The Tube: Going Underground

If you’re a Londoner, you probably have a love/hate relationship with the Tube. We have an ongoing debate about which is worst - the Central or Northern line.

The Tube: Going Underground is a new series starting on Channel 5 on Monday March 21 2016 at 9pm.

We all know the Tube is full to bursting. It now carries almost five million passengers a day, so keeping the Underground moving is a daily battle for its 20,000 staff. From train drivers to the stressed and hassled station staff and managers to the ever-busy emergency response team, this is the story of how they deal with us – the passengers. Filmed over a year of enormous change, this series goes behind the scenes as the Tube tries to transform itself with a ten-billion-pound modernisation to cope with record demand. But for its long-suffering workers, who deal with us at our best and worst every day, keeping the Underground moving is more than a job.

In episode one we discover the secret army battling to keep the Tube running – during the twice-daily hell known as rush hour, when over four million passengers test the ageing system to its limits.

Behind closed doors at Earl’s Court station, Charlotte controls the Piccadilly Line, one of London’s busiest, most unreliable – and oldest. A single problem on any one of her trains could bring the whole line to a halt. In this epsisode she has to find a way to keep the line running at capacity – despite drivers reporting an epidemic of flat wheels on their trains and thousands of passengers cramming into her 44-year-old trains every day. But with Tube trains travelling the equivalent of six times around the world every day, the repair workshop must work round the clock to keep her trains on the tracks.

At Bank, which deals with two million passengers a week, new recruit Naeem faces furious passengers when a strike hits the network. Naeem sends the angry passengers to London Bridge instead – where supervisor Peter is then forced to close the station.

In the West End, Holborn station supervisor Tony attempts a bold new experiment to cut congestion at his overloaded station. He wants to break decades of Tube tradition – by asking passengers not to walk up one side of the escalators, but stand on both sides instead. He soon discovers that changing the habits of the bad tempered rush hour travelling public isn’t as easy as it looks. Nice try Tony!

As a born and bred city girl, I love seeing behind the scenes London so will definitely be tuning in.

The Tube: Going Underground
Monday March 21 at 9pm on Channel 5