ham, which means we probably won't reach our destination.

Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the delay but there is a security alert at Victoria station and we are therefore stuck here for the foreseeable future, so let's take our minds off it and pass some time together. All together now.... Ten green bottles, hanging on a wall......

We are now travelling through Baker Street ... As you can see, Baker Street is closed. It would have been nice if they had actually told me so I could tell you earlier but no, they don't think about things like that.

Beggars are operating on this train. Please do NOT encourage these professional beggars. If you have any spare change, please give it to a registered charity. Failing that, give it to me.

During an extremely hot rush hour on the Central Line, the driver announced in a West Indian drawl: 'Step right this way for the sauna, ladies and gentleman... unfortunately, towels are not provided.'

Let the passengers off the train FIRST!' (Pause ) 'Oh go on then, stuff yourselves in like sardines, see if I care - I'm going home....'

Please allow the doors to close. Try not to confuse this with 'Please hold the doors open.' The two are distinct and separate instructions.

Please note that the beeping noise coming from the doors means that the doors are about to close. It does not mean throw yourself or your bags into the doors.

We can't move off because some idiot has their hand stuck in the door.

To the gentleman wearing the long grey coat trying to get on the second carriage -- what part of 'stand clear of the doors' don't you understand?

'Please move all baggage away from the doors.' (Pause..) 'Please move ALL belongings away from the doors.' (Pause...) 'This is a personal message to the man in the brown suit wearing glasses at the rear of the train: Put the pie down, four-eyes and move your bloody golf clubs away from the door before I come down there and shove them up your arse sideways!'

May I remind all passengers that there is strictly no smoking allowed on any part of the Underground. However, if you are smoking a joint, it's only fair that you pass it round the rest of the carriage.

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