Suburban Electric Railway Association      
Located at the COVENTRY ELECTRIC RAILWAY CENTRE, Rowley Road, Baginton, Warwickshire           


The History Zone

Electrifying London

Post War Developments

The Period from the completion of all outstanding New Works schemes has seen both expansion and contraction of the London Underground network:

The Metropolitan line was electrified from Rickmansworth to Amersham, including the branch from Chalfont & Latimer to Chesham from the 12th of September 1960. The section of line north of Amersham was transferred to the control of British Railways and the MET trains ceased to serve stations north of Amersham from this time. New stock was built for the MET to replace the remaining loco hauled and EMU stock of F, T and CO/CP types. Designated A stock (pictured below) it was made up of four car sets formed of a pair of driving motor cars with two intermediate trailers between. The stock had the now standard unpainted aluminium alloy bodies and ran in eight car formations on the MET and four cars on the East London Line. It remains in service at the time of writing having been heavily refurbished.

The construction of the Victoria tube line from Walthamstow Central to Brixton was authorised in the early 1960's. It was opened in stages with the section from Walthamstow to Highbury & Islington being first on September the 1st 1968 with the section from Highbury & Islington to Warren Street following exactly three months later. On the 7th of March 1968 the line opened from Warren Street to Victoria but the final section from Victoria to Brixton did not open for over two more years, finally being ready for business on July 23rd 1971. The Victoria line stock (1967 stock) was a fresh design for the Underground and featured a more flush bodied aluminium alloy car with better lighting and ventilation. Its most startling feature was automatic train operation which had been trialed on sections of the District and Central lines. With this equipment the driver virtually 'supervises' the trains operation as acceleration and braking is undertaken by computer control. The driver still has the facility to override the ATO equipment if it is deemed necessary. Units of similar style designated 1972 stock were built for use on the Bakerloo and Northern line but do not have ATO.

The Piccadilly extended west from Hounslow West station (which was fully rebuilt at an slightly different location) to Hatton Cross on July 19th 1975. The line was further extended with a loop line serving a station for Heathrow Airport terminals 1, 2 & 3 on the 16th December 1977. A station was added on the loop to serve the terminal 4 building at a much later date. Connected with this extension the Piccadilly received brand new units of 1973 stock (pictured below) of similar style to the 1967 and 1972 stock units but without ATO and with a new type of electric braking system.

The Jubilee Line was originally to be called The Fleet Line when envisaged but the name was changed to commemorate the silver jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 1977. The line itself involved new construction of tube line from Baker Street to Charing Cross. Form Baker Street the Jubilee took over the line to Stanmore previously operated by the Bakerloo. The line opened in full on May the 1st 1979. Brand new units were introduced to the line from May 1984.

The Bakerloo was cut back from running to Watford Junction in the early 80's and terminated at Queens Park. This situation continued until the decision was made to run the service as far as Harrow & Wealdstone from 1984.

The underground has closed three branches since the war. The first was the District line one from Acton Town to South Acton which last ran on February the 28th 1959. Both the lines from Holborn to Aldwych (Piccadilly) and Epping to Ongar (Central) saw their last passengers on September the 30th 1994. The reason given for closing both lines was a poor level of patronage.

The London Underground continues to evolve; new stock is being delivered to many lines to operate them as they begin the 21st century and an extension of the Jubilee Line from Westminster to Stratford was opened just before the start of the Year 2000.