Remembering ‘D’ stock

The final regular workings of London Underground ‘D’ Stock should take place as this issue comes out. Christopher Westcott looks back over their career with LU.

THE story of London Underground’s ‘D’ Stock begins in the early 1970s. As the then new ‘C’ Stock trains arrived onto the Circle and Hammersmith & City Line, displaced ‘CO/CP’ trains that were built from 1937 onwards were cascaded across onto the District.

Weekend engineering works to the eastern end of the District Line on August 29/30, 2009, resulted in much of the ‘D’ Stock fleet being unable to escape from the depot – allowing this rare view of 12 trains on adjacent roads at Upminster depot during an open day held on the first of these days. Pictures by Christopher Westcott unless stated

This in turn allowed older ‘Q’ Stock trains, the oldest of which dated back to 1923, to be withdrawn. The red-liveried ‘CO/CP’ trains joined the mostly younger silver or white ‘R’ stock, some of which had been converted from older ‘Q38’ stock supplemented by new orders in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Throughout its history, therefore, the District had never operated with uniformed stock. Coping with all the different stocks made maintenance all the more difficult, and so designs were drawn up for a uniform fleet. Officially referred to as ‘D78’ Stock, the number is attributed to the year the trains were intended to enter passenger service.

The original intention was to build 77 six-car trains, but this was amended down to 75 when the order was placed with Metro-Cammell (now Alstom) in August 1976, at a cost of £67.8 million. Much of the design was credited to a German industrial designer, Jurgan Greubel, the internal colours were based around the brick seat moquette of orange, mustard yellow, brown and black created by Sir Misha Black.

Read more in the May 2017 issue of RE – on sale now!

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