London Underground T Stock

Last updated

T Stock
Metropolitan Railway T stock.jpg
T stock unit preserved at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre on 3 March 2018
In service1927–1962
Manufacturer Birmingham RC&W
Car length53 ft 9 in (16.38 m)
– 55 ft 5 in (16.89 m)
Stock type Subsurface
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg   London transportportal

The T Stock was a series of electric trains originally built in various batches by Metropolitan-Vickers and the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company for the Metropolitan Railway in 1927–31 for use on electric services from Baker Street and the City to Watford and Rickmansworth, though rarely some worked on the Uxbridge branch.



The earlier batches were built from wood and sandwiched trailers of 1898–1923 vintage, however later batches were steel in construction and worked with new built trailers. As built the group has some variations in equipment, mostly to allow use with existing stock such as the Saloon and Ashbury trailers and leading to incompatibilities within the class, however upon transfer the London Transport this was rectified and the entire fleet largely standardized about 1938.

T stock never ran to Aylesbury, though latterly worked to Chesham and Amersham after electrification. Prior to this, trains destined to beyond Rickmansworth were hauled by Metropolitan Vickers Bo-Bo electric locomotives as far as Rickmansworth, where a changeover to steam traction occurred.

These electric multiple unit trains had slam doors with rounded tops, thought to be less prone to damage if accidentally opened in the tunnels north of Baker Street.

In the late 1940s coaches 2752 and 2707 were rebuilt as experimental air-door trailers number 17000 and 20000 respectively. The first (17000) employed an unusual seating layout with gangways on both sides of the car. The air doors were controlled manually by passengers with buttons to open and close them. [1] In 1949 it was modified with a conventional centre gangway to match its second variant, and being renumbered 17001. The two cars were permanently coupled and remained in service until 1953, their work as prototypes for the A60 Stock being completed. [2]

The 'T' stock was replaced from 1961 by the A60 and A62 Stock, with the final train running on 5 October 1962. [3]

In 1961, two withdrawn driving motors were converted to sleet locomotives. These were numbered ESL118A and ESL118B, having previously been 2758 and 2749 respectively. After withdrawal, both units were preserved, eventually locating at the Spa Valley Railway but now moved to Quainton.

Equipment details

The first coaches of the first batch (1927) had Westinghouse brakes, Metro-Vickers control systems and MV153 motors; they were used to replace the motor cars working with Bogie Stock trailers that formed 'W' trains.

The rest of the coaches from the first batch had the same motor equipment but used vacuum brakes instead. They ran with converted Dreadnoughts of the 1920/23 batches to form 'MV' stock.

The second batch (of 1929) were very similar in terms of equipment to the first coaches of 1927 and were interchangeable. This batch included specially built trailers and when running with which were known as 'MW' trains; the W indicating Westinghouse Air Brakes were fitted.

The last batch (1931) were like the previous batch but had equipment by the GEC and used WT545 motors. They were found not to be as compatible as hoped, and remained segregated until the LPTB standardisation of Metropolitan Railway rolling stock.

When standardised, the MV stock trains were converted to air brakes. The Bogie Stock coaches in the W stock formations were withdrawn eventually and replaced by seven more converted Dreadnought coaches. Following a reshuffle this allowed 9×8 coach and 10×6 coach trains, which were then designated 'T' stock. 22 motor cars remained spare however, but by 1961 this had been reduced to six spare.

Fleet details


BRC&W Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company
MCW&F Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon and Finance Company
MMotor car
1TFirst class trailer
3TThird class trailer
DTDriving trailer
NosLT NosYearBldrTypeNotes
449,4559812,98181920MCW&F1Tconverted by LT
457–4589820–98211920MCW&F1Tconverted by LT
460–4629716–97181920MCW&F1T"MV"; converted from steam stock, 1927
47697731920MCW&F3T"MV"; converted from steam stock, 1927
484,4876743,67461920MCW&FDTconverted by LT
497–4999800–98021920MCW&F3Tconverted by LT
500–5019774–97751920MCW&F3T"MV"; converted from steam stock, 1927
50498421923MCW&F3Tconverted by LT
505–5079719–97211923MCW&F1T"MV"; converted from steam stock, 1927

Related Research Articles

Metropolitan Railway Underground railway in London from 1863 to 1933

The Metropolitan Railway was a passenger and goods railway that served London from 1863 to 1933, its main line heading north-west from the capital's financial heart in the City to what were to become the Middlesex suburbs. Its first line connected the main-line railway termini at Paddington, Euston, and King's Cross to the City. The first section was built beneath the New Road using cut-and-cover between Paddington and King's Cross and in tunnel and cuttings beside Farringdon Road from King's Cross to near Smithfield, near the City. It opened to the public on 10 January 1863 with gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives, the world's first passenger-carrying designated underground railway.

