Tube Trains on the Isle of Wight, by Brian Hardy

Tube Trains on the Isle of Wight, by Brian Hardy

Tube Trains on the Isle of Wight, by Brian Hardy

Published by Capital in 2008, 96 pages. Paperback - 14.5cm by 21cm (N6442)

Brand New Book

From the introduction: When any London Underground rolling stock - past or present - is withdrawn from passenger service, its normal fate is the scrapyard. A small few of the more fortunate examples survive in less glamorous roles, usually as engineers' vehicles, while an even smaller number, if they are lucky, survive into preservation. Sometimes, especially in earlier times, Underground cars were sold onwards, to serve as annexes for homes, garden sheds, chicken runs, beach huts, store rooms or even experimental laboratories.

Some of the Metropolitan Railway's steam coaching stock, however, made its way to other operators in the early part of the 20th century, not only in the UK but in northern France as well. Some saw service on the Isle of Wight and several still survive as beach huts at St Helens.

Tube stock was hardly suitable for use on main-line sized railways and the vast majority of it, once withdrawn, never saw revenue earning service again. One excep­tion was that of nine tube coaches of the 1920 Watford Joint Tube Stock which were acquired by the LMS in 1931 for its electric shuttle services between Watford Junction, Croxley Green and Rickmansworth. They worked on these services until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, and were then stored and afterwards scrapped.

The further use of withdrawn tube cars was therefore an unlikely event - until replacement rolling stock was being considered for the Isle of Wight in the early 1960s. New trains built to a smaller loading gauge (because of the restricted clearance of Ryde tunnels) was, cost-wise, out of the question. British Railways therefore turned to London Transport for help because at the time, large quantities of Pre-1938 Tube Stock were being withdrawn. The use of this stock was seen as the most practical solution to the problem, and to that end a number of cars once again saw revenue earning service. The same fortune befell a smaller number of 1938 Tube Stock cars when the original trains were long past their sell-by date.

In the following 20 years, there have been extensive changes to the tube stock oper­ating on the Isle of Wight. The original trains provided in 1967 have gone, only to be replaced by more second-hand tube cars working well beyond 'retirement' age. Chapters in the book include:

A Brief Overview
Pre-1938 Tube Stock
Identification of Pre-1938 Stock
1938 Tube Stock
The Future?
Appendices (Pre-1938 Stock)
Appendices (1938 Stock)
Condition New