London Underground O and P Stock

Last updated

O Stock, P Stock, CO/CP Stock
CO Stock at Barking.jpg
In service1937–1981
Manufacturer GRC&W
Car length51 ft (15.54 m)
Width9 ft 8+38 in (2.956 m)
Height11 ft 9+12 in (3.594 m)
Weight35.75 long tons (36.32 t; 40.04 short tons)
Stock type Subsurface
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg  London transportportal

The London Underground O and P Stock electric multiple units were used on the London Underground from 1937 to 1981. O Stock trains were built for the Hammersmith & City line, using metadyne control equipment with regenerative braking, but the trains were made up entirely of motor cars and this caused technical problems with the traction supply so trailer cars were added. P Stock cars were built to run together with the O Stock cars now surplus on Metropolitan line Uxbridge services. The trains had air-operated sliding doors under control of the guard; the O Stock with controls in the cab whereas the P Stock controls in the trailing end of the motor cars. The P Stock was introduced with first class accommodation, but this was withdrawn in 1940.


In the early 1950s, some Uxbridge O and P Stock trains were transferred to the Circle line. The increasingly unreliable metadynes were replaced and the converted trains became known as CO/CP stock. In the early 1960s, the remaining Uxbridge CO/CP Stock trains were transferred to the District line, so that during the 1960s generally Hammersmith & City and Circle line services were operated by CO stock and CP stock was used on the District line. Following the introduction of C69 Stock in the early 1970s, all CO and CP Stock trains were used on the District line until they were replaced by the C Stock and D Stock trains; the last train running in service in 1981.


In 1934, an experimental six-car train was built using a multiple-unit train control system developed by Metropolitan Vickers. The metadyne equipment controlled four traction motors on two cars and allowed for regenerative braking, although air braking was fitted for low speeds and if the traction supply was unreceptive to the regenerated current. [1]

As part of the 1935–40 New Works Programme, the O stock, sets of two motor cars, was built for the Hammersmith & City line. The Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company (GRC&W) and the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company (BRC&W) built 116 cars, allowing 19 six-car trains and a spare two-car set. The new trains entered service as a four-car train between High Street Kensington and Putney Bridge on 13 September 1937 and a full-length six car train later entering service on 10 December on the Hammersmith & City line. [1] The guard's position was in the cab, continuing the practice of the Metropolitan Railway. [2] Technical problems were found with the traction supply with trains made up entirely of motor cars and 58 trailer cars were ordered from Gloucester and the trains reformed into three car sets. The first reformed train went into service on 18 July 1938, [3] and 19 O Stock sets were transferred to the Metropolitan line. [4]

With O Stock cars available, 73 sets of P stock were ordered for the Metropolitan line. Six and eight car trains were needed, so six car trains were made up from two three car units formed of two driving motor cars and a trailer and eight cars by adding a two car unit. [4] The guard's position on the P Stock was at the inner ends of the motor cars, [5] as the cabs on eight car trains could still be in tunnel at stations with short platforms. The O Stock units, with the guard position in the cab, were split up and motor cars placed in the centre of the six car trains so that the door controls in these cabs were not needed. Six P1 motor cars were built without door controls and ran in the same position. [4] [6] Although a train could be made up from O and P Stock cars, and the units had automatic couplers on the outer ends of the motor cars, the metadynes were not interchangeable. [4] The first P Stock train entered service on 17 July 1939. [5] Six-car O Stock trains operated on the Hammersmith & City service, and the mixed O and P Stock trains provided the services to Uxbridge. [4]


Inside P Composite.jpg
Inside a P Stock composite car, built with first and third class sections for the Metropolitan line. [7] First class was abolished in 1940 as a war-time economy. [8]
Inside a COP trailer.

The 51-foot (16 m) long O Stock cars were fitted with air operated doors under the control of the guard. A car had 40 seats and two tip up and access was by two double doors and a single door on each side. Externally, the cars had side panels that flared at the bottom with no running boards to prevent passengers jumping on a moving train and attempting to open a door. [9] The trailers, with four extra seats, [3] had a hinged door at one end, locked closed in normal use, so they could be converted into driving motor cars. [5] Lighting was provided by incandescent bulbs in the ceiling. [3]

