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Old June 17th, 2010, 12:22 AM   #1141
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The more I read that article the more it sounds like the Tories are idealogically anti-workers rather than just wanting to save on costs.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 06:23 AM   #1142
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Originally Posted by dars-dm View Post
I think he meant column-wall type station. Thus Redbridge is a shallow column-wall station
Maybe, it will be good to sort the LU stations on the construction types (like Moscow): column st., column-wall, two- or three-vaulted?
It's hard to categorise LU stations as there are usually several central halls rather than one for each set of platforms. And then the oldest deep level stations have no central halls whatsoever. Sub-surface stations are complex and inconsistent too, it'd be hard to categorise Tower Hill or Baker Street for example.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 06:37 AM   #1143
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"It may well be that some junior politician is simply flying a kite to make a name for themselves, but RMT will not sit back and allow this lethal and unworkable idea to gain any traction whatsoever."

That reminds me of this (from Wikipedia about luddites):

"British textile artisans in the nineteenth century who protested – often by destroying mechanized looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt was leaving them without work and changing their way of life."

Back to the old good days?

Is there really no way of making LU trains driverless? How does it work in, say, Singapore? Do they have train operators onboard as well?

Last edited by Pansori; June 24th, 2010 at 02:05 AM.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 07:54 AM   #1144
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Well automation brings definitely a lot of benefits. Train automation allows very frequent headways, if needed. Depending on the signaling system used, trains can be operated at a designed headway of every 90 seconds and can stop within meters of the train ahead. But there should be an operator who can take charge if anything happens to a train is definitely. There are many other benefits, and capital cost is one of them, but I wouldn't use it as a big selling point, especially when it comes to the media. And while you can technically remove operators on trains, there has to be staff to be able to run the trains if anything happens.

As for Singapore, the Circle line and North East Line are fully automated without operators from what I know. I believe the MTR in Hong Kong is also part-way automated in some form or another, aside from the Disneyland Resort Line, which is fully automated.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 12:27 PM   #1145
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For large and busy systems it brings more disadvantages than benefits. How do you suppose to close doors in peak hours and who will operate the situation during incidents?

edit: didn't read further of first sentence.
90 seconds can be reached without the bot.
and that's i was talking about. so, you still have to pay for staff. you have one driver per train, so nothing will change.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 05:04 PM   #1146
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Yeah, I'm all for automatic operation but only if there's a human there to take charge at any moment, like on the DLR(and as the article mentioned, the LU's own Central/Victoria lines).
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Old June 18th, 2010, 03:37 AM   #1147
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It's ridiculous to compare LU lines to new systems like Singapore. LU for instance, has small narrow tunnels where there is no emergency walkway. If there is an emergency, the passengers most likely won't know what to do, and if they do work out that they have to walk down the train to the end and then walk along the tracks how will they know if the traction current is on or off? What about in a situation like the bombings? LU also has very cramped an overcrowded stations without PEDs meaning passengers are sometimes only inches away from trains arriving and departing, there needs to be an operator to brake if someone has fallen, there was a death on DLR recently because of this. There are numerous more reasons...

This is just a stupid Tory idea that is just to diminish union power, obviously made up by people that know nothing about the system. I'd imagine the cost of installing PEDs of some sort at every single station (as on the automated lines of the Paris Metro) would far outweigh the cost of a few strikes.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 04:19 AM   #1148
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Originally Posted by coth View Post
For large and busy systems it brings more disadvantages than benefits. How do you suppose to close doors in peak hours and who will operate the situation during incidents?

edit: didn't read further of first sentence.
90 seconds can be reached without the bot.
and that's i was talking about. so, you still have to pay for staff. you have one driver per train, so nothing will change.
Just out of curiosity, which manual systems in the world have trains arriving at a sustained frequency every 90 seconds. It is also possible to run trains at a higher frequency of every 60 seconds. Those that are these are predominantly semi-automated in some form of another or have a much newer track signaling system.

I disagree with the fact that the Tories are doing this to diminish union power because that's not what automation should be for.

