Saturday, January 30, 2010

End of the "A" stock

New trains are coming to the Metropolitan Line. As a schoolboy I remember when the "A" stock - the "silver trains" were introduced in the 1960s, replacing old fashioned, brown, slam-door, compartmentalised carriages (known, I think, as "T" stock) on one hand, and the more conventional red ("C") stock similar to the trains on the Hammersmith & City today. The Met trains have lasted a long time, assisted by major refurbishments, and their successors have yet to be unveiled to the general public. You can catch the odd glimpse at the Neasden depot and no doubt they will be tested over the tracks in coming months. I am looking forward to the air-conditioning and worried sick about the reduced number of seats. LU promise more trains to compensate but we all know that if there is any problem, they cancel trains and force everybody to crowd into those that do run. To have to stand for nearly 40 minutes on an overcrowded train, air-conditioned or not, is a dismal way to commute.

Musing this way made me do a bit of surfing and on the excellent London Transport Museum site I found this photo showing the two types of train I described above. I gather that "T" stock went to Watford and the train is for Aylesbury but the carriages look pretty similar. Amazing to think that the doors were opened by the passengers and there was nothing to stop you opening them inside the tunnels.

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