War time losses

During World War II several cars were lost. 14199 (P stock DM) was destroyed at Neasden on 27 September 1940, 13036, 14042, 14049 (all O stock DM), 13229, 14229 (all P Stock DM), 014080 (O stock trailer) at Moorgate station on 29 December 1941, and 14263 (P stock DM) at Baker Street on 10 May 1941. To make up for the number of 'D' end DMs (14xxx) cars destroyed, three 'D' end trailer cars were rebuilt into DMs. These were 014270-014272 which were renumbered 14270-14272 when converted. [10] DM 14233 was damaged during bombing and one end of the car was destroyed. This was repaired using an end of Q38 Stock trailer 013167, which had also been badly damaged. [4] The rebuilt car entered service renumbered 14233 in 1941; it became 54233 in 1963. [11]

Reconstruction into CO/CP Stock

In the early 1950s, F Stock was transferred to the Metropolitan line Uxbridge service, and some O and P Stock, reformed into 5-car trains transferred to replace the trains on the Circle line; these began running in 1947. [4] [12] Because of the reliability of the metadynes and difficulties repairing them, one Circle line train was converted to use the pneumatic camshaft control (PCM) equipment used on the 1938 tube stock and entered service in March 1955. This was considered a success and the other Circle line trains were converted, followed by the units that operated the Hammersmith & City services. [4] The converted trains were known as CO/CP stock, and the trailers COP stock. [4] In 1959/60, the length of the Circle line trains was increased to six cars with the addition of converted Q38 trailers, and with similar trains running on the Hammersmith & City and Circle lines maintenance for the stock for the two lines was concentrated at Hammersmith depot, allowing Neasden depot to specialise in the new A Stock. [13]

In the early 1960s, the remaining O and P Stock trains that operated the Uxbridge service, still with their metadyne controls, were converted and transferred to the District line as the second batch of A Stock was introduced. In the 1960s the Hammersmith & City and Circle line services were generally operated by CO stock and CP stock used on the District line. [14] In the early 1970s, the introduction of the C69 Stock allowed the CO Stock to be transferred to the District line and instead of running 6-car trains off-peak and 8-cars during peak hours, trains were reformed into standard 7-car trains. [13]


CP Stock trailer with injection moulded plastic seats CP Stock trailer 014082 interior.jpg
CP Stock trailer with injection moulded plastic seats

In 1967, London Underground experimented with injection moulded plastic seats in the centre of CP Stock trailer 014082, in an attempt to address the then-emerging problem with vandalism. The London Underground did not pursue the idea further, because passengers considered them to be uncomfortable, but vandal-resistant plastic seats became common on many metro systems, such as Algiers, Barcelona (TMB lines), New York City and Shanghai. Trailer 014082 kept the plastic seats until it was scrapped in 1971. [15] [16]

Withdrawal and preservation

The introduction of C77 stock on the Edgware Road services allowed CO/CP Stock cars to be scrapped, and from January 1980 the remainder was replaced by new D78 stock. The last trains ran in service in 1981, when two six-car trains operated special workings. [13]

One complete unit DM 53028, T 013063 and DM 54233 has been preserved at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. [17] The driving motor 54233 was the one that was rebuilt using one end of a Q38 trailer in 1941. [18]

A DM 54256 was also preserved at the Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum [19] but moved to Whitwell & Reepham railway station after a clearout of many of the museum's items, and now is privately owned in an undisclosed location in Essex.[ citation needed ]

Vehicles 53028 and 013063 are CO Stock and 54233 and 54256 are CP Stock.


As built the numbers were as follows:

'O' Stock
13000 - 1305714000 - 14057013058 - 013086
014058 - 014086
'P' Stock
13193 - 13257
13262 - 13269*
14193 - 14257
14262 - 14269
013087 - 013101
013258 - 013261
013270 - 013273
014087 - 014100
014258 - 014261
014270 - 014273

Cars 13264 - 13269 were designated P1 stock.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">District line</span> London Underground line

The District line is a London Underground line running from Upminster in the east and Edgware Road in the west to Earl's Court in west London, where it splits into multiple branches. One branch runs to Wimbledon in south-west London and a short branch, with a limited service, only runs for one stop to Kensington (Olympia). The main route continues west from Earl's Court to Turnham Green after which it divides again into two western branches, to Richmond and Ealing Broadway.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hammersmith & City line</span> London Underground line

The Hammersmith & City line is a London Underground line that runs between Hammersmith in west London and Barking in east London. Printed in pink on the Tube map, it serves 29 stations over 15.8 miles (25.5 km). Between Farringdon and Aldgate East it skirts the City of London, the capital's financial heart, hence the line's name. Its tunnels are just below the surface and are a similar size to those on British main lines. Most of the track and all stations are shared with either the District, Circle, or Metropolitan lines. Over 114 million passenger journeys are made each year on the Hammersmith & City and Circle lines.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Underground rolling stock</span> Passenger trains that run on the London Underground