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Originally Posted by iampuking View Post
It's ridiculous to compare LU lines to new systems like Singapore. LU for instance, has small narrow tunnels where there is no emergency walkway. If there is an emergency, the passengers most likely won't know what to do, and if they do work out that they have to walk down the train to the end and then walk along the tracks how will they know if the traction current is on or off? What about in a situation like the bombings? LU also has very cramped an overcrowded stations without PEDs meaning passengers are sometimes only inches away from trains arriving and departing, there needs to be an operator to brake if someone has fallen, there was a death on DLR recently because of this. There are numerous more reasons...
Just out of curiosity, what are the safety features found at DLR stations and how does the emergency brakes on trains respond if there is something on the track?
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Old June 18th, 2010, 11:34 AM   #1149
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Moscow Metro (bots/autopilot were removed in 1970's), Kiev Metro - sustained frequency every 90 seconds on over 99,98%. Shorter frequencies is hardly possible with 160m long trains. And nothing will help. Because it all comes to stupid passengers who thinks it is the last train and rushing into it by holding doors.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 03:23 PM   #1150
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I disagree with the fact that the Tories are doing this to diminish union power because that's not what automation should be for.
I'm Not taking a view either way but since when did sensible motivations uncoloured by dogma matter to politicans?
I haven't seen anything that shows they have even considered how much it would cost and how long it would take to achieve.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 09:02 PM   #1151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
"It may well be that some junior politician is simply flying a kite to make a name for themselves, but RMT will not sit back and allow this lethal and unworkable idea to gain any traction whatsoever."

That reminds me of this (from Wikipedia about liddites):

"British textile artisans in the nineteenth century who protested – often by destroying mechanized looms – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt was leaving them without work and changing their way of life."

Back to the old good days?

Is there really no way of making LU trains driverless? How does it work in, say, Singapore? Do they have train operators onboard as well?
Vancouver skytrain is fully automated. We have three lines. Two are linear induction powered and the third is standard third-rail. All three use the same automatic train control system. This is a moving block system and allowed headways of 45 seconds - though in service the normal headway is 108 seconds.

The trains on the oldest line have been running for 25 years and there has never been a accident caused by the automated system. There was a minor derailment last month caused by something falling off a train and affecting the following train - no injuries.

Trains are controlled by computer from a central location. Trains can be added or short-turned by the press of button to deal with spikes in crowds, or to recover from a delay.

Advantages: no dwell time required, trains can depart within seconds of arriving at a terminus, easy to add trains, no need to find drivers to increase service at short notice, trains can run all night if needed (we run a couple of trains all night when we have heavy snow or ice to keep the guideways clear for the next morning), service is consistent with all trains accelerating and decelerating exactly the same.

There are no train captains or staff on the trains. Staff at stations and roving inspectors and transit police.

Never been an issue of safety - trains run in tunnels and on elevated guideways - nobody feels unsafe because there isn't a driver on board.

Track intrusion systems are in place - pressure or infrared, and if these detect something, it shuts that section down and stops the trains. We've had idiots walking on the guideways, but the system stopped the trains and allowed the police to arrest the idiot - so nobody got killed. Same if somebody jumps on the track in front of a train - the system will shut down and stop the trains so reduces suicide attempts, though still possible if you jump close enough to the train.

There is a line clear system in place with the first train carrying an attendant who is able to stop the train if there is something on the guideway that got missed overnight. And the trains can be driven manually if needed.

It is the way London Underground should go - the Tories are right.

Because we started with automated trains, we don't have to fight unions on loss of drivers.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 09:34 PM   #1152
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Track intrusion systems are in place - pressure or infrared, and if these detect something, it shuts that section down and stops the trains. We've had idiots walking on the guideways, but the system stopped the trains and allowed the police to arrest the idiot - so nobody got killed. Same if somebody jumps on the track in front of a train - the system will shut down and stop the trains so reduces suicide attempts, though still possible if you jump close enough to the train.
That's the thing here: if iampuking said there was an incident on the DLR with regards to people falling on the track, are there any safety features and track intrusion systems? I should ask Tubeman in the other thread.

Being from Vancouver as well, I understand how automation works. But as iampuking said, if there aren't emergency walkways in tunnels where a line is automated, where a train cannot be exited safely or accessed easily during an emergency, it could be a potential problem.

