London Underground S7 and S8 Stock

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London Underground S7 and S8 Stock
A Metropolitan line S8 Stock train at Amersham
A Metropolitan line S8 Stock at Amersham in 2013
Bombardier S Stock Circle line Interior 3.jpg
The interior of a Circle Line S7 Stock
In service31 July 2010 − present
ManufacturerBombardier Transportation
Built atDerby Litchurch Lane Works
Family nameMovia
Number built191 trains (S8: 58, S7: 133)
Number in service191 trains
  • S7: 7 cars per train
  • S8: 8 cars per train
  • S7: 1,209
  • S8: 1,350
Operator(s)London Underground
Line(s) servedS7: S8:
Car body constructionAluminium
Train length
  • 117.45 m (385 ft) (S7)
  • 133.68 m (439 ft) (S8)
Car length
  • 17.44 m (57 ft) (DM)
  • 15.43 m (51 ft) (NDM)
Width2.92 m (9 ft 7 in)[1]
DoorsSix per car
Maximum speed100 km/h (62 mph)
Traction system
Acceleration1.3 m/s2 (4.3 ft/s2)
Electric system(s)750 V DC fourth rail
Current collection methodContact shoe
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The London Underground S7 and S8 Stock, commonly referred to as S Stock, is a type of rolling stock used on the London Underground's subsurface lines since 2010. Manufactured by Bombardier Transportation's Derby Litchurch Lane Works, the S Stock was ordered to replace the A60, A62, C69, C77 and D78 stock on the Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith & City, and Circle lines, which all date back to the 1960s and 1970s. The order consists of a total of 191 trains (1,395 cars), and consists of two types, S7 Stock for the Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines, and S8 Stock for the Metropolitan line, with differences in the arrangement of seating and number of cars. Both types have air-conditioning and low floors to ease accessibility for disabled people, and also have open gangways to allow passengers to move from one car to another whilst the train is moving.

The order is said to be the biggest single rolling-stock order in Britain[2] at, according to Transport for London, a cost of £1.5 billion.[3]

Passenger service began on the Metropolitan line in July 2010, the Hammersmith & City line in July 2012, and the Circle and District lines in September 2013. The S Stock completely replaced the A Stock on the Metropolitan line in September 2012, and the C Stock on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines in February 2014, and on the District line in June 2014; it fully replaced the D Stock on the rest of the District line in April 2017.


S8 Stock during testing near Northwood

The S designation stands for suburban[4], following the London Underground tradition of designating surface stock with a letter associated with its intended route—A Stock on the Metropolitan line to Amersham,[5] the C Stock on the Circle line,[6] and D Stock on the District line.[7]

Part of Bombardier's Movia family, the stock consists of 133 S7 seven-car trains for the Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines, and 58 S8 eight-car trains for the Metropolitan line. There were also three additional eight-car trains called an S7+1 in use on the Metropolitan Line while the eight-car S8 trains were returned for engineering modifications and ATC fitment. These trains were formed of a seven-car S7 and an additional car from another S7, forming an eight-car train. These trains, however, retained the all-longitudinal seating of the S7, and thus could be distinguished from the remaining S8s. Two of these trains were modified back to seven-car trains and transferred for service on the Circle, District and Hammersmith & City Lines in 2018.[8] The S8 Stock entered service between 2010 and 2012, operating all services by September 2012.

The S Stock has faster acceleration than previous trains, at 1.3 m/s2 (2.9 mph/s), but its top speed is 100 km/h (62 mph), 13 km/h (8 mph) slower than A Stock but faster than C and D Stocks. During the period of dual operation with both old and new trains, the stock had its performance capped to match that of the older trains in order to comply with signalling constraints and avoid bunching of the service. S8 stock trains seat 306 passengers compared with 448 for A Stock, a reduction of 32%, but can accommodate 25% more standing passengers (1,226 compared with 976) and have dedicated space for wheelchairs.[2]

The voltage has been increased from nominal 630 volts to 750 volts. This allows for better performance and also for the increased power demands of air-conditioned, fully motored-axle trains, and allow the trains to return energy to the network through regenerative braking.[1][9]

Currently, the S Stock is manually operated on most of the Metropolitan line and District lines, and part of the Hammersmith & City and Circle lines. The section between Latimer Road and Hammersmith was switched over to automatic operation on 10 March 2019,[10] while the sections between Latimer Road and Euston Square, Paddington and Edgware Road, and Finchley Road and Euston Square, were automated on 1 September 2019.


