I was offered overtime for last night late yesterday afternoon, so I accepted.

I had to drive a train to Luton, have a break, drive back down to Dartford and then run empty to Smithfield Sidings before travelling to Blackfriars and getting a taxi back home.

Smithfield Sidings is located in the tunnels between City Thameslink and Farringdon. It has two roads which can each accommodate a RLU.

We only use Smithfield Sidings during times of disruption or when there’s literally nowhere else to stable a train so it’s unusual for this to be part of a booked job.

I’ve never actually taken a train in or out of Smithfield Sidings before (despite “signing it”) so this was something new for me.

Usually, when travelling north we must stop at City Thameslink to raise the pantographs and switch power supplies (we use 750v third rail south of City Thameslink and 25kv overhead lines northwards).

However, Smithfield Sidings only has a third rail power supply, so before reaching City Thameslink we must remember to disable the automatic power changeover as we may forget that the pantographs have raised or muck around dropping them again. We also need to contact the signaller whilst at City Thameslink to confirm that the pantographs are down so that we get given the signal to proceed into the sidings.

It’s route knowledge like this that we need to maintain for that one time we end up having to do a move that we’re not ordinarily familiar with.

The booked taxi arrived early (a new, electric London Black Cab) and the driver was keen to get back home to Essex after dropping me off, so I ended up getting home 40 minutes earlier than I was due to book off at the depot 👍🏻

I’m working overtime again tonight, but covering part of a Luton job only.

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