THERE was little fanfare, but the first new trains on the Metropolitan line in nearly 50 years arrived at Uxbridge on Monday.
Two of London Underground's four new S-Stock services have started running along the branch this week for the first time, but you will still be lucky if you manage to get to board one.
As not all the platforms in Uxbridge are compatible with the longer trains, the trains will run only four times a day - twice in the morning and twice in the evening.
A Transport for London (TfL) spokeswoman explained: "There are now four new trains in service and, since Monday, they have been running to Uxbridge, Chesham, Watford and Baker Street.
"Work to accommodate the new longer trains is ongoing at some stations, including Uxbridge, which means that the new trains are not able to serve all platforms just yet. However, work at Uxbridge is expected to be completed towards the end of February and as we get more
trains into service throughout next year, customers should start to see them more frequently."
Anthony Wood, vice-chairman of The Federation of Metropolitan Line Users' Committees, is one passenger who has had the privilege of riding the new train.
He told the Gazette: "They are very nice, except for one thing; they have 29 per cent fewer seats.
"We were told the new signals would be in place by now and they would step up the number of trains running but the contract hasn't even been awarded yet and it will take three years to do the work.
"Until then we will have the same number of trains but fewer seats."
Metronet was set up as a private-public partnership with TfL in 2003 in a bid to reduce the cost of upgrades and transfer risk to the private sector, but it collapsed in 2008.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, admitted the Metronet contract, which included the Met line upgrade, had wasted millions of pounds of taxpayers' money.
Still, Mr Wood, from Pinner, said the new trains were a welcome sight. "It is a smoother ride and, of course, the air-conditioning will be very nice for the summer."