Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Holy billowing clouds of smoke, Batman!

So... There I am, on the first trip of the day, when all of a sudden, I get honks and yells from passing cars and pedestrians... Looking out the window into the rear view mirror, what did I see? Smoke. Loads of it. All coming from my engine compartment.

Oh !

So, The drill is to pull over, evacuate the passengers, turn the bus off, and investigate the source of the smoke (without getting myself fried to a crisp in the process, of course).

And all the time, a lady with a buggy is demanding to know how she was going to continue her journey.

OK, I was actually polite to the mercenary wotsit, despite her seeing that I was somewhat busy with making sure the bus didn't catch light, talking to the engineers on the phone, and trying to figure out where the damn smoke was coming from, but ye bleeding gods, I was tempted writ large to ask her if she wanted to be regular or extra crispy when it went up!

Anyhow, short version, the engineers are currently (as I write this) on the way with another bus for me, and the buggy lady naffed off on another route (having been transferred by me in the interim), so all well and done.

...Update, a little over an hour and a half later...

Or so I thought...

I then, fifteen minutes later, got a call from the engineers, telling me "Oops, the sub(substitute) bus has broken down". Oh, . So, now I was to figure out what the problem with my bus was. Easy enough, open the side door where the smoke was coming from, and assuming that it doesn't catch light with the inrush of oxygen, have a dekko. OK, I'm game for a laugh, so did as asked. Seems the auxiliary belt that powers the driver's aircon unit had let go, and was catching on a couple of the working pullies, thus causing rubbing, heat, melting, and thus lots and lots of horrid smoke. Oh yeah, almost forgot. The darn thing fell out onto the road surface when I opened the side door to the engine compartment. Easy to diagnose, that one.

So, I phoned them back and told them.

And got told to spin the bus round, and get my backside, out of service, to the route midpoint, where a fresh bus would sub my existing bus. OK, fair dos, thinks I, and goes ahead and does it.

Silly me. I forgot that the left hand rarely talks to the right hand in this business. What do i get when I arrive at the mid point bus station?

Yup. you guessed it.

"Carry on, driver. It'll be subbed at the other end."

Was it heck. The controller at the other end wasn't too chuffed either, when I got there some twenty minutes late for the handover to the next driver, and explained what had happened.

Wonder if the rest of the shift is going to be as... interesting (think the Chinese insult)..?

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