New tube trains are on the way for the Victoria line courtesy of Metronet Rail who are one of the private companies tasked with maintaining and upgrading sections of the tube.
They are looking to introduce 47 new higher spec trains that they claim "will be capable of operating at a higher maximum speed, and with faster acceleration, enabling station-to-station times to be improved by up to 10%".
OK, maybe not faster station to station times but certainly faster to the point where you stop in between stations times.
Except wait, they’re also introducing a new signalling system to improve the overall performance as well. It all sounds too good to be true.
So of course it is.
"Metronet hopes to have two trains in service by early 2009 and the rest of the fleet will be delivered by 2011".
Obviously we're disappointed as this seems like a long time but also we're confused as this seems like an odd business strategy because by 2011 we'll all be commuting using our personal jet-packs, making improved trains redundant.
Metronet actually look after 80% of the underground network and their website does list some impressive figures as they currently look after:
347 trains, over 471 miles of track and 1,263 points and crossings
155 stations, 187 escalators, 2 travelators and 36 lifts
plus 77.5 miles of deep Tube tunnels, 806 bridges, 103 miles of embankments and cuttings, signalling and other “hidden” assets vital to run an underground train service
Most of that stuff we understand but what the hell is a "Hidden" asset?
We're hoping it's genetically modified smart-mice that may look like they’re running between tracks looking for food but are actually performing intricate wiring repairs.