It may seem an implausible tale to tell today but when the Victoria Line opened in 1968 it was the greatest thing to happen to London in a very long time and represented the cutting edge of technology! It had dramatic looking automatically controlled trains with gleaming bodies with a tapered front, no driver side doors and unpainted brushed aluminium bodies.
Amazingly it still had the first trains, known as 1967 Stock, which operated on the original line. Now after 43 years and millions of miles later these are being replaced. The 1967 Tube Stock was designed specifically for the Victoria Line. It was the first train in the world to be specially designed for a fully automatic railway designed from scratch.
The line is equipped with an Automatic Train Operation system (ATO); the train operator (driver) closes the train doors and presses a pair of “start” buttons, and if the way ahead is clear, the ATO drives the train at a safe speed to the next station and stops it there. This system has operated since the line opened in 1968, making the Victoria line the world’s first full-scale automatic railway.
Trains being produced at Derby: the Class 378 Electrostar for London Overground, the S-stock MOVIA for London Underground’s SubSurface Lines and the MOVIA metro for London Underground’s Victoria Line.
After 43 years in service the ’67 stock Victoria Line trains are being replaced. 30th June 2011 was the last scheduled serviced, for two trips between Seven Sisters and Brixton. The videos offer comparisons between the 1967 Stock (so called because it entered service in 1968!) and the replacement 2009 Stock (so called because it entered service in 2010!)
For the full story of the Victoria Line see;