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London Underground 1972 Stock

The London Underground 1972 Stock is a type of rolling stock used on the London Underground. The 1972 Stock was ordered to make up the shortfall in trains on the Northern line's 1959 Tube Stock fleet; however it is currently used on the Bakerloo line. Following the withdrawal of the A Stock on the Metropolitan line in 2012, and the C Stock on the Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines in June 2014, these trains are now the oldest trains on the London Underground and also on any rapid transit system in the United Kingdom.

1972 Stock
72 Tube Stock Stonebridge Park.jpg
3560 at Stonebridge Park in 2012
72 Tube Stock T Interior.jpg
Refurbished 1972 Stock interior in 2012
In service26 June 1972 – present
Built atBirmingham, England[1]
Replaced1938 Stock
1959 Stock
RefurbishmentTickford (at Rosyth Dockyard) 1991–95,[1]
Acton Works, 2014–19[2]
Formation7 cars per train
Line(s) servedBakerloo (current)
Jubilee and Northern (historical)
Train length113.552 m (372 ft 6.6 in)
Car lengthDM 16.091 m (52 ft 9.5 in)
T/UNDM 15.977 m (52 ft 5.0 in)
Width2.641 m (8 ft 8.0 in)
Height2.875 m (9 ft 5.2 in)
Traction systemPneumatic driven camshaft
(Associated Electrical Industries)[1]
Traction motorsLT115 DC motor
(Brush Traction)[1]
SeatingDM/UNDM 40
T 36
264 per trainset
Stock typeDeep-level tube
Underground sign at Westminster.jpg London transport portal


1972 Tube Stock at Kilburn High Road
1972 Mark 1 stock cab

A total of 252 cars were built by Metro-Cammell, Birmingham.[1]

In the early 1970s the 1938 Tube stock on the Bakerloo and Northern lines was life-expired and due for replacement. Tentative designs for a new Northern line fleet were abandoned when the go-ahead was given for the Piccadilly line to be extended to Heathrow Airport. That required a totally new fleet of trains to replace the 1959 stock then in use. The plan was made to transfer the 1959 trains to the Northern, to allow the worst of the 1938 stock there to be scrapped, but there were only 76 1959 Tube stock trains, and the Northern line needed more than that to operate. Originally it was planned to refurbish some 30 1938 trains, but this was scrapped in favour of 30 new trains of the 1972 Mk1 Tube stock.

The 1972 Tube stock was ordered in a hurry, so there was no time to create a new design; the trains were based on the 1967 Tube stock on the Victoria line. Although almost identical looking, the 1972 trains had a guard and door controls in the rear car, and were not compatible with 1967 Tube stock (though in later years some 1972 cars were adapted to run with the 1967 trains on the Victoria line).

A further 33 trains of 1972 Tube stock were ordered to provide service on the Jubilee line. The 1972 Mk2 stock had slightly different interiors, such as dark blue seating moquette (unlike the red and grey on the earlier 1972/1967 trains). Externally the biggest difference was that the doors were painted red, with a London Transport roundel on the side of the carriages, rather than the Johnston lettering. Unlike the 1967 or 1972 mk1 trains, the train number was displayed on an LED on the drivers desk, in the old trains the number box was implemented into the drivers door. The train number plates on the 1972 Mk2 trains operated on the Northern and Bakerloo lines prior to the opening of the Jubilee line in 1979. In the 1990s, several Northern Line units were painted in experimental liveries. 3227 was painted with blue doors and a white body, and 3202 was painted in what would become a corporate livery.

1972 MkII stock in its original form at South Kenton

With the introduction of the 1983 Tube stock on the Jubilee in 1984, the 1972 Mark 2 trains were transferred to the Bakerloo line, where they remain in service. The earlier (Mark 1) 1972 stock on the Northern line was replaced by 1995 Tube Stock in 1999. After being withdrawn from the Northern line, a few cars of 1972 Mark 1 stock were converted to run with 1967 stock in service on the Victoria line. A further two trains were converted to be compatible with the MkII type, and these now run on the Bakerloo line. One ex-Northern line Trainset (unit 3229) is also permanently based at the now-closed Aldwych Underground station, for use in films. Another Mark 1 unit in a trial livery was sent to Acton Works to be used for shunting. One 3 car unit (unit 3511)[3] resides at Hainault depot. It is in an extremely poor condition and will most likely never return to service.

