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31 May 2005: Exercise This

A picture

Rotherhithe Station

The DLR is not the fastest of transport routes, but it does what it says on the tin. It is far more reliable that the so-called services of the London Underground. Every morning, I catch the DLR at Canning Town and travel towards the City. The DLR never seems to change its demeanor, slow and methodical, carrying out its assigned duties as it does every day.

Until the final leg of the journey, that is. When the train departs Shadwell, it begins its descent into the earth and Dante joins us. The train shakes and shudders like Space Mountain and woe betide the one who is not holding on for dear life. Eventually, the train makes it to the terminus, and a wave of commuters spill out onto the subterranean platform at Bank. The train often feels compelled to commicate its anguish at this point, and unleashes a sound best described as a scream.

Recovering from a rollercoaster ride, deep underground, trapped within a crowd of aggressive strangers, listening to a screaming train; you would be forgiven for asking yourself: Why?