Going back on lightrail's point however, when a system is automated, trains can be driven manually from the operations centre.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #1153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iampuking View Post
It's ridiculous to compare LU lines to new systems like Singapore. LU for instance, has small narrow tunnels where there is no emergency walkway. If there is an emergency, the passengers most likely won't know what to do, and if they do work out that they have to walk down the train to the end and then walk along the tracks how will they know if the traction current is on or off? What about in a situation like the bombings? LU also has very cramped an overcrowded stations without PEDs meaning passengers are sometimes only inches away from trains arriving and departing, there needs to be an operator to brake if someone has fallen, there was a death on DLR recently because of this. There are numerous more reasons...

This is just a stupid Tory idea that is just to diminish union power, obviously made up by people that know nothing about the system. I'd imagine the cost of installing PEDs of some sort at every single station (as on the automated lines of the Paris Metro) would far outweigh the cost of a few strikes.
It's not as stupid an idea as you might think.

It is perfectly possible to have unstaffed trains on LU, and to do so safely.

You throw in a lot of 'what ifs', but if you look at it rationally, on an ATO line like the Victoria the 'driver' only performs a function better performed by a human for about 5 seconds in every 3 minutes. That is, the act of closing the doors. The other 2 minutes 55 seconds of departing, accelerating, braking, stopping, and doors opening don't realistically require any human input at all... Although the 'driver' does press buttons to open doors and start the train, this could be easily automated too. Is it really cost effective to have a human sat on every single one of our peak service of 425 trains on £42,000 p.a.?

I honestly believe that once ATO is universal on LU lines (maybe 20 years time), with some technological developments we can have unstaffed trains. I'd envisage a control centre with remote operators responsible for several trains at once (for argument's sake, 5). They would have CCTV views of platforms, in each car, and forward facing from the train front. Between stations, the forward view would be shown, then as a train approaches a platform, the view would switch to that platform for assurance that the track and platform edge are clear and remain on the platform as the train stops, doors open, and passengers alight and board. After a predetermined timetabled dwell time, the doors would automatically close and the train depart unless the remote operator over-rides (e.g. due to heavy loading), and perhaps there could be an alarm if any doors are obstructed to alert the remote operator to investigate why.

The remote operator would be able to make public address announcements in the trains under their control, either routine service update announcements to all, or an announcement into a specific car on a specific train to admonish kids dicking about or respond to a passenger alarm / passenger query.

So, emergencies... Well if someone purposefully jumps under a train at the last second, no amount of technology is going to stop that without PEDs. In the event that someone has accidentally fallen onto the track, this would be spotted by the remote operator and the train stopped in time (if this is possible), or there could be some form of infra-red detection system along platforms as described before. There are emergency stop plungers on ATO line platforms too, as a further safeguard.

Train breaks down between stations... On modern stocks the driver is pretty much useless. On older stocks which have air pipes with cocks and simple electric circuits with chunky fuses which blow and can be replaced, the driver is also a train technician and can rectify almost all train defects and get the train moving again. When a 92, 95 or 96 (and now 2009 or S) stock breaks down, it's generally ****ed and the driver can do very little but wait for a train maintainer to appear and change a circuit board, so driver or not there's no difference really. All that a driver on a modern stock has is access to the on-board computerised train monitoring system which flags up what the defect is and where it is, this information could simply be transmitted to the remote operator instead. Indeed, the remote operator could basically go through all the checks a driver on board could go through remotely and even attempt to rectify remotely if possible... The days of a driver running up and down a defective train lifting up seats and cutting bits of equipment in and out will soon be over.

If a train does become irreparably defective between stations, on a modern stock all the driver does is make reassuring announcements and waits for assistance. The PAs can be made remotely by the remote operator. Everything that follows (usually the train behind being detrained and sent forward with a Train maintainer to assist, 'pushing out' if necessary), it doesn't really make any difference whether there is a driver on the stricken train or not.

Detraining between stations is always the absolute last resort, the train must literally be totally immobile (including being pushed or pulled by another train) before this is considered. For this reason I think emergency walkways are a little bit of a moot point: they should very very rarely be necessary. Whenever a train is detrained in the tunnel even now, nothing can happen until assisting staff from the station ahead have walked back to the train (drivers cannot perform this function alone) to count customers off the train and back on the platform, standing by hazards and obstacles, etc. On 7/7 no trains were detrained until station staff reached them, so what would be so different without a driver on board? As I said, the remote operator continues to make reassuring PAs, can pass instructions, interact with passengers via 2-way communications (like modern passenger alarms), and so forth.

