Cinematically mobile in the curved underworld of greater London

It's interesting: videos like these – made by Tube drivers in the tunnels under London as they route trains through the stations of the city – became controversial last week... but not for the reason I would have expected.

On Thursday, the BBC reported that "Tube drivers caught video-recording their journey and posting them on the internet could face disciplinary action" – and so my immediate thought was that this was because the videos would compromise Tube security.
In other words, wannabe terrorists would simply study these and other such videos in order to find points of vulnerability in London's infrastructure: soft spots, weaknesses, CCTV-free zones.
But no: apparently the real worry is that the drivers aren't paying attention. As one commuter explained to the BBC: "I'll wait for the next [train] because I feel the driver isn't focused and not doing what he should be doing."
After all, instead of paying attention to sudden and inexplicable deviations in the tracks ahead, the driver's too busy constructing a new subterranean Hollywood-on-Thames, cinematically mobile in the curved underworld of greater London.

(BBC story – and YouTube links – spotted on Metafilter. Earlier on BLDGBLOG: London Topological).

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Filming Of Pelham 1-2-3.

July 15, 2007 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"and so my immediate thought was that this was because the videos would compromise Tube security."

The whole GWAT paranoia seems to have affected everyone...

July 15, 2007 11:07 PM  
Blogger deepstructure said...

amazing. i never assumed driving a train was all that difficult to begin with, but it seems pretty obvious on viewing that the camera isn't handheld and is simply fixed in a position and turned on. how distracting is that to a driver? by that logic all the cops in the united states who ride with cameras recording in their polic cars should be suspended. and then where would "world's scariest police chases" be?

July 16, 2007 1:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised the cams aren't already installed on every train.

July 16, 2007 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on guys. You write from the USA, forgetting that the UK is probably the nation which has the record of cameras per square meter. That might be useful (and certainly is) but it also so much reminds of Orwell's nasty television spying! It's enough of the useless WWW. Sometimes, honestly, it's too much. Besides, the tube in the UK is USELESS! The drivers'd better try and improve their service rather than filming tunnels, honestly.

July 17, 2007 4:38 AM  
Blogger nstraghalis said...

Someone should do a Rivers of Light style DVD of this.

But now that I look into it, those aerial videos have disappeared from the Grass Collective site. Maybe an industrious helicopter traffic reporter flying over the San Diego freeway will make their own and upload it to Youtube.

July 17, 2007 4:25 PM  

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