Going Underground

In the tube, waitingIn further London-based excitement, I was forced into something that most Londoners never get the chance to do: walking in a Tube tunnel. I was taking the Picadilly Line train down to Kings Cross, and, just after leaving the Caledonian Road station, the lights in the car dimmed and the train stopped — nothing particularly unusual. But a couple of minutes later the driver got on the loudspeaker and told us that there had been “a person under the train” (a euphemism that isn’t quite a euphemism) at Kings Cross. After a few more minutes he told us that we may have to “de-train” but that he’d let us know when authorization came. He implied that if the unfortunate victim were still alive it could take up to a couple of hours.

Given those circumstances, we were not too unhappy that things took a while. Eventually, the staff from Caledonian Road station showed up, and started leading us off the train, giving us the unfortunate chance for a rare London experience:
In the Tunnels - 1In the Tunnels - 5

We finally emerged, many of us snapping pictures with cameras and phones, into the station:
In the Tunnels - 7Emerging from the tunnels

We got loaded onto buses and made it into central London. On the way, I passed Kings X station itself, to find the (Virgin!) Air Ambulance ready to rescue the “person under the train”:
(Virgin) Air Ambulance - 2

If nothing else, the British (and, I think, even we foreigners who happen to have found ourselves here) tend to be pretty relaxed in a crisis, and so we were. Given that this was on Sunday in July, we were lucky that the train wasn’t much hotter and more crowded with people commuting to work, so we could manage to be more amused by the situation than anything else. Damped, to be sure, by the sad circumstances that had caused all of this. But still: blitz spirit, Keep Calm and Carry On, and all that.