You may have noticed recently that a lot of my blog entries have been heavily focussed on London Underground and Overground. If you have been really urging for a different subject, I am so sorry. I will change the subject very soon. But this is another railway entry!
On Monday evening, I decided to check out the exhibition about the new tube stock that will replace the existing stock on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. The exhibition was held at Euston Square Gardens.
At the present time, the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines are using the C69 and C77 stock (these are the names of the train stock), the District line are using the D78 stock and the Metropolitan line are using the A60 stock, the oldest of the lot running for almost 50 years!
All these stocks will gradually be replaced with one tube stock called the S Stock (S for Subsurface). So what is new about these trains? Well firstly, the new S Stock will feature more space with wider doors and walkways, larger windows and walkthrough carriages allowing you to travel along the whole length of the train!
Secondly, there will be support for wheelchair users, lower floors allowing step free access between the train and platform, space for pushchairs and luggage and colour contrasting features for the visually impaired.
Thirdly, the best feature of all is air conditioning! This is fantastic news! Cooler trains helped by the fact that the tunnels on these lines are large. In addition, better security.
So with this all coming, here is a gallery of the prototype stock that featured in the exhibition…
A very nice train indeed! There will be a total of 191 S Stock trains which will run on the sub surface lines. But when will they come into service? Well we expect to see the first S Stock trains appear on the Metropolitan line in 2010, followed by the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines in 2011 and finally appearing on the District line from 2013. It is predicted that the entire S Stock will be in fully service by 2015. That does mean a huge amount of old stock to get rid off! I do like the A60 stock on the Metropolitan line and the seating, that will be sadly missed once it is all gone, but it is only for the better!
What do you think of the new S Stock? Let me know!