London Underground rolling stock includes the electric multiple units that run on the London Underground. The trains come in two sizes, smaller deep-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.
Services started in 1863 when the Metropolitan Railway opened using steam locomotives hauling gas-lit wooden carriages, braked from guards’ compartment. In 1890, the first tube railway opened, using electric locomotives hauling carriages with small windows, nicknamed “padded cells”. Other tube railways opened in the early 20th century using electric multiple units known as gate stock, as access to was via lattice gates at each end of the car. The earlier railways had electrified the underground sections of their lines by 1907. Pneumatic sliding doors were introduced on tube trains in 1919 and sub-surface trains in the late 1930s. Until the early 1960s an electric locomotive was exchanged for a steam locomotive on Metropolitan line services beyond Rickmansworth. The Victoria line opened in the late 1960s using Automatic Train Operation (ATO), and the last trains ran with a guard in 2000. As of March 2013 the Central, Jubilee and Northern lines also use forms of ATO, the latter two using a system called TBTC (Transmission Based Train Control).
The older sub-surface trains are in the process of being replaced by new air-conditioned S Stock, and the replacement of trains on the Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines is under consideration.
London Underground trains come in two sizes, larger sub-surface trains and smaller deep-tube trains. Since the early 1960s all passenger trains have been Electric Multiple Units (EMUs) with sliding doors, and a train last ran with a guard in 2000. All lines use fixed-length trains with between six and eight cars, except for the Waterloo & City line, which uses four cars. New trains are designed for maximum number of standing passengers and for speed of access to the cars, and have regenerative braking and public address systems. Since 1999 all new stock has had to comply with accessibility regulations that require such things as access and room for wheelchairs, and the size and location of door controls. All underground trains are required to comply with the The Rail Vehicle Accessibility (Non Interoperable Rail System) Regulations 2010 (RVAR 2010) by 2020.
Stock on sub-surface lines is identified by a letter (such as S Stock, used on the Metropolitan line), while tube stock is identified by the year in which it was designed (for example, 1996 Stock, used on the Jubilee line)
by simon schofield