Victoria line rails broke clean through twice in the space of three days last week. Given that this usually happens only once a month across the whole network, you'd think it would set the alarm bells ringing.
It has certainly set management's excuse-mongering machine rolling.
While telling us that they don't yet have a full report, management seem happy to suggest that the problem was caused during welding or installation. Without actually using the word 'conicidence', management imply it by stating that the two incidents do not have the same root cause.
And they reassure us that "The frequency of inspections was not changed as a result of the introduction of Night Tube." Well perhaps it should have been! Management seem to think that we should be relieved that inspections have been cut, but it is surely remiss that they were not increased given the extra wear on the rails as a result of Night Tube.
This is particularly problematic on an auto-operated line where rails get more stressed because all the trains drive, brake etc to exactly the same pattern, causing repeated stress at particular points.
Not a problem for management though - according to them, it's OK because the Pimlico track had been checked four days before the rail fractures, and ultrasonic checks are carried out every 28 days!
It's not just the rail that is broken.