Underground: The Tube goes behind the scenes of the world's oldest, biggest and busiest underground train network, during the biggest overhaul in its 150 year history. Filmed with unique access to all areas of the Tube, this series takes us to places we've always wanted to see - behind hoardings to reveal massive new engineering works; inside the command centre to find out what running the world's most complex train set is really like; and into the hidden world of the Underground at night. The series follows key members of the Tube's 19,000 staff - from the chief operating officer down to the litter pickers who walk miles of track every night collecting rubbish. Drivers, station staff and emergency response workers all reveal their unique perspective on the passengers. From tourists to suburban commuters to drunks getting the last train home, we capture the life of the Tube in all its guises. And with ten billion pounds currently being spent on the biggest upgrade of any rail network ever, we show how the process of dragging a Victorian infrastructure kicking and screaming into the 21st century doesn't always run on rails.
A major track replacement operation at Harrow on the Hill threatens to disrupt the weekday service, while at Leicester Square on a busy Saturday night a woman is pushed on to the live tracks. In the last 10 years, passenger numbers on the Tube at the weekend have doubled. This is the story of how the Tube copes with our changing expectations of the weekend.
Every day on the Underground 60,000 journeys are made and not paid for costing London Underground 20 million a year in unpaid fares. Diane McConnell and Denese Brunker are two of the Tube's longest-serving ticket inspectors and are known as the Cagney and Lacey of the Underground. We follow Diane and Denese, and other plain-clothes revenue inspectors on the Tube, as they pursue fare evaders across the network. We find what happens to the evaders and how all the money from tickets is being spent.
For Tube drivers, their worst fear is somebody jumping or falling in front of their train. We follow what happens when this fear becomes a distressing reality for two drivers. And we meet the crews of the Tube's specialised emergency response units as they're scrambled to deal with any eventuality on the Underground, from accidents and injuries to mysterious obstructions on the line. Plus how the Tube and its dedicated British Transport Police officers cope with the demands of the Notting Hill Carnival.
The number of passengers on the Tube has gone up by a third in the last 10 years. David Waboso, London Underground's head of upgrades, thinks he has the answer. But new trains on the Victoria Line keep letting him down because of a problem with the doors - and a newly-installed signal fails, causing huge delays. At Tottenham Court Road station, supervisor Barry Griffiths is keeping the crowds moving - in the midst of huge rebuilding works which will make the station six times bigger. But will his customers be impressed with the results?
Rush hour is the Tube's biggest test but it can be too much for some passengers. Station Supervisor Bob Weedon at Bank has to deal with five injuries and faintings in a row during one rush hour crush. Chief operating officer Howard Collins must muck in when a power failure on the Jubilee Line threatens to disrupt the evening peak. And the Tube's most unusual employee, a hawk called Toyah, is put to work on pigeon patrol.
Every night, 10,000 workers descend on the Tube to maintain, repair and clean it. We follow this invisible overnight army as they work against the clock in the four-hour window when the power is off. From hard-working Bulgarian cleaner Vladimir, who is amazed that the British government pays for people not to work, to 23-year-old Harry leading his gang of fluffers picking fibres and lint from the tracks. Meanwhile pest controller Mick is called to a smelly problem at Hounslow Central, while emergency response worker Roy gets inside one of the Underground's disused ghost stations, Down Street.