A perfect example of how the Tube system has been run can be found in a tunnel designed and built by Sir Marc Brunel and his don Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The Thames Tunnel, between Rotherhithe and Wapping. Built in 1843 it was the first ever tunnel underwater. This tunnel was originally designed for horse drawn carriages and pedestrians. It was updated in 1869 for the London Underground trains. This tunnel, now on the East London line was only refurbished in the 1990’s!
Now, I totally agree that the Brunel’s were some of the greatest British engineers in the last 200 years. However, a refurbishment of a tunnel after 150 years is a little long to wait. The management of the tube system, which ultimately falls at the governments feet (via TFL [Transport of London]), seems to feel that if it has not fallen onto the track, killed a hundred people or would make the journeys of the millions of passengers easier, calmer, more reliable. Then it just is not worth doing it.
You may surmise from all this that I dislike the Tube, which I don’t, honest. No matter how many times I have been thrown off trains for being ‘late’ or my fellow passengers (yes, we are passengers, not customers) and I have been squashed into the carriages because it’s the only train for 15 minutes. No matter how many times London Underground staff go on strike for some god knows reason like they want a tea urn, not a kettle! No, I like the Tube, it’s quaint, it has character and it has it’s own species of Mosquito.
It is the people who run the London Underground who I hate with a passion only surpassed by my hatred of Broccoli. A bunch of monkeys would run the system just as well as the current lot. In fact a bunch of trained monkeys would probably run it better.