Selective door operation (SDO) is used at some stations where the platform is shorter than the train, such as at Baker Street

The S Stock is air-conditioned throughout: the sub-surface tunnels (unlike deep-level tube lines) allow the exhausted hot air to disperse,[2] and two-thirds of the sub-surface network is in the open air.[11] The stock has regenerative brakes, returning around 20% of their energy to the network and thus increasing energy efficiency.[12]

Gangway connection between cars

End external displays show two lines of text: the top line for the destination, and the bottom for the line. Internally, it has larger dot matrix indicators (DMIs) than D Stock (A and C Stock lacked DMIs). The DMIs show destination and line, and can display other messages such as safety notices. There are also DMIs on the exterior, with text alternating between destination and line, and on S8 Stock the stopping pattern (fast, semi-fast or all stations). The S8 Stock is the first on the Metropolitan line with dot-matrix indicators and automated voice announcements.

The air-conditioning system, the first on London Underground trains, is supplied by Mitsubishi and has two circuits so that if one fails there is still 50% capacity.[11] Through gangways from car to car, similar to London Overground's Class 378 allow passengers to move from crowded cars to ones with more room, provide extra room for standing, and create a sense of security. CCTV enables the driver to see into every car, while track-to-train video links give the driver a view of the train exterior before leaving a station.[11] There is a fold-out set of steps in each driver's cab to allow fast evacuation in an emergency.[13]

The S stock has cantilevered seating for easy cleaning and accessible storage of bags.[14] The seating configurations are different between the two models of trains. S7 Stock, used on inner city lines with higher passenger traffic, has longitudinal seating throughout. S8 Stock, used for longer journeys from the outer suburbs, has a mix of transverse and longitudinal seating, with four wheelchair spaces per train. S7 Stock trains are 117.45 metres (385 ft 4 in) long, S8 133.68 m (438 ft 7 in).[15]

To prevent accidental pressing of emergency alarms there are flaps over the alarm buttons next to wheelchair spaces.

All S Stock trains can operate on all sub-surface lines, with selective door operation used at stations that are shorter than the train. S7 Stock has seven cars per train, while S8 Stock has eight.

Design icon[edit]

As part of the Transported by Design programme of activities, on 15 October 2015, after two months of public voting, the walk-through S Stock train was elected by Londoners as one of the 10 favourite transport design icons.[16][17]

Entry into service[edit]

Metropolitan line[edit]

A London Underground Metropolitan line S8 Surface Stock train at Amersham.
The interior of a Metropolitan line S8 Stock train with transverse seats.
A London Underground S7 Surface Stock train at Wood Lane working a Circle line service.
The interior of a Circle, District, and Hammersmith & City lines S7 Stock train, showing the wheelchair parking places.

S8 Stock was initially tested overnight between Amersham and Watford via the Watford North Curve from 9 November 2009. Driver training began in early January 2010, and the first train entered revenue service on 31 July 2010, shuttling between Wembley Park and Watford.[11]

By 27 June 2011, S8 Stock was running along the whole Metropolitan line. Deliveries were suspended by Transport for London in November 2011 due to concerns over reliability. A number of trains were delivered to London Underground's Neasden Depot, but were not accepted to enter service. Deliveries resumed in mid-December 2011.[18]

In August 2012, London Underground confirmed that strap handles would be introduced on S8 Stock, in response to passenger complaints over the height of the handrails as compared with A Stock.[19]

By 15 September 2012, all 58 S8 trains had been delivered to Neasden Depot.[citation needed] The A Stock trains were completely withdrawn 11 days later.[20] In November 2012, it was reported that 37 of the new trains would be sent back to Bombardier for urgent modification at Bombardier's cost, and that drivers were unhappy with their cabs.[21]

Hammersmith & City line[edit]

C Stock (left) and S7 Stock (right) at Hammersmith station (Circle and Hamersmith & City lines) in July 2013

The first trains entered service on 6 July 2012, from Hammersmith to Moorgate. S7 trains are longer than the C69 and C77 trains they replaced (seven cars and 117 m long instead of six cars and 93 m long), so some station platforms had to be lengthened to allow for S7 operations. For stations where this has proved physically impossible, such as Baker Street, the trains have a selective-door-opening capability whereby the doors at the end of the train will not open.[11]

On 4 December 2012, an S7 train went east of Moorgate to Barking for testing. This was the first time an S7 train had been seen in peak hours. S7 Stock began operating a full service from Hammersmith to Barking on 9 December 2012.[22] The line was completely operated with S7 stock from 11 February 2014.[citation needed]

Circle line[edit]

S7 Stock entered service on the Circle line on 2 September 2013,[23] and completely replaced the C Stock trains on the line by 11 February 2014.[citation needed]

The Circle line's C Stock were replaced ahead of the District line's D Stock, as they were described by London Underground as being "in an increasingly poor state", and the D Stock had been extensively refurbished between 2005 and 2008.[24]

District line[edit]

District line S7 Stock train at Kensington (Olympia) station, heading for West Ham

The District line was the last line to be fully served by the S7 Stock, due to its existing D78 Stock being newer than other trains that the S7 Stock was ordered to replace, as well as its most recent refurbishment in 2005. The first S7 Stock train entered passenger service on the line between Olympia and West Ham on 2 September 2013.