London Underground rolling stock includes the electric multiple-unit trains used on the London Underground. These come in two sizes, smaller deep-level tube trains and larger sub-surface trains of a similar size to those on British main lines. New trains are designed for the maximum number of standing passengers and for speed of access to the cars.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Underground Standard Stock</span>

The Standard Stock title was applied to a variety of Tube stock built between 1923 and 1934, all of which shared the same basic characteristics, but with some detailed differences. This design is sometimes referred to as 1923 Tube Stock, 1923 Stock, or Pre 1938 Stock. Most of the Standard Stock was built to replace the first generation of "Gate Stock" Tube trains or to provide additional trains for extensions built in the 1920s and early 1930s. Standard Stock cars consisted of motor cars, with a driver's cab, behind which was a "switch compartment" occupying approximately one-third of the length of the car, plus trailer cars and "control trailers", with a driving cab but no motor. All were equipped with air operated sliding doors. The guard's door on the earlier trains was a manually operated, inward-opening hinged door.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">District Railway</span> Former underground railway in London (1868–1933)

The Metropolitan District Railway, also known as the District Railway, was a passenger railway that served London from 1868 to 1933. Established in 1864 to complete an "inner circle" of lines connecting railway termini in London, the first part of the line opened using gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives. The Metropolitan Railway operated all services until the District Railway introduced its own trains in 1871. The railway was soon extended westwards through Earl's Court to Fulham, Richmond, Ealing and Hounslow. After completing the inner circle and reaching Whitechapel in 1884, it was extended to Upminster in Essex in 1902.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Underground R Stock</span>

The London Underground R Stock electric multiple units were used on London Underground's District line from 1949 to 1983. Composed of new cars and converted Q38 Stock trailers, the cars were built and converted in three batches between 1949 and 1959. The cars were driving motors (DM) or non-driving motors (NDM), there being no unpowered trailers. The second batch, introduced in 1952, was constructed from aluminium, saving weight and one train was left unpainted as an experiment. Considered a success, trains were left unpainted or painted white or grey to match in 1963–68. Originally designed to operate in trains with six off-peak and eight cars during peak hours, the trains were reformed as fixed seven-car trains in 1971. R Stock trains were replaced by the D78 Stock and withdrawn between 1981 and 1983.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Underground Q38 Stock</span>

The Q Stock consisted of various District line trains built from 1923 until the mid-1930s, originally built with manually operated sliding doors. Following conversion to air operated doors, the trains became collectively known as Q Stock. Given that five different types of rolling stock were converted to Q Stock, the resulting hybrid trains looked bizarre - with the older carriages having flat sides and clerestory roofs, whilst the Q38 had flared sides at floor level.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Underground A60 and A62 Stock</span> Class of sub-surface train run on the London Underground, built in 1960

The London Underground A60 and A62 Stock, commonly referred to as A Stock, was a type of sub-surface rolling stock which operated on the Metropolitan line of the London Underground from 12 June 1961 to 26 September 2012, and on the East London line from 1977 until 22 December 2007, when it closed to be converted into London Overground.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Underground C69 and C77 Stock</span> Type of sub-surface railway vehicle

The London Underground C69 and C77 Stock, commonly referred to as the C Stock, was a type of sub-surface rolling stock used on the Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines of the London Underground between 1970 and 2014. These were replaced with S stock trains, which also operate on the District, Hammersmith and City, Circle and Metropolitan lines.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Underground battery-electric locomotives</span>

London Underground battery-electric locomotives are battery locomotives used for hauling engineers' trains on the London Underground network where they can operate when the electric traction current is switched off. The first two locomotives were built in 1905 for the construction of the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway, and their success prompted the District Railway to buy two more in 1909, which were the only ones built to the loading gauge of the subsurface lines. Following this, a number of battery vehicles were built by converting redundant motor cars, with the batteries placed in the unused passenger compartment. One exception to this was made by the City and South London Railway, who used a trailer car to hold the batteries, and wired them to a separate locomotive.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">British electric multiple units</span> Trains without locomotives, in the European country

An electric multiple unit (EMU) is an electric train capable of operating in multiple with other EMUs that does not have a separate locomotive, typically passenger trains with accommodation in every vehicle and a driving position at each end. The term can also be used to describe a train such as the Advanced Passenger Train that was a permanent formation with a non-driving power car. As of December 2010 two-thirds of the passenger carriages in Britain are formed in EMUs.

