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The Great London Tube Reversal

clean the tube using the trains
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The London Tube system is full of dust - many decades of it.

In order to initiate a deep clean process, the Underground have announced that all tube trains will run in reverse direction for exactly one 24 hour period, and have launched a passenger consultation to determine the most agreeable date for the reversal.

Reversing the entire system is designed to help disturb and dislodge the thick layers of dust and other detritus that has accumulated on the normally protected 'leeward' side of all pillars, cables, supporting structures and various diverse nooks and crannies. These are sheltered from the prevailing vortex/slip stream of the passing trains always being in the same direction, so will be easily dislodged when the great reversal takes place.

Passenger journeys will be unaffected if they simply pay attention, and use the train on the opposite side of the track, which will travel backwards to its previous station on the line instead of to the next one.

Commemorative protective masks will be issued to all passengers in anticipation of the potential hazard of the resulting clouds of nuisance dust.

A special 'hoover train' will follow up on each line to complete the deep clean, then everything will return to normal service.

xenzag, Apr 01 2018

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       // everything will return to normal service. //   

       i.e. hot, crowded, smelly, dirty and incredibly expensive.   

       So, no good news, then ?
8th of 7, Apr 01 2018
  

       Nice clean tubes, and you get to travel backwards for a day. Did I mention that instead of paying for your usual journey the money also reverses direction and goes into your account instead? (this consession only applies to season ticket holders of course)
xenzag, Apr 01 2018
  

       I think all tube trains should drag massive bottle-brushes behind them
hippo, Apr 01 2018
  

       The entire network should be flooded with warm, soapy water for a day. Those inclined to continue their commute regardless would be issued with scuba gear.
mitxela, Apr 01 2018
  

       Imagine it all being flushed into the Thames Estuary at once, as if a largeish squid had been startled while engulfing Southend.
pertinax, Apr 01 2018
  

       <imagining/>   

       <manic cackling and arm-flapping/>   

       // massive bottle-brushes //   

       That would only work if the tunnel bores were smooth, and close to cylindrical. In reality, they vary from irregularly segmented (even then, with lots of clutter attached to the sides, just outside the kinematic envelope of the trains) to rectangular (for the older near-surface cut-and-cover tunnels).
8th of 7, Apr 01 2018
  

       I find tunnel bores not always smooth, mostly close to cylindrical as you point out, nevertheless I tend to move away and stand elsewhere lest I have to engage in any kind of interaction with them.
Ian Tindale, Apr 01 2018
  

       you could do a reverse car wash : have a train of hot-water/soap tanks, with roller-articulated high-pressure sprays... probably have to refill at every station so it might take a few weeks to do the entire system, each time. Good idea, though, except the first time would probably kill everything in whatever body of water gets the effluent.
FlyingToaster, Apr 01 2018
  

       <peers over platform edge at exposed 4-rail 630V 5000A DC power supply/>   

       <verifies almost total lack of waterproofing of electrical installations/>   

       Excellent !   

       <more manic cackling and arm-flapping/>
8th of 7, Apr 02 2018
  

       Why not just power up the live rail to, say, a couple of hundred kV for a moment, and let electrostatic attraction do its work? Then just run a special rail-hoovering-train through the system.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 02 2018
  

       Actually, it would be really cool to do the microbiome of the London Underground.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 02 2018
  

       So that it could be brought back to life in another 100 million years?
Ian Tindale, Apr 02 2018
  

       //do the microbiome of the London Underground//   

       You put your left leg in, your left leg out...
Wrongfellow, Apr 02 2018
  

       // brought back to life in another 100 million years //   

       "Jurassic Tube" ?
8th of 7, Apr 02 2018
  

       //<peers over platform edge at exposed 4-rail 630V 5000A DC power supply/>//   

       Spots opportunity for really fast phone charger?   

       //Actually, it would be really cool to do the microbiome of the London Underground.//   

       Only in the sense that cool and terrific are synonyms. I'll bet there's some real monsters down there, 100+ years of the accumulated human slime of billions. Near infinite rats, exotic carbon species from soot and frequent high energy electrical arcs... like a Miller-Urey* experiment with more interesting starting conditions. Didn't they find some Godzilla-sized virus in an old chimney?   

       * They might have had much more success had they replicated the >50 atmospheres of early Earth atmosphere.
bs0u0155, Apr 02 2018
  

       // >50 atmospheres of early Earth atmosphere //   

       "Atmospheric" pressure is determined by the planetary gravity field. On your planet, atmospheric pressure can't exceed its current value as the field hasn't changed. Even with a much denser gas mix, 100 Bar is unrealistic.   

       If you want 100 Bar, you need liquid, not gas.   

       // Didn't they find some Godzilla-sized virus in an old chimney? //   

       Yes. He's now leader of the labour party.
8th of 7, Apr 02 2018
  

       Is the collective aware of Venus, or was it around the back of the Sun, and what with it being a Bank Holliday weekend...?
bs0u0155, Apr 02 2018
  

       Or indeed Saturn ... gravity slightly higher than your planet, surface pressure 140 kPa ...   

       So, you are paying attention after all. Amazing.
8th of 7, Apr 03 2018
  
      
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