On 6 February 2014, the S7 Stock started running between Wimbledon and Edgware Road. The S7 Stock started services to Ealing Broadway on 13 June 2014, and on 17 June saw the start of commercial service to Richmond. On 16 January 2015, the S7 Stock began running to Upminster. Withdrawal of the D78 Stock began on 19 January.

The D78 Stock was completely replaced by the S7 with the withdrawal of the final unit from service on 21 April 2017.[25]


London Underground has named some S Stock Units.

List of cars[edit]

Each car has a five-digit number: the second digit identifies the type of car, the last three digits the set number (001–116, 301–566). A-end cars have odd numbers; D-end even numbers. 25nnn cars replace 23nnn cars on trains equipped with de-icing equipment.

Set compositions[26][27]
Set type odd sets A-end D-end even sets
DM M1 M2 MS MS M2(D) M1 DM
S7 de-icer 301–385 21nnn 22nnn 24nnn 24nnn 25nnn 22nnn 21nnn 302–386
S7 387–565 21nnn 22nnn 24nnn 24nnn 23nnn 22nnn 21nnn 388–566
S8 de-icer 001–055 21nnn 22nnn 23nnn 24nnn 24nnn 25nnn 22nnn 21nnn 002–056
S8 057–115 21nnn 22nnn 23nnn 24nnn 24nnn 23nnn 22nnn 21nnn 058–116

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "S stock | Transport for London". 29 December 2013. Archived from the original on 29 December 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Metro — London, United Kingdom". Bombardier. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  3. ^ "Metropolitan Line air-conditioned Tube trains launched". BBC News. 2 August 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
  4. ^ "Research Guide no 19: A brief history on the Hammersmith and City line" (PDF). Transport for London. 4 September 2013. p. 4. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  5. ^ Bruce, J. Graeme (1983) [1970]. Steam to Silver: A history of London Transport Surface Rolling Stock. Harrow Weald: Capital Transport. p. 110. ISBN 0-904711-45-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  6. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 114
  7. ^ Bruce 1983, p. 118
  8. ^ "Modernisation of the District, Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, and Automatic Train Control Contract" (PDF). Transport for London. 1 July 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 April 2020. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  9. ^ Richard Griffin. " – S stock". Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  10. ^ "ATO, a Go-go: Signalling the SSR". London Reconnections.
  11. ^ a b c d e "'S' stock making its mark". Modern Railways. London. December 2010. p. 46.
  12. ^ "Transforming the Tube" (PDF). Transport for London. July 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2009.
  13. ^ "Evacuation system for the Tube presents tight brief for DCA". Product Design + Innovation. 16 December 2010.
  14. ^ "London Underground Metropolitan Line S8 Vehicle Stock — Rail Vehicle Accessibility (Non-Interoperable Rail System) Regulations 2010 – Application for Exemption from Schedule 1 Part 1 – Boarding Devices". Department for Transport. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  15. ^ "Technical Data". Bombardier. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  16. ^ Goldstein, Danielle (4 August 2015). "Transported By Design: Vote for your favourite part of London transport". Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  17. ^ "London's transport 'Design Icons' announced". London Transport Museum. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  18. ^ Connor, Piers (12 December 2011). "S Stock Deliveries Suspended" (PDF). Modern Railways. London. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  19. ^ Gray, Jenny (9 August 2012). "New handles to be fitted on Met Line trains". Uxbridge Gazette. Retrieved 12 August 2012.
  20. ^ "A Stock last day on the Metropolitan Line". Railways Today. 26 September 2012. Archived from the original on 19 January 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  21. ^ Murray, Dick (21 November 2012). "Half of new Tube fleet sent back to factory for repair work". London Evening Standard.
  22. ^ Johnson, Marc (13 December 2012). "First S Stock train runs on Hammersmith & City line". Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  23. ^ "S Stock trains take to Circle line". Global Rail News. 3 September 2013. Archived from the original on 26 September 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  24. ^ "District pips Circle to the post". Modern Railways. vol. 70 (issue 781). October 2013. p. 12.
  25. ^ Chandler, Mark (21 April 2017). "Catch the D: Train buffs descend on Tube to catch last old-style D stock District line service". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 26 August 2020. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  26. ^ "S Stock information sheet July 2010" (PDF). Transport for London on WhatDoTheyKnow. 27 April 2011. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  27. ^ "Rolling Stock Unit formations and Asset list" (PDF).

External links[edit]