The 1972 trains are formed of seven-car sets, and have a total of 268 passenger seats. After withdrawal from the Northern Line, five 4 car units (units 3201, 3208, 3211, 3212 and 3230)[4] were considered to be used on the Waterloo and City Line. The objective was to supply the Central Line with extra 1992 stock. This never happened and the trains were sent to Mayer Perry or the CF Booths of Rotherham to be scrapped.

The fleet was refurbished between 1991 and 1995 by Tickford at Rosyth Dockyard.[1] From 2014 until 2019, the fleet was again refurbished at Acton Works to enable the trains to remain in service until their forecast replacement date of 2035.[2]


Formation 32xx
Numbers Mark I 3264
4367 3367
Mark II 3231
4366 3366
3299 4299 4399 3399

Future replacementEdit

The Deep tube programme (DTP) originally covered the replacement of the trains and signalling on the Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines, and had been expanded to cover rolling stock requirements arising from the planned extension of the Northern line to Battersea, the eventual replacement of Central line trains and proposed increased service frequency on the Northern and Jubilee lines. The EVO tube concept design, a lighter articulated train with walk-through cars, was introduced early in 2011.[5] In early 2014 the Bakerloo, Piccadilly, Central and Waterloo & City line rolling-stock replacement project was renamed New Tube for London (NTfL) and moved to the design and specification stage.[6][7] The proposal introduces fully automated trains and signalling to increase capacity first on the Piccadilly line in 2025, followed by the Central, Waterloo & City and Bakerloo lines by 2033. The fully automated trains may not have drivers;[8] however, the ASLEF and RMT trade unions representing drivers strongly oppose this, saying it would be unsafe.[9]

Post-withdrawal useEdit

1972 Tube Stock cab converted into a tourist exhibit
1972 stock Mk1 3313 incorporated into the Asset Inspection Train (AIT)
1972 Tube Stock at Green Park
Subseries Car number(s) Notes
Mark I 3213-4213
Converted into Asset Inspection Train: see below.
Mark I 3214 Cab converted into a static tourist exhibit at the Hamleys toy store[10]
Mark I 3229-4229
Retained for filming and training purposes[11]
Mark I 3530 Static exhibit at the London Transport Museum[12]

Asset Inspection TrainEdit

Middle two car are 67DM vehicles - 3079, 3179. Front 2 and rear two are 72 MK1 stock

  • Front two (72 Mk1) 3313-4313
  • Rear two (72 Mk1) 4213-3213

Unit 3079 & 3179 have recently been overhauled in Eastleigh. With no cab windows and new cables leading into each other. The AIT (Asset Inspection Train) will replace the Track Recording Train (1960 Stock DMs and 73 Stock T) which is currently in use.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Neil, Graham. "London Underground Rolling Stock Information Sheet" (PDF). WhatDoTheyKnow. Retrieved 17 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Back on the Bakerloo". On the Move. London Underground Limited/Transport for London (64): 3. July 2019.
  3. ^ "1972 MkI tube stock". Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  4. ^ "1972 MkI tube stock". Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  5. ^ Connor, Piers (January 2013). "Deep tube transformation". Modern Railways. pp. 44–47.
  6. ^ "New Tube for London Programme" (PDF). Board Minutes. Transport for London. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  7. ^ "New Tube for London Programme". Railway Gazette. London. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  8. ^ "TfL prepares for driverless tube". Railnews. Stevenage. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Driverless Tube trains: Unions vow 'war' over plan". BBC News. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  10. ^ "New tube station for Regent Street". IanVisits. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  11. ^ "1972 MkI tube stock". Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  12. ^ "London Underground 1972-tube stock driving motor car, number 3530, 1972". London Transport Museum. Retrieved 11 March 2014.

External linksEdit