The Piccadilly Line between Hyde Park and Arnos Grove re-opened yesterday. I was on one of the trains in the evening heading Westbound from King's Cross after sending off a friend. Our car wasn't as pack as it would usually would. Apparently people weren't aware that it has been re-opened.
There were quite a few seats. Among those seated were Londoners, visitors from the Midlands and tourists. Some were chatting, some had their eyes closed, a Harry Potter book lingered on a lady's lap while her partner reads The Times.
A couple of hundred yards in things got a little quieter. The tourists did not know but we knew. As we rattled along the sections where a bomb exploded on the Piccadilly Line train number 311 four weeks ago we kept mum. It was a chilling short experience. I had goose bumps.
The tunnel was dark so we couldn't see anything. I realised what a small tunnel this is. The wall seems barely inches away from the window. An explosion here would have been devastating. Where we were standing and sitting some 70 feet below the ground on the 1973 stock, 26 people died there that day.
Once we cleared Russell Square I removed the Guardian newspaper from my messenger bag, fumbled with my mobile phone and inserted my earphones into my ear canal and started listening to The Killers. Soon more people boarded at Leicester Square, revellers returning from China Town, tourists heading back to Green Park or South Kensington.
It was fucking hot. It was noisy again. Those pesky and rowdy European english students! I just want to walk up and shut em up!
This blog post was inspired by 'Hello Piccadilly, it's good to see you back' article by Andrew Gilligan (Evening Standard, 4th August 2005)