In the first part of this film you will hear some London Underground train drivers talking about their work. In the second part you will hear about the work of the Network Operations Centre of the London Underground.  They respond to emergencies on the Tube. 


Task 1 - vocabulary for the film

Task 2 - listen for the main ideas

Task 3 - listening for the numbers


Every day at 5 am 600 drivers clock on at 15 depots across London. ‘This is a test, testing, one, two, three, three, two, one’. Dylan Glennister is picking up his train at the west end of the Piccadilly Line, at Acton. ‘OK, this train is ready to depart. Stand clear of this train please’.  That’s just for the benefit of any cleaners or anything, that might be about to jump in. So as you can see, it’s absolutely creeping along at the moment because it’s this one carriage trying to pull all the others, now you can hear it go back online again, and here we go, off and away. It’s a great job, it really is. It is one of those jobs where you wake up in the morning and you don’t resent the fact that you have to go into work. It’s not a case of, ah God, I’ve got to go into work and drive trains all day. It’s right, OK, cup of tea, and go off to work. It’s nice to be part of the bigger picture on the underground. You know, it’s the life blood of London.

‘Train’s ready to depart, mind the closing doors please. Stand clear.’

London Underground employs 3,200 drivers. Each one dedicated to one of the eleven lines.

It’s one of these jobs that I don’t think everyone could do. You’ve got to be, I suppose in way, be able to deal with your own company.

‘Hello!’  ‘Hi Honey?’ ‘ Good morning Madam!’  You can sit here and be bored if you want or you can get on with it and enjoy it and talk to people.

I’ve been doing it a while now. It’s been about 31 years so I’ve seen quite a few things – some good, some bad.

It’s not what we do that we get paid for. Probably most people could drive a train. It’s knowing what to do when it all goes very badly wrong, and it can go so easily wrong.

It can be dangerous, and the things you see people do, it’s er, well it’s mind boggling, some of the things. Some people I think leave their brain outside.

Every year there are 4,000 incidents of passengers being injured on the tube. Two and a half thousand involve people falling down stairs and escalators. Nearly 500 happen on platforms, including 40 serious accidents involving trains.

The Network Operations Centre responds to all emergencies across the 274 stations and 526 trains.

‘I’ve got a male,  49, conscious, breathing and not all that alert’.

Our primary role is command and control function. We come into things when things go wrong.

‘They suspect he’s having a heart attack’. It’s either abject boredom, or organised chaos.

Andy Hogg: Network Operations Centre Duty Manager There’s absolutely nothing happening and everything’s quiet and then the phone goes off and someone’s thrown themself in front of a train. A person under a train is commonly referred to as a ‘one under’ by tube staff. It’s the most distressing and disruptive incident the network has to face.

The Network Operations Centre have their own Emergency Response Units covering the entire tube system 24 hours a day.

‘Two small air bags, two large air bags, two k? hammers, large bolt cutters.’  There are four Emergency Response Centres across the city . The busiest cover central and northern London.

(…)Paul McCarthy Emergency Response Unit. ‘We’re doing our daily checks. We’ve just started our shift, so we generally like to come in, go through all the vehicles, all of the equipment (watch out for this pole).

Any emergency on the underground, anything that could put passengers in danger, we basically get called out to. (….) We’re a long standing team, we’ve been together for about 10 years now. We’ve seen most, there’s not a lot that can shock us (Two body bags, let’s hope we don’t need them both today).


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I like to watch the video and listening the different accents.