One of Boris’s promises that is never actually going to happen was this one:

I also want to improve the Tube. In the short-term, we must look again at air-conditioning on the Tube.  It is incredible that we can make mobile phones as small as credit cards yet still not work out a way to get air-conditioning on the Tube. I want to see air-conditioning on new trains on the sub-surface lines, like the Hammersmith & City Line, Circle Line, Metropolitan Line and District Line. I will order TfL to re-investigate getting air-conditioning on the deep lines, like the Northern Line, Jubilee Line, Bakerloo Line, Piccadilly Line and the Victoria Line.

OK.  Well, it’s two years into the short term and what’s happened thus far is that TfL have stopped handing water out at Tube stations in hot weather but nary a sight have we of an air-conditioned tube train in service, not counting the ‘air-cooled’ new Victoria Line stock.  Now, a year ago we had Boris take the usual credit-for-nothing-to-do-with-him PR boost from this story about the first S-Stock sub-surface train for the Metropolitan Line, on the occasion of it moving down south for testing and it now seems that public service is upon us, with reports of the new trains running in passenger service from tomorrow.

Also, this just appeared on my indications and warnings board:

PASSENGER SERVICE MEDIA EVENT MONDAY, 2nd AUGUST 2010
The following paths will be available for S8 stock to convey passengers in connection with a media event on the above date. These paths will run in passenger service between Wembley Park and Watford, calling at Wembley Park, Harrow-on-the-Hill and then all intermediate stations between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Watford.

Train No. 402 402 402
Neasden Depot (F) 10 25 (empty) 12 53 (empty) 14 33 (empty)
Wembley Park (pfm 1) arr 10 31 (entrain) 12 59 (entrain) 14 39 (entrain)
dep 10 33 13 03 14 41
FL FL FL
Harrow-on-the-Hill (pfm 3) 10c40½ 13b10½ 14 47½
LL LL LL
Northwood 10 51½ 13 22 14 58½
Moor  Park 10 54½ 13 25 15 01½
Watford South Junction 10/56½ 13/27 15/03½
Watford arr 11 02 13 32½ 15 10
Pfm No. 1 2 2
dep 11 08½ 13 38½ 15 18
Watford South Junction 11/13½ 13/43½ 15/23
Moor Park 11 15½ 13 45½ 15 25
Northwood 11 18½ 13 48½ 15 28
Harrow-on-the-Hill (pfm 6) 11 30 14 00 15 40
FL FL FL
Wembley Park (pfm 6) arr 11 35 (detrain) 14 05 (detrain) 15 45½ (detrain)
dep 11 37 (empty) 14 07 (empty) 15 47½ (empty)
Neasden Depot (N) 11 43 14 13 15 54

Now, given that the Mayor will turn up to the opening of an envelope if there’s a camera there, the chances of a ‘media event’ involving an air-conditioned Underground train *not* involving Boris are frankly too low to worry about, so I’ll put folding money on this being Boris’s Great PR Push to pretend that he’s met his manifesto commitment.  Frankly it’s not hard to meet a manifesto commitment when the trains were already under construction, and I trust the gentlemen of the press invited along for the occasion won’t just mechanically churn out a slightly rewritten version of the TfL press release to give the impression that he has.  What’s that, Skippy?  I’m a naive, trusting bastard if I think that?

Anyway, if anyone wants to turn up at Wembley Park at 10:31, 12:59 and 14:39 and, if he’s there, point out to Boris and friends that he’s literally done nothing but sit back and let TfL carry on with what Metronet had started, feel free, if nothing else you’ll get a nice, cool ride on a shiny new train that’s been on order for the best part of six years.  Tell ‘em I sent you.

 

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