On my wave of being socially responsible in London (see this post), I decided to do the same again and try to prevent my fellow passengers on the Stansted Express last night getting stuck at Tottenham Hale. But this time I encountered opposition and inaction. Maybe that will teach me not to try to be so responsible?

It was late. Ryanair had decided to put only one set of steps up to the aircraft, and then the queues at passports at Stansted were huge. So I had to be content with the 23h00 southbound Stansted Express to London on my way back from Berlin yesterday. 23h00 departure means 23h35 at Tottenham Hale and, on a Sunday, the last southbound Victoria line has departed.

I was hence shocked to hear that “at Tottenham Hale you can change for the Victoria Line taking you direct to London’s West End” when I boarded the train. I checked with the excellent TfL Traveline and they confirmed that the last Victoria Line train would leave Tottenham Hale at 23h31. So OK I thought, let’s make sure all the passengers on the train are informed that there will be no underground, and get the guard to make an announcement.

So I asked the guard who simply did not trust that I had the right information. I insisted on what TfL had told me, and I had been stuck at Tottenham Hale on previous Sundays. He phoned a colleague who he claimed “knows everything there is to know about the Underground” and was told there were southbound trains until after midnight. True – as far as Seven Sisters (one stop southbound), but not true for any further south.

The reaction of the other passengers around me was typical. The three others at the table all looked away, or looked at the table intently when I was discussing with the guard.

Anyway, no announcement was made. But luckily the staff at Tottenham Hale station knew a bit better what was going on, and made announcements on the platform that there were no more Victoria Line trains. The guard then repeated this over the train PA-system.

So, in conclusion, all I got for my efforts were the anger of a guard that did not trust me, and fellow passengers thinking I was an idiot. But I was right all along. Maybe some of them should spend half an hour stuck at Seven Sisters sometime in the future and they then might better inform themselves of the timetables!

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