Why is there still snow and slush on platforms in London three days after the last snowfall? In British Rail days when it snowed everyone was expected to turn out and clear the snow from both the tracks and the platforms. That included ticket office staff and even management. If you couldn’t get into work you were expected to make it to the nearest station and volunteer to help. I never did it myself, mind, with the excuse that, as a marketing trainee I was never passed out as an operator.
I remember my chum David Smith turning up at his local station shovel in hand to dig out frozen points and clear the tracks some time in the mid 1980s. Contrast this to the humiliating sight of a guy slipping down the slushy stairs at Waterloo on Monday. In today’s railway this kind of thing is effectively impossible. The railway is fragmented, and safety rules force people to sit in their offices watching passengers slipping and getting injured.
Its not just the railways though. Even today, some of the pavements in Southwark are coated with frozen slush, forcing people to walk on the nicely salted roads. This is a really serious issue for the elderly. Yes, I know that the snow was really bad here, but clearing pavements near to flats should be a priority.
OK, old fart moan over. I’ll get back to work now.