This Is…Not Good

No fun if you have to get to work through certain swathe of London, but this item certainly satisfied the quota for my nightly weird:

London’s Victoria tube line is currently suspended after an engineering team flooded a control room with fast-setting concrete.

That would be a problem.  Photos at the link.


I suppose this is as good an excuse as any of us need for an open thread.

Image: Claude Monet, Train in the Snow, 1875


29 replies
  1. 1
    🎂 Martin says:

    How the hell do you do that without noticing?

  2. 2
    The Dangerman says:

    New rules to live by:

    (1) Never trust London engineers with a hot load

    (2) If ever visiting Cole in West Virginia, never ask for a shaved ice

  3. 3
    John Cole says:

    No shit. It’s not like it’s just a little bit of quickcrete. Didn’t anyone pouring say to themselves- wow, this is taking a lot of cubic meters of concrete to fill this little area.

    Tell me why we are worried about legalized marijuana again? Look at what we do sober.

  4. 4

    It pumps like slurry, or sludge. Not quite water, but very water-like in behavior. If the target construction site is below ground, and the big cement truck is up on the surface, it’s an easy jump to have something give way and let the goo push into someplace it’s not intended to go. Like a data center, from the looks of it.

    Pull out the disaster recovery plans! Oh…. you don’t, uh …. have one of those … do you?

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Apparently, the pouring was being done nearby, and it leaked into the control room. So it’s not like it’s totally braindead, just mostly.

  6. 6
    jl says:

    This is almost as bizarre as some of Cole’s household disasters. Almost.

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    Meanwhile, a ghost ship filled with cannibal rats heads for Britain’s shores.

    Or so the intertubes tell me.

  8. 8
    Ken says:

    Given the underground location, probably a black op to put down a ghoul infestation. You’d think they could come up with a better cover story, though.

  9. 9
    Ignaz Playel says:

    Hmmm. I suppose this problem could be solved if the “insert concrete here” pipe and the “data center drainage” pipe were different sizes. Like diesel and unleaded gasoline nozzles.

  10. 10
    chopper says:


    “Inflammable means flammable?! what a country!”

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    The Laundry is usually much better at covering their tracks than this. I am concerned.

  12. 12
    jl says:

    @chopper: For the sake of this blog, I’m glad Cole has been home, (edit: at least partially) sound if not entirely safe, and that Tunch has been called away on higher business. Sounds like something they could pull off, so I was worried for a sec, at least about Cole.

  13. 13
    Ignaz Playel says:

    @Elizabelle: o.k. I understand why the Candian’s didn’t bother to fetch their ship. They were taking it to a scrapyard in the Dominican Republic anyway. But if canibal rats are o.k. for the Dominican Republic, why should the UK be worried. It’s not like they don’t have rats there already.

  14. 14
    Librarian says:

    “Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Concrete?”

  15. 15
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @John Cole: Look at what we do sober.

    Like attempt to shave our cat’s ass.

  16. 16
    jl says:

    @Ignaz Playel: It concerns me that Canada is behind the deserted cannibal rat ship apocalypse. In an earlier thread, I wondered whether Canada has gone rogue. Time for some ‘nation building’ up north? Rob Ford, Justin Bieber, now this enormity.

  17. 17
    catclub says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Who says he was sober doing that?

    Although he apparently sobered up pretty quick.

  18. 18
    gbear says:

    @John Cole:

    I’ve heard a horror story about a house that had a fuel oil furnace but updated to a natural gas furnace. The oil tank was removed from their basement, but whoever removed the tank didn’t remove the exterior fill pipe. The fuel oil company came by the house on a regular schedule, and it wasn’t until he noticed that the tank was really taking a lot of fuel that he realized he was filling up the basement of the house with fuel oil. Bummer.

  19. 19
    jl says:

    Time for something uplifting, wholesome and edifying: Other than not having enough pics of Ms. Vonn to illustrate the basic principles involved, it is an excellent story.

    Lindsey Vonn: It’s Sexy to Be Strong Instead of ‘Skinny-Fat’

  20. 20
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    On the subject of cat’s asses:

    OK, I understand what Cole was trying to do. Dingleberries on medium/longhairs are a problem. However, one trims gently, one does not attempt to turn them into feline opposite ends of Yul Brenner or Patrick Stewart. Also, one calls in help to control the nervous animal (hey, how would YOU like to have some hairless ape poking around your nether regions with sharp objects, ESPECIALLY considering what happened the last time you were not wary in that situation) you call in a friend to assist, don’t try this by yourself, people. I mean, if there’s ever a “what could possibly go wrong?” situation, this is definitely it.

  21. 21
    scav says:

    That spill of coffee is a little unusually thick . . . what did they use for creamer again?

  22. 22
    chopper says:

    @🎂 Martin:

    “Waddya mean ‘you can’t put dish soap in the dishwasher’?!”

  23. 23
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @John Cole: John, you’ve obviously never worked with people from the UK.

  24. 24
    RepubAnon says:

    It really sounds like something the BOFH and his sidekick, the pimply-faced youth (PFY) would come up with. Check

  25. 25
    Jim Bales says:


    A colleague of mine in one of the Engineering departments and I were looking at the photos this afternoon. Our response was two-fold
    1) Thank God we were several thousand miles away when it happened, and
    2) My day is not going nearly as poorly as I thought.

    Here’s hoping that they can get the signaling/switching gear set right quickly (where “quickly” means “given that you’ve snuck a chunk of it in concrete”)!

    And, the worldwide understatement of the day may go to the Tube management:
    “[S]ervices are now unlikely to return to normal today on the entire line.”

    Or tomorrow either!


  26. 26
    🎂 Martin says:

    @chopper: Well, you can put dish soap in the dishwasher…

  27. 27
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Jim Bales:

    Here’s hoping that they can get the signaling/switching gear set right quickly

    Fortunately, the Victoria line is only fifty years old, so those switches are probably easier to fix or replace than the ones on the older lines. It’s actually one of the best Tube lines, too, and the work on the station is needed to accommodate the thousands of commuters going between the mainline station and Underground at rush hour.

    The contractors? The hilariously named Vinci/BAM Nuttall

    Like most London construction projects, you’re dealing with years and years of previous work, lots of which isn’t well-documented, but this was clearly a fuckup for the ages.

  28. 28
    DaddyJ says:

    Ye gods, dodged a bullet! We were just in London for four days and Victoria was our nearest tube stop. Would have thrown a big monkey wrench into our trip. Nothing beats the tube for getting around London.

  29. 29
    Starlit says:

    I found this an inspiration to us all, but that was when I thought this story was a preface to a union strike story, or summat.

Comments are closed.