In terms of cost-benefit I think there is a very strong argument for remote operation, and I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if it's been introduced on at least a couple of lines by the time I retire from LU.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #1154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iampuking View Post
LU also has very cramped an overcrowded stations without PEDs meaning passengers are sometimes only inches away from trains arriving and departing, there needs to be an operator to brake if someone has fallen, there was a death on DLR recently because of this. There are numerous more reasons...

I'd imagine the cost of installing PEDs of some sort at every single station (as on the automated lines of the Paris Metro) would far outweigh the cost of a few strikes.
Just going back to this point, since Tubeman answered my question earlier, the DLR does not have any track intrusion systems installed at stations.

Lightrail briefly described how it worked earlier, but here's a picture I had to dig up from my albums.



In Vancouver on the newer lines, looking towards the end of the platform, there are two main components of the platform intrusion system. Laser beams are installed on the trackbed and on the platform edge (as per photo at the end where there are boxes sticking out on a pole). As one crosses the laser beam on the platform edge, there will be an automatic warning message and a notification will be sent directly to the operations centre, which will have CCTV recording of the station. If someone or something falls in the track, crossing the platform lasers, an alarm rings and station attendants are generally dispatched to the station to check on things and give the clear ahead signal to run the trains back. On the occasion that someone does fall onto the trackbed as the train is entering the station, emergency brakes on-board trains are immediately activated and trains can make a full stop within two seconds, depending on the speed as it approaches the platform. Notice though, if there is something on the trackbed but doesn't cross the platform laser component, such as birds for instance, trains won't stop but the operations centre is notified. But as Tubeman mentioned, if one wants to suicide, they will find their ways.

The problem with this kind of system is when there is snow. If stations are constructed in a way where snow cannot enter the trackbed on an elevated stations, it's not too big of a problem. But if they aren't, then the intrusion systems must be turned off and station attendants must be present at the platforms themselves. Depending on the amount of snow, which doesn't happen in Vancouver often anyway, there are some instances where the trains are operated manually.

Either way though, systems need to be modernized in order to keep a system running smoothly. This will probably mean new signal systems or major improvements to old ones. So automation could be implemented slowly, replacing the aging infrastructure.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 04:49 AM   #1155
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It's not as stupid an idea as you might think.

It is perfectly possible to have unstaffed trains on LU, and to do so safely.

You throw in a lot of 'what ifs', but if you look at it rationally, on an ATO line like the Victoria the 'driver' only performs a function better performed by a human for about 5 seconds in every 3 minutes. That is, the act of closing the doors. The other 2 minutes 55 seconds of departing, accelerating, braking, stopping, and doors opening don't realistically require any human input at all... Although the 'driver' does press buttons to open doors and start the train, this could be easily automated too. Is it really cost effective to have a human sat on every single one of our peak service of 425 trains on £42,000 p.a.?

I honestly believe that once ATO is universal on LU lines (maybe 20 years time), with some technological developments we can have unstaffed trains. I'd envisage a control centre with remote operators responsible for several trains at once (for argument's sake, 5). They would have CCTV views of platforms, in each car, and forward facing from the train front. Between stations, the forward view would be shown, then as a train approaches a platform, the view would switch to that platform for assurance that the track and platform edge are clear and remain on the platform as the train stops, doors open, and passengers alight and board. After a predetermined timetabled dwell time, the doors would automatically close and the train depart unless the remote operator over-rides (e.g. due to heavy loading), and perhaps there could be an alarm if any doors are obstructed to alert the remote operator to investigate why.

The remote operator would be able to make public address announcements in the trains under their control, either routine service update announcements to all, or an announcement into a specific car on a specific train to admonish kids dicking about or respond to a passenger alarm / passenger query.

So, emergencies... Well if someone purposefully jumps under a train at the last second, no amount of technology is going to stop that without PEDs. In the event that someone has accidentally fallen onto the track, this would be spotted by the remote operator and the train stopped in time (if this is possible), or there could be some form of infra-red detection system along platforms as described before. There are emergency stop plungers on ATO line platforms too, as a further safeguard.

