For regular users of the Liverpool Street to Chingford, Chestnut and Enfield lines, the recent switch from regular old train to part of the shiny London Overground network may have gone relatively unnoticed. Over at my local station London Fields, they gave the stairs a quick, much-needed hoover, the walls a lick of paint and now there's sometimes a member of staff hanging around, but the trains were still just as crappy and as late as ever.
But change is coming, people - well in 2018 at least - and here's the first glimpse. TfL have just released this mock-up of what the new fleet of Overground trains will look like when they hit the tracks in three years' time. The ancient old chuggers will be replaced with 45 fancy Bombadier four-carriage Aventra trains which, much like the slick trains on the rest of the Overground service, will have air conditioning, walk-through carriages and improved disabled access. Woop! The whole thing is going to cost a whopping £5.7 million and the trains on the Barking to Gospel Oak lines and Romford to Upminster will also be replaced.
Boris Johnson said: 'This brand new fleet of trains will enable London Overground to carry a growing number of passengers more reliably and speedily than ever.' About bloomin' time. The 'new' service has been criticised so far, with Mike Stubbs, TfL's director of London Overground, saying that disruption was 'primarily caused by reliability issues with the trains we inherited on the route'. Until the new trains appear, he pledged £2m to improve the current 30 year old stock. Start preparing other excuses for being late to work pronto.
Check out this cool new alternative tube map which has replaced the name of the tubes with number.