LU 1983 Tube Stock [Updated]

The 1983 Tube Stock must rate as one of the least successful types of train London Underground has operated in recent decades. While most types of stock have long careers (often into their fourth decades) the 1983ts entered service in 1984 but only lasted until 1998 with some stock only having about 10 years service. The stock was built for the new Fleet Line which became the Jubilee Line when it opened in 1979. The stock was built in 2 batches with 15 6-car sets ordered in 1982 and a second batch of 16 and a half in 1986 [1].

Number built: 189 (31½ 6-car sets)
Built: 1983-86
Builder: Metro-Cammell
Engine: Brush LT122 traction motors
Power: 960 hp (720 kW) (630v DC fourth rail)
Formation: Driving Motor (DM)+Trailer (T)+DM+[DM+T+DM]

The 1983ts was based on the sub-surface D78 Stock in some ways including the use of single leaf doors [2]. When the trains were being designed passenger levels on the tube were in decline but levels picked up dramatically after the trains were built. The single-leaf doors proved to be a problem for slow unloading and loading at stations, the resulting increased dwell times causing numerous problems on the line. There were also problems with reliability of the electrical equipment. The 1983ts bought with it a number of technical innovations such as Kiepe design traction equipment[3], unfortunately many of them proved to be unsuccessful.

When the Jubilee Line Extension was being planned in the 1990s the initial plan was to refurbish and upgrade the 1983ts to match the new 1996 Tube Stock then being designed for the Jubilee. In the end though it was thought cheaper to withdraw the 1983ts and just run 1996ts on the line. The 1983ts was withdrawn from the Jubilee in the Summer of 1998.

There were attempts to re-use these (relatively) new trains. One plan was for them to go to the Piccadilly but this proved to be too expensive. They were also considered for the Isle of Wight Island Line but were considered too "digital" and the Island Line decided to hold out for 1973 Tube Stock instead (they are still waiting). Some cars have been preserved including 4 cars used as artists studios on top of a building in Shoreditch. Others are used for emergency services training in Sunderland and Derbyshire. Some stored stock was only removed and scrapped in 2015 though it had been badly vandalised by then.
Preserved 3734 at Acton Depot

Interior of 3734

Cab of 3734

3733 and 3662 in Shoreditch

[1] John Glover, ABC London Underground (Ian Allan, 1997) p. 63
[2] J. Graeme Bruce, The London Underground Tube Stock (Ian Allan, 1988) p. 120
[3] D.K. Ware, "London's 1983 Tube Stock", Proceedings of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers Vol 198D:11, p. 158