LU 1972 Tube Stock [Updated]

The 1972 Tube Stock fleet which still operates on the Bakerloo Line is the oldest fleet of passenger rolling stock still operating on London Underground and in fact any rapid transit system in the UK! [1] They will finally be replaced by new rolling stock under the Deep Tube Upgrade programme though this will not occur until the late 2020s at the earliest under current plans. The entire fleet is currently undergoing a refurbishment programme [2] to keep them going until then though the 72ts was found to be in even worse condition than first thought with a lot of work needed to repair and replace cracked and corroded parts of the structure. The interiors have also been smartened up with new moquette on the seating and improved flooring [3].

Number built: 441 (63 7-car sets, 30 Mark 1, 33 Mark 2)
Built: 1972-74
Builder: Metro-Cammell
Engine: 4 LT115A traction motors per motor car (630v DC fourth rail)
Power: 1, 680 hp (1, 264 kW)
Formation: Driving Motor (DM)+Trailer (T)+T+DM+Uncoupling Non Driving Motor (UNDM)+T+DM

The 1972 Tube Stock was built to replace 1938 Tube Stock which was fast becoming life expired in the early 1970s. To save time the new stock was based on the 1967 Tube Stock which had just been built for the Victoria Line [4]. Although they look very similar there are sufficient differences to mean the 1967 and 1972 fleets were not interchangeable (though surplus 1972 stock were later used to augment Victoria Line services). The 72ts comprises 4 and 3 car sets which together make a 7-car train.

The first 30 sets were known as the Mark 1, none of these remain in passenger service as built though a couple have been preserved including an ex-Northern Line 4-car set at Aldwych disused tube station for training and filming purposes [5]. The second batch of 33 cars was the Mark 2 which has a slightly different interior and some equipment and control differences. The 72ts initially served on the Northern (Mark I) and Jubilee (Mark II) Lines though the latter were later were transferred to the Bakerloo Line where they remain in service. Thirty six sets are operated by the Bakerloo Line, the vast majority Mark IIs but with a couple of Mark Is converted to be compatible.

Due to their age the 72ts fleet in many ways is unique on London Underground, they are the only tube trains to retain some transverse seating and the last stock to be fitted with the once standard Westinghouse air brake [6]. They are due to remain in service until the late 2020s at least and some will likely remain in service beyond that date in departmental service, with 2 motor cars already part of the new Asset Inspection Train.
Bakerloo Line 3535 at Kensal Green

Bakerloo Line 3661 at Oxford Circus

Preserved Mark I 3530 at LT Museum Depot, Acton

Interior of Mark I stock at Aldwych

Bakerloo Line 3553 at Queens Park

[1] Underground News Number 654 (June 2016) p. 344
[2] "Bakerloo Line Fleet Weld Repairs" <>
[3] Underground News Number 655 (July 2016)
[4] J. Graeme Bruce, The London Underground Tube Stock (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 109
[5] Anthony Badsey-Ellis & Mike Horne, The Aldwych Branch (Capital Transport, 2009) p. 103
[6] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood Press, 2015) p. 72