Train breaks down between stations... On modern stocks the driver is pretty much useless. On older stocks which have air pipes with cocks and simple electric circuits with chunky fuses which blow and can be replaced, the driver is also a train technician and can rectify almost all train defects and get the train moving again. When a 92, 95 or 96 (and now 2009 or S) stock breaks down, it's generally ****ed and the driver can do very little but wait for a train maintainer to appear and change a circuit board, so driver or not there's no difference really. All that a driver on a modern stock has is access to the on-board computerised train monitoring system which flags up what the defect is and where it is, this information could simply be transmitted to the remote operator instead. Indeed, the remote operator could basically go through all the checks a driver on board could go through remotely and even attempt to rectify remotely if possible... The days of a driver running up and down a defective train lifting up seats and cutting bits of equipment in and out will soon be over.

If a train does become irreparably defective between stations, on a modern stock all the driver does is make reassuring announcements and waits for assistance. The PAs can be made remotely by the remote operator. Everything that follows (usually the train behind being detrained and sent forward with a Train maintainer to assist, 'pushing out' if necessary), it doesn't really make any difference whether there is a driver on the stricken train or not.

Detraining between stations is always the absolute last resort, the train must literally be totally immobile (including being pushed or pulled by another train) before this is considered. For this reason I think emergency walkways are a little bit of a moot point: they should very very rarely be necessary. Whenever a train is detrained in the tunnel even now, nothing can happen until assisting staff from the station ahead have walked back to the train (drivers cannot perform this function alone) to count customers off the train and back on the platform, standing by hazards and obstacles, etc. On 7/7 no trains were detrained until station staff reached them, so what would be so different without a driver on board? As I said, the remote operator continues to make reassuring PAs, can pass instructions, interact with passengers via 2-way communications (like modern passenger alarms), and so forth.

In terms of cost-benefit I think there is a very strong argument for remote operation, and I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if it's been introduced on at least a couple of lines by the time I retire from LU.
Wahey, never expected such an essay. It all depends on whether the money of installing all of this equipment to display CCTV views from a central control centre and to employ all the people to manage the trains from there is cheaper than the current setup. Also this would ever rival the safety provided by a human on the train.

AFAIK, the tories don't plan on going through the trouble you have listed to make LU driverless but instead want a DLR style solution. Except without the passenger assistant.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 08:31 AM   #1156
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Tramlink?

I don't know if it is just me, but I cannot recall any recent photo postings or discussion of the tramlink service.

Anything interesting going on with that service? Id like to take a ride when I am in the UK in August.

Cheers, m
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 08:02 PM   #1157
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I don't know if it is just me, but I cannot recall any recent photo postings or discussion of the tramlink service.

Anything interesting going on with that service? Id like to take a ride when I am in the UK in August.

Cheers, m
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 08:26 PM   #1158
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Originally Posted by iampuking View Post
Wahey, never expected such an essay. It all depends on whether the money of installing all of this equipment to display CCTV views from a central control centre and to employ all the people to manage the trains from there is cheaper than the current setup. Also this would ever rival the safety provided by a human on the train.

AFAIK, the tories don't plan on going through the trouble you have listed to make LU driverless but instead want a DLR style solution. Except without the passenger assistant.
I decided to write a lot to explain my rationale, because I knew if I didn't you'd just start arguing with me

(it clearly worked)

Remote Operation is being seriously considered by LU long term, regardless of what some Tories just said last week. It is part of our strategy.

Look at it rationally: to introduce it on the Victoria Line once the 2009 TS has been introduced, what investment is required?

- ATO - Check
- CCTV in each car - Check
- Complete CCTV coverage of each platform-train interface - Check
- Wireless communications system - Check
- Ability for control to patch into train-borne public address - Check
- 2-way Passenger alarm communication - Check
- Emergency stop plungers on every platform - Check

So it's basically all there... All that's missing is the capability to remotely give the 'start' and door open / close commands, and activate the emergency brake, and transmission of the CCTV images back to control... All this could be very easily achieved via the 'Connect' radio system with small modifications.

As soon as this is done, you can set up a chap in the control centre to oversee 5 trains simultaneously on £40k rather than paying 5 times that for 5 drivers. Pays for itself within months, I suspect.
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Old June 23rd, 2010, 03:55 AM   #1159
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So you don't at all agree with that the Tories only want the tube to become driverless to fulfil their ideological agenda to diminish union power?
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Old June 23rd, 2010, 10:19 AM   #1160
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thanks for the information - very useful - but Id also like to see more photos and comments here.

Cheers, m
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