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1967 Tube Stock

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London Underground 1967 Tube Stock

The 1967 Tube Stock was designed specifically for the Victoria Line.  It was the first train in the world to be specially designed for a fully automatic railway designed from scratch.  This page outlines the history and describes the trains.


Background - Train Formation - Equipment - Modification and Refurbishment

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67 TS As-Built Photos.htmFig 1:  1967 Tube Stock as delivered for the Victoria Line.  Note the completely unpainted body.  The word Underground appeared on the sides of the driving cars only.

Click on the image for the full size view and a page showing the interior and exterior of the stock as built.

The 1967 Tube Stock operates on the Victoria Line. It is the oldest passenger tube stock now working on the Underground. The first section of the line was opened on 1 September 1968 as the first fully automatic railway in the world and the 1967 Tube Stock was specially designed and built for it.  A full description of the Victoria Line ATO system is here.  It was the culmination of years of development and experiment.  Trials with automatic driving had been carried out on the District Line late in 1962 and a single train (Set number 125, Tubeprune recalls) was tested in passenger service for one trip each morning between Stamford Brook and Ravenscourt Park (eastbound) from 8 April 1963. 

67 TS Orig Front.jpg (34362 bytes)Fig 2:  Location of 1967 Tube Stock ATO coils and link to ATO equipment photos.

Click on the image for the full size view.

Trials on a larger scale took place on the Central Line between Woodford and Hainault, where a shuttle service operated, allowing a full scale test installation.  Five 4-car trains of 1960 Tube Stock were fitted with ATO equipment and began operation in passenger service on 5 April 1964. 

67 TS orig interior.jpg (46437 bytes)Fig 3:  Original interior of 1967 Tube Stock.

Click on the image for the full size view.

The first order for 30 8-car trains of 1967 Tube Stock was placed in March 1964 at a cost of 2.25 million.  Today this price might buy just 3 cars.  The first unit was delivered to Ruislip Depot on 27 September 1967.  Tubeprune recalls seeing it there.  It was actually wrapped in cellophane.  The fleet was intended to operate the Victoria Line and to provide a 4-car train to supplement the Central Line's ATO trial service between Woodford and Hainault.  Most of the new units were tested on the Woodford - Hainault service before transfer to Northumberland Park Depot on the Victoria Line.  A 1967 Stock unit continued to work on the Central Line until May 1984 when the whole fleet was allocated to the Victoria Line.

The first train to enter service from Hainault was unit 3009 on 21 February 1968.  Trains began to arrive at Northumberland Park on 1 April 1968.  They were transferred from Hainault via the old BR connection at Leyton (long since removed) and then via the Lea Valley Line to a connection from this line into Northumberland Park.  Trains were transferred via the purpose built connections to the Piccadilly Line at Finsbury Park once they were commissioned in July 1968. 

The line was opened in sections:  Walthamstow to Highbury on 1 September 1968, extended to Warren Street 1 December 1968 and to Victoria on 7 March 1969, when the line was formally opened by the Queen. The extension to Brixton was opened on 23 July 1971.  An additional 9 trains were ordered for the extension and a five-road addition to the train sheds at Northumberland Park was built.

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Train Formation

The 1967 Tube Stock was designed to run as a four car or eight car train. The standard formation was based on the 4-car unit with a second unit added to give the 8-car train.  In each 4-car unit, the outer cars are equipped with driving cabs, traction control and motors (known as Driving Motors or DMs) and the middle two cars are trailers. 

The standard 1967 Stock train formation is DM - T - T - DM + DM - T - T - DM.  Trains were designed to operate in a directional manner, where the units could only couple to each other "right way round", using the standard Underground "A" and "D" end notation to determine direction.  On the Victoria Line, the "A" ends face north and the "D" ends face south.  Driving cars are numbered 30xx for "A" DMs and 31xx for "D" DMs.  The trailers are numbered to match the DMs in the unit in which they reside because they receive their 630 volt DC supply from that DM car. 

Car Weight Seats Equipment
DM 27.8 tons 40 Cab ATO Shoes Traction Package Auto coupler     Batteries
T 18.1 tons 36         Motor Alternator Compressor  

67 TS transfer Cen to Vic at EC.jpg (44155 bytes)Fig 4:  Original 4-car set of 1967 Tube Stock passing Ealing Common on transfer trip between Hainault and Northumberland Park.

Click on the image for the full size view.

Soon after the stock entered service, it became the practice to use equipment from the middle driving cars on some 8-car trains as spares for defective items.  The automatic equipment boxes were the most common absentees from middle cars and this meant that the "robbed" units could not be operated with these cars at the outer ends of trains in service.  Eventually, a large block of units became fixed for use at one end of a train only.  They became "single-ended units", those with the fully operative cab at the "A end becoming north end units, while units with operative cabs at the "D" end were south end units.