The London Underground F Stock was built in 1920 and 1921 for the District Railway by the Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon and Finance Company. They were partly funded by the government as part of an initiative to help British industry recover from World War I. One hundred steel-bodied cars were built: 40 driving motors, 12 control trailers and 48 trailers with the first train entering service on 23 December 1920. The cars were built with manually-operated sliding doors.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Underground 1935 Stock</span> Experimental stock of the London Underground

The London Underground 1935 Stock was an experimental train design by Metropolitan Cammell in London. Twelve two-car units, marshalled into four six-car trains, were built. They served as the prototypes for the later 1938 Stock.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Underground Q Stock</span>

The London Underground Q Stock were trains used on the District line of the London Underground. First introduced in 1938, these electric multiple units were formed from cars built between 1923 and 1935 and new purpose-built cars, and fitted with electro-pneumatic brakes and guard controlled air-operated doors. Trains were made up from cars of different ages with differing appearances, the older ones with clerestory roofs and the newer ones with flared sides. Some units were withdrawn in the early 1960s, although six- and eight-car trains remained on the District line with use gradually diminishing to peak hours only, and four car units worked the East London line until 1971.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Underground Circle Stock</span>

The London Underground Circle Stock consisted of 90 cars renovated in 1934 at Acton Works, selected by the LPTB from earlier Metropolitan Railway stock - 59 of which dated from 1921 but four were 1905 clerestory roofed cars. The vehicles were externally repainted in a red-and-cream livery at first; later all-red.

London's Metropolitan Railway (MR) amalgamated with other underground railways, tramway companies and bus operators on 1 July 1933, to form the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB); the MR became the Board's Metropolitan line.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Metropolitan Railway electric multiple units</span>

Metropolitan Railway electric multiple units were used on London's Metropolitan Railway after the lines were electrified in the early 20th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">District Railway electric multiple units</span>

District Railway electric multiple units were used on London's Metropolitan District Railway after the lines were electrified in the early 20th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the District line</span>

The history of the District line started in 1864 when the Metropolitan District Railway was created to create an underground 'inner circle' connecting London's railway termini. The first part of the line opened using Metropolitan Railway gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives. The District introduced its own trains in 1871 and was soon extended westwards through Earl's Court to Fulham, Richmond, Ealing and Hounslow. After completing the 'inner circle' and reaching Whitechapel in 1884, it was extended to Upminster in East London in 1902. To finance electrification at the beginning of the 20th century, American financier Charles Yerkes took it over and made it part of his Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) group. Electric propulsion was introduced in 1905, and by the end of the year electric multiple units operated all of the services.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Acton Works</span> London Underground depot

Acton Works is a London Underground maintenance facility in West London, England. It is accessed from the District line and Piccadilly line tracks to the east of Acton Town station, and was opened in 1922. It was responsible for the overhaul of rolling stock, and gradually took on this role for more lines, until the formation of the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933, when all major overhauls of underground vehicles were carried out at the works. By 1985, when rolling stock had become more reliable and maintenance intervals had increased, this function was devolved to depots on each line. Subsequently, Acton continued to overhaul major items after they had been removed from trains at the depots, and tendered for work, which included the conversion of the A60 Stock to One Person Operation. It is likely to be reorganised and expanded to house the departments displaced from Lillie Bridge Depot which is being demolished as part of the redevelopment of Earls Court Exhibition Centre.



  1. 1 2 Bruce 1983, p. 90.
  2. Bruce 1983, p. 91.
  3. 1 2 3 Bruce 1983, p. 93.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Bruce 1983, p. 94.
  5. 1 2 3 Bruce 1983, p. 92.
  6. Horne 2003, p. 64.
  7. Horne 2003, p. 65.
  8. Horne 2003, p. 66.
  9. Bruce 1983, pp. 90–91.
  10. Connor 1981, pp. 11, 47, 51.
  11. Connor 1981, pp. 9, 46, 53.
  12. Horne 2003, p. 80.
  13. 1 2 3 Bruce 1983, p. 95.
  14. Bruce 1983, pp. 94–95.
  15. Connor 2011, p. 143.
  16. Moss 2000, p. 143.
  17. Sources: Retrieved 10 February 2013.
    DM 53028 Archived 5 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine T 013063 Archived 5 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine DM 54233 Archived 5 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  18. "DM 54233". Archived from the original on 5 July 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  19. Hardy 2002, p. 72.



Further reading