British Rail Class 308 British Electric passenger trains

The British Rail Class 308 alternating current (AC) electric multiple units (EMU) were built by British Railways' Holgate Road carriage works in three batches between 1959 and 1961. They were initially classified as AM8 units before the introduction of TOPS.

London Underground rolling stock Passenger trains that run on the London Underground

London Underground rolling stock includes the electric multiple units that are used on the London Underground. The trains come in two sizes, smaller deep- level tube trains and larger sub-surface trains that are 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.

London Underground Standard Stock

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 also 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, plus trailer cars and "control trailers". All were equipped with air operated sliding doors, although the guard's door on the earlier trains was a manually operated inward-opening hinged door.

The Southern Railway (SR) gave the designation CP to the fleet of AC electric multiple units used on the former London, Brighton and South Coast Railway lines in the Crystal Palace area.

LNWR electric units

The LNWR electric units were ordered by the London and North Western Railway for its suburban services in London. The first cars, made with Siemens equipment, arrived in 1914, and these were followed by two larger batches of units with Oerlikon equipment. The trains were formed into 3-car units, with first and third class accommodation in open saloons. Following the 1923 grouping and absorption of the line into the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), similar LMS electric units, but with accommodation in compartments, were purchased to run with the Oerlikon units in 1926 and 1932. The trains were all withdrawn by 1960.

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (LYR) built suburban electric stock for lines in Liverpool and Manchester. The line between Liverpool to Southport began using electric multiple units (EMUs) on 22 March 1904, using a third rail 625 V DC. Additional trains were later built for this route, and in 1913 incompatible stock for the route to Ormskirk. Lightweight units were built to run on the Liverpool Overhead Railway.

London Underground O and P Stock

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.

London Underground battery-electric locomotives

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.

British electric multiple units

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.

London Underground electric locomotives

Electric locomotives were first used on the London Underground when the first deep-level tube line, the City and South London Railway (C&SLR), was opened in 1890. The first underground railways in London, the Metropolitan Railway (MR) and the District Railway (DR), used specially built steam locomotives to haul their trains through shallow tunnels which had many ventilation openings to allow steam and smoke to clear from the tunnels. It was impractical to use steam locomotives in the small unvented tubular tunnels of the deep-level lines, and the only options were rope haulage or electric locomotives.

London Underground 1935 Stock

London Underground 1935 Stock was an experimental train design by Metropolitan Cammell in London. Twelve two-car units were built.

Sleet locomotives were redundant London Underground cars converted to help with the removal of ice that built up on the conductor rails. The main batch of eighteen tube-gauge locomotives were built between 1938 and 1941 from motor cars originally built in 1903. They were refurbished in the 1960s using equipment removed from redundant T-stock vehicles, and were joined by a pair of surface-gauge locomotives in 1961. In addition to de-icing duties, some of them were also used for experiments in clearing leaves from the running rails. They had all ceased to operate by 1985. One of the tube-gauge locomotives subsequently went to the London Transport Museum, and the surface-gauge cars went to the Spa Valley Railway.

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.

Metropolitan Railway electric locomotives

Metropolitan Railway electric locomotives were used on London's Metropolitan Railway with conventional carriage stock. On the outer suburban routes an electric locomotive was used at the Baker Street end that was exchanged for a steam locomotive en route.

Metropolitan Railway electric multiple units

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

District Railway electric multiple units

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

London Underground carriages

The London Underground opened in 1863 with gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives. The Metropolitan and District railways both used carriages exclusively until they electrified in the early 20th century. The District railway replaced all its carriages for electric multiple units, whereas the Metropolitan still used carriages on the outer suburban routes where an electric locomotive at the Baker Street end was exchanged for a steam locomotive en route.

SR class 3Sub

The class 3SUB were DC suburban electric multiple units introduced by the London and South Western Railway in 1915 and introduced by the Southern Railway in the period up to 1939. The class designation 3SUB was not used by the Southern Railway, although some authors refer to these units as 3SUB. When rebuilt to four cars in the 1940s, they became class 4SUB.

Acton Works 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.


  2. Moss, Paul (2000). Underground Movement. Harrow Weald, Middlesex: Capital Transport Publishing. pp. 87–89. ISBN   1-85414-226-7.
  3. 1 2 Cooke, B.W.C., ed. (November 1962). "The Metropolitan "T" stock". The Railway Magazine . Vol. 108 no. 739. Westminster: Tothill Press. pp. 749–754.