The situation was regularised when the Victoria Line fleet was increased by the addition of 7 x 4-car units converted from 1972 Mk I Tube Stock displaced from the Northern Line.  The total fleet now consists of 43 x 8-car trains, or 87 x 4-car units.  Of these, 22 units are retained with fully operative driving cabs at both ends.  The rest are now single-ended.  Three 1967 cars have been withdrawn as a result of collision damage and all were replaced by 1972 Mk I cars.  

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The 1967 Stock is arranged so that each unit is self contained as far as equipment is concerned.  The general arrangement of the equipment for a Motor-Trailer pair of cars is shown in the diagram below.  A 4-car unit actually has two motor-trailer pairs which each have a complete set of equipment.

67 Stock Power Schematic.gif (20605 bytes)Fig 5:  Equipment schematic for a two-car pair of 1967 Tube Stock, showing simplified layout of systems.  The standard 4-car unit is formed of two DM-T pairs, back to back.

Click on the image for the full size view.

The 1967 traction equipment was the first example of double camshaft equipment used on the Underground. This was adopted to allow the trains to have dynamic braking.   It is equipped with DC traction motors, using the two pneumatically driven camshafts for resistance control.  One camshaft operates the series contactors, while the other operates the parallel contactors.  The traction circuit is arranged in a classic series-parallel configuration with two stages of weak field control.  Each of the two motor cars in a unit has four 300 volt DC motors, giving 50% axles motored on an 8-car train.  The two motors on one bogie are permanently connected in series.   The motors are type LT 115, built by Brush and drive the axle through a gear ratio of 16:65.  The low voltage traction control circuits are duplicated and arranged so that one set of control circuits operates one motor car of a unit, whilst the other set operates the other motor car.  This set-up ensures that a low voltage control circuit failure will not disable the train.  Only 50% of control will be lost.  The cab is equipped with a special Fault Isolation Switch (FIS) which allows selection of the control circuits.

67 TS orig cab int.jpg (45184 bytes)Fig 6:  Original interior of 1967 Tube Stock drivers cab and links to original cab photos.

Click on the image for the full size views.


The double camshaft control traction system was adopted on the 1967 Stock to allow the introduction of rheostatic braking on London Underground.  The additional contactors required forced the use of two camshafts.  The rheostatic brake control is an essential feature of the traction system and is linked to the brake system by a complex series of relays.   These detect that the rheostatic braking is working and holds off the electro-pneumatic brake on the motor cars as long as enough brake is being achieved relative to the brake demand.  If any car fails to get rheostatic braking, the system cancels it on the whole train and allows the e.p brake to do all the braking.  The lag between the two is sometimes the cause of overruns, as the e.p. can't quite match the lost rheostatic brake in time.  Even the ATO can't quite make up for it.  This is not a nice feature of this train but the crews have got used to it and often have to assist the train to stop manually if they think it is going to run past the stopping mark.

Each trailer car has a single Reavell TBC38Z air compressor supplying a main reservoir up to 105 psi.  Air is used to power brakes, doors and to drive the pneumatic camshaft of the traction control system.  Each trailer also has a motor alternator (MA) providing 230 volts AC at 850Hz for auxiliary services.   Lighting is supplied at 115 volts AC.  The MA recharges the battery on each motor car at 50 volts DC and supplies the control circuits at that voltage. It is unusual for a motor alternator to be located on a different car to the battery but the 1967 design is short of space under the motor cars because of the use of a double camshaft traction control system so the MA is located on the trailer.  The battery remains in the standard position on the DM car because it was a requirement on London Underground that the end cars of the train always had a battery to supply the tail lights in case the last car became detached from the train.  This is a legacy from the days of individually coupled stock and is not nowadays enforced.   The 199x series of stocks don't have their batteries on end cars.

The arrangement of doorways on the 1967 Stock is the standard used by most tube cars.  As the small body profile required by tube tunnels restricts the floor height, the wheels intrude into the underframe construction over the bogies.  Doors cannot be located at these positions so the openings for the wheels are covered by longitudinal seats.  Doorways are positioned either side of the bogie positions.  Each car has four doorways on each side with a single leaf sliding door at each end and two double doorways between.  The double doorway opening is the standard 1372mm (4ft 6ins) or 2ft 3ins for single doorways. 

The 1967 Stock was the first on the Underground to be equipped with a single combined traction/brake controller.  All earlier stocks had a separate traction controller, known as the master controller, and a brake controller - the "brake handle".  As the brake handle had always been positioned on the left hand side of the driver's position, it was decided that the combined controller should also be there.  This was fine for a train which was rarely driven manually but it was a real nuisance for drivers of the 1972/73 and C Stocks.   These trains are manually driven and it can be awkward for naturally right-handed people to use a left handed controller all day long.  Most get used to it but there are some who use both hands or even the right hand to operate the controls.

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Modification and Refurbishment

67 TS ref N Pk.jpg (34027 bytes)Fig 7:  Refurbished 1967 Tube Stock exterior. Photo B Hardy.

Click on the image for the full size view and description.

In 1989, a programme for the refurbishment of the whole Underground rolling stock fleet was begun.  Following the Kings Cross fire of November 1987, there was a panic driven, media fuelled anti fire frenzy across London Underground.  All inflammable materials had to be removed, whatever the cost and regardless of how low the risk.  Much of the work was directed at the rolling stock.  The opportunity was taken to redesign car interiors as well as replacing the allegedly fire hazardous interior fittings.  Much effort and money was spent in designing line based colour schemes for each stock, thus eliminating the uniform finishes adopted for the previous 70 years.  The 1967/72 Stock on the Victoria Line was selected to be the first Underground fleet to have the full refurbishment treatment.  

Before this started, some modifications were carried out to the fleet to improve reliability, reduce fire risk and reduce the nuisance of passenger alarms causing the train to stop.  The hydraulic parking brakes were replaced by spring applied parking brakes and the passenger alarm system converted to electric operation so that the driver was alerted when an alarm was operated rather than a valve being opened in the train line causing the emergency brake to be applied.  The new system allowed the passengers to communicate with the driver.

For the major refurbishment programme, it was originally anticipated that trains would be refurbished at the rate of one each fortnight and that the work will be finished in the Spring of 1994.   However, following a prototype refurbishment completed in September 1989, the first "production refurbishment" train was dispatched in June 1990 and took 18 months to do.  It was discovered during this first refurbishment that each car was dimensionally slightly different from others.

67 TS ref int.jpg (52533 bytes)Fig 8:  Refurbished 1967 Tube Stock interior and link to other refurb photos.

Click on the image for the full size views and description.

The opportunity was taken to update the car interiors and to build in some engineering modifications at the same time.  Cabs were improved and some operational changes were made like new door controls being fitted to the sill below the cab side windows (Fig. 9).  The original rotary door controls were withdrawn.  Each car had new fire resistant ceilings and waIl panelling. The maple wood floors were replaced by a coloured ribbed rubber surface which is fire retardant and low in smoke emission. 

67 TS refurb offside cab.jpg (28372 bytes)Fig 9:  Offside cab controls of refurbished 1967 Tube Stock.  Photo by Tube Troll.

Click on the image for the full size view and description.


Trains were painted in the corporate livery in high durability two-pack paint. It was supposed to be graffiti resistant and make removal of vandalism easier.  Seats were replaced by a more vandal-resistant design with removable removable covering for easier cleaning and with locking devices for better security. The flexible grab handles were replaced by modular grab poles throughout the car length to reduce maintenance and replacement costs, and to provide a more comfortable environment for standing passengers. Some of the new fittings (such as flooring, grab poles, arm rests and seat moquette coverings are in the identity colour of the Bakerloo Line on which the trains run.  Lights were fitted with diffusers, a "designer" addition which reduced the interior lights levels and increased maintenance costs but which were said to enhance the interior appearance.  Cabs have been tidied up and some improvements made to seats and controls. 

Stock Original Total Conversions Withdrawals Date Comments
1967 30 x 8 cars   2 cars 1995 Original stock for the Victoria Line
1967 9 x 8-cars   1 car 1997 Brixton Extension Stock
1972 Mk I   31 cars   1987-97 Various cars converted to expand fleet or to replace collision damaged cars.

67 TS Refurb DM at EC Dt DD.jpg (28901 bytes)Fig 9:  Refurbished 1967 Tube Stock showing the inter-car safety barrier at Ealing Common Depot. Photo by District Dave.
Click on the image for the full size view.

Another modification on the 1967 Tube Stock, which has also been applied to other lines, is the provision of inter-car safety barriers.   These first appeared on the Piccadilly Line in 1997 and were a response to the occasional accidents where passengers - usually those suffering from the effects of alcohol or drugs - have fallen between cars.  The barriers are made of black canvas and are hung on brackets fitted to the outer corners of the car body.  They are coupled between cars on sprung attachments to allow transition on curves without creating a gap or tearing.  They look dreadful and have become something of a maintenance problem.

1967 Tube Stock Photo List - Pages of photos and descriptions of features of the 1967 Tube Stock over the years.

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