Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Maglev railway makes Tube look even more rubbish

It’s all very well being the first to do something. The first one in the pool is never the rotten egg for example. But not keeping up to speed or in this case, continued development, means you’re worse than a rotten egg, you’re just rubbish.

The London Underground Railway was the first in the world, 1863 no less. The first trains were steam hauled and needed ventilation otherwise it would have been a sauna and not the kind you get in an exclusive day spar, with beautiful people but with normal dirty commuters. The cut-and-cover construction methods were made redundant with the advent of electric traction, which meant deeper tunnels. And so it should have continued. You build something and you try and improve upon it.

In the here and now the Tube is crap. It’s overcrowded, the signalling may as well be done by a guy shouting down the tunnel, “Your train still there Jim?” for all the good it does. The Oyster card system, I’m convinced, is a totalitarian Big Brother scheme.

In the Deutschland they’re planning the first magnetic track in Europe. With the train literally gliding over the track, much faster speeds can be achieved. And so Daily Mail readers everywhere, they may have lost the actual war but they’ve won the err, transport one. I wouldn’t mind a return to the steam hauled trains. Let’s make all of London a steam-punk paradise, choo-rific.

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