London Underground R Stock

The R Stock was built for the Circle and District Lines to replace life-expired hand operated door stock. The stock was a mixture of new build and converted Q38 Stock. They served until being replaced by D78 Stock in the early 1980s.

Number built: 378 (including conversions)
Built: 1949-59 (3 production batches)
Builder: Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Company, Metro-Cammell,
Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company
Engine: British Thomson-Houston traction equipment (630v DC fourth rail)
Formation: Driving Motor (DM)+Non Driving Motor (NDM)+NDM+NDM

The first batch of R Stock was the R47 Stock which was built by the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway Carriage & Wagon Companies, they were joined by converted (by GRWC) Q Stock trailers known as R38/1. The second batch was built by Metro-Cammell as the R49 Stock. The earlier R Stock was built from steel but R49 was built from aluminium alloy [1]. As the aluminium was corrosion resistant they were also left unpainted. This combined with the alloy to make R49 cars 16% lighter than R47s [2] - giving a 12% saving in energy [3]. There was also a third and final batch of trains (also by Metro-Cammell) known as the R59 Stock.

Externally the R Stock was similar to the earlier Q Stock with a flare to the bottom of the car sides. Stock was semi-permanently coupled in 4-car and 2-car sets which could be combined to form 6 or 8 car trains. Later on all train formations were modified with some 4-car sets reduced to 3 cars and some increased to 5.

Some R Stock was withdrawn due to being surplus in the early 1970s but the rest survived until the early 1980s with the final withdrawal in March 1983. Three cars have been preserved.
Preserved DM 22679 at LTM Acton

Cab of 22679

Aboard 22679

[1] Paul Moss, London Underground (Haynes, 2014) p. 110
[2] Brian Hardy, Underground Train File Surface Stock 1933-1959 (Capital Transport, 2002) p. 78
[3] Piers Connor, The London Underground Electric Train (Crowood Press, 2015) p. 139