First S Stock train in passenger service

The brand-spanking new S Stock, previously only seen by the pubic in mock-up form, had its first public outing yesterday, departing from Wembley Park and arriving at Watford before making a return journey. These are the first new trains in service since the 2009 stock Victoria line trains started appearing around this time last year.

The first schoolboy error of the day on my part was misreading the ‘Weekend Closure‘ list and incorrectly assuming that both the Metropolitan and Jubilee lines were completely closed. Except they weren’t, well, not completely. Instead, taking the Victoria line to Oxford Circus, the Bakerloo to Wembley somewhere and then a 2xx bus, I managed to get to Wembley Park a little quicker than I imagined.

Quiet when I arrived, the platform was soon full of people with cameras, which was great, except when at the last minute they stood right in front of me. Grrrrr. Anyway, a little after its rumoured 10.50am arrival at platform 1 of Wembley Park, it appeared, or more accurately, it crept in, silently:

First S Stock train in passenger service 31-07-2010

After a short delay, which involved one of LU’s testers forcibly (and quite rightly so) making sure his son was the first ‘passenger’ on the first official train, the rest of us were let on for the initial journey that would take us to Watford and back.

First S Stock train in passenger service 31-07-2010 First S Stock train in passenger service 31-07-2010

Yay:   Quite cool, much better than the 2009 stock.

Meh:     The train wasn’t *that* crowded and it wasn’t that hot – did the dial need to be turned to ‘cold’ a little more?

Yay:   It was quiet – I hardly heard any noise when the train was approaching.

Yay:   Automated announcements and driver’s announcements were crystal clear, unlike the 2009 stock.

Yay:   Lots of space, even if that means fewer seats. Hey, this is the way of the world: London’s a busy place. The walk-through bits will give even more space.

Meh:    Due, at least in part, to DDA rules, all poles are yellow. Great for the partially-sighted, but there’s very little feel of the Metropolitan purple around.

Yay/Meh:  Still unsure about the moquette, although it looks very like Liquorice Allsorts to me. Not as bad as I first thought, but is it only a matter of time until it gets replaced by fleet-wide standard moquette?

First S Stock train in passenger service 31-07-2010

Yay: Because of the cantilever-style seating there’s lots of space underneath seats for people to put their bags. It should also mean that ‘Amersham Man’ won’t quite mourn the loss of the luggage racks quite so much (although frankly I wouldn’t want to sit underneath a fully-laiden one in case it falls on top of me, which I’ve seen happen before – painful stuff).

Yay: I didn’t particularly think that the seats were as hard as everyone had gone on about :)

So overall, a successful jaunt out, no ‘teething’ issues really occurred, which is what TfL must have been concerned about as they tried to keep the trip as low key as possible. Apparently the future timetable in December 2010 will give the S Stocks regular paths in the timetable. Let’s keep ’em coming.

You can see more photographs and videos of the first S Stock in passenger service on my Flickr page.

Category: Metropolitan line, S Stock Comment »


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