News / Europe

London's 'Tube' Plays Crucial Olympics Role

London's 'Tube' Has Crucial Olympics Rolei
|| 0:00:00
X
Al Pessin
July 12, 2012 2:46 PM
London's famous underground train system, known as the Tube, is expected to play a crucial role in moving people around the city during the Olympics. But the nearly 150-year-old system is already crowded and prone to mechanical failures and other delays. VOA London Correspondent Al Pessin went down into the Tube to find out how workers are preparing for some of their most crowded 'rush hours' ever.

London's 'Tube' Has Crucial Olympics Role

Al Pessin
LONDON — The British capital's famous underground train system, known as the Tube, is expected to play a crucial role in moving people around the city during the Summer Olympic Games.  But the nearly 150-year-old system is already crowded and prone to mechanical failures and other delays. Workers are preparing for some of their most crowded 'rush hours' ever.

Massive overhaul

Head into the Tube and you never quite know what you might find. With 12 million passengers passing through every day - and three million more expected during the Olympics - the Tube is its own world.  Trains run just minutes apart, sometimes at speeds approaching 100 kilometers per hour.  The Tube even has its own cultural corners.

In recent years, The Tube has undergone a $10 billion renovation, upgrading stations and large segments of its 400 kilometers of tracks.

The official in charge of making sure it all runs smoothly during the Olympics, Mark Evers, says much of that work was focused on being ready for the Games.

"We've done everything that we possibly can do to ensure that we have a reliable system during the Games.  But things can happen. But what we've done is to make sure that we have got staff on hand to deal with those incidents as quickly as possible," Evers explained. "If we did lose one of the lines serving the Olympic Park say, there are another 10 lines we can send people on.  So we're confident that we will get people around."

Elaborate system

The Tube system is extensive, with 11 lines serving 270 stations, and it connects to dozens more lines of overground trains and inter-city services.  It can be confusing, particularly for people who have never been here before and don't speak English, like many Olympics visitors.

Olympics organizing committee member Jonathan Edwards counsels planning, patience, and allowing extra time.

"Nobody thinks this is going to be easy.  Nobody thinks there aren't going to be challenges.  But we're working very hard to minimize those.  And of course as always, we rely on the cooperation and the patience and good will of the public at large," he said.

The Olympic Park is at Stratford in East London, site of one of the Tube's most modern stations.  It is a crossing point for five lines and these days it is adorned with signs pointing fans to the Games.

Tube officials have done what they can with signs, technology and staff training.

But the renovations and technology can't solve all the problems.

Minor delays are common, and there could well be a major breakdown, or a flood or electrical failure as happened in recent months.

And all the preparation in the world won't guarantee that everyone to makes their connections.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid