Regular Metropolitan line customers will have by now likely at least seen (if not travelled on) one of the new S Stock trains.

The first of these new trains, classed as S8 (denoting the number of carriages) started service on 31st July 2010 (see earlier posts here and here for more details) whilst S7 trains (with seven carriages) will begin to be rolled on the Hammersmith & City line between Hammersmith and Barking in time for the Olympics in 2012. The Circle line will follow shortly after, which in turn will be followed by the Wimbledon to Edgware Road section of the District line. Once all C Stock trains have been replaced with S7 Stock, the District mainline will receive its new trains.

There have been three S8 stock in service on the Metropolitan line since the end of last year. Introduction of a fourth was planned for yesterday. If all goes to plan a fifth will come into service on Monday 27 June with eight by the end of July. Ideally, one more train per week will be introduced from August, but this depends on the reliability of the new trains already in service.

Again in theory, starting from yesterday the current S8 stock routes are listed below. The maximum number of new trains on the line at any one time will obviously be four.
– Uxbridge to Baker Street (all stations) departing at 07.29 & 19.43.
– Uxbridge to Baker Street/Aldgate (all stations) from 07.08 to 00.34. All trains will reverse at Baker Street, except for three Aldgate services and one Moorgate. The approximately arrival times at Aldgate are 12.35, 14.55 and 22.55 with Moorgate at 20.40.
– Uxbridge or Watford to Baker Street or Aldgate (all stations) from 07.36 to 00.57. This reverses once at Aldgate during the morning peak and the all southbound trips will run through to Aldgate from 17.10 until the end of service. Of the eight northbound trips, three will go to Uxbridge and five to Watford.
– Watford to Baker Street (all stations) from 07.29 to 09.41.
– Uxbridge or Watford to Baker Street (all stations) from 17.02 until 00.58. The northbound trains will alternate between Uxbridge and Watford.

Unfortunately, there is no specific date for when all S8 trains will be in service, but it will be sometime in 2012.

S Stock trains obviously don’t magically appear at Neasden depot ahead of introduction, so currently they are brought to Neasden depot from the Old Dalby Test Track in Leicestershire using mainline locomotives. A stock trains are taken to Northwood sidings before being scrapped. Prior to scrapping, any useful parts are removed so they can be used on other A stock.

All platform extension work for S8 Stock has been completed. This was only required at Baker Street, but the work was actually required as part of the signalling upgrade rather than being physically fit for S stock trains. There are several platforms on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines which have needed extending – fifteen in fact. This work is to accommodate S7 trains.

The stations are Royal Oak (two platforms), Westbourne Park (two platforms), Ladbroke Grove (two platforms), Latimer Road (two platforms), Shepherd’s Bush Market (two platforms), Goldhawk Road (two platforms) and Hammersmith (three platforms). Some of the platforms have been completed with others ongoing. Latimer Road station has been closed for nearly a year in some form for platform extensions, not helped by the discovery during the process that more structural work was needed at the site. There are also platforms which will not be long enough for S7 stock. They are Baker Street (Circle and Hammersmith & City lines), Paddington (Circle and District lines), Bayswater and Notting Hill Gate. These cannot practically be lengthened due to the cost and disruption to both London Underground and roads above the stations. Selective door opening (SDO) will be used, as it is at various stations on the Metropolitan line (e.g. Great Portland Street, Euston Square and Barbican).

For those who will miss the A Stock, you will be glad to know that some will be preserved and are most likely to be stored at the London Transport Museum Acton depot.

Written by George Moore