London Underground 1986 Stock
Red prototype at South Ealing tube station
Inside the Red 1986 prototype London Underground train when on public display at Woodford station.
In service1988/89
Built at
Number built12 carriages (3 trains)
Formation4-car trains
Line(s) servedJubilee
Car length16,850 millimetres (55 ft 3 in)
Width2,750 millimetres (9 ft 0 in)
Height2,910 millimetres (9 ft 7 in)
Weight44.5 tonnes (98,000 lb) unloaded
Traction system
Electric system(s)630 V DC fourth rail
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Stock typeDeep-level tube
 London transport portal

The London Underground 1986 Tube Stock consisted of three prototype electric multiple units built for the London Underground in 1986/87 that led to the development of the 1992 Stock.


In 1984, London Transport ordered three different prototype trains to test new materials, construction methods and seating layouts.[1] Two were built by Metro-Cammell at its Washwood Heath factory, and the third by British Rail Engineering Limited at its Derby Litchurch Lane Works.[2][3]

Each train consisted of twin two-carriage motor car sets, with one car in each set being equipped with a cab. All were built to the same design and were able to operate in four, six or eight car formations, despite each set having different electrical equipment supplied by different manufacturers. The first was delivered in October 1986.[4] To make their identification easier the prototypes were distinctively and individually coloured - red, blue and green.[2][5]

After an extensive testing program on the deep level tube lines, they sporadically operated in passenger service on the Jubilee line between May 1988 and August 1989 in six-carriage formations where after they entered storage. After being stored for seven years, all cars, except green driving motor No. 16, were scrapped in 1996. Afterwards the latter was stored at Ash Grove bus garage before moving to the London Transport Museum's Acton depot.[2]

The public consultation results show that the blue prototype was the favoured, and provided the core design basis for the 1992 Stock that was built for London Underground's Central line and for the Class 482 which was built for Network SouthEast's Waterloo & City line.[3]

Set Manufacturer Traction system Carriage numbers
Red Metro-Cammell GEC Traction 11-21-22-12
Blue British Rail Engineering Limited Brush Traction 13-23-24-14
Green Metro-Cammell Brown-Boveri 15-25-26-16


See also


  1. ^ "London Transport orders tube prototypes" Railway Gazette International June 1984 page 420
  2. ^ a b c Hardy, Brian (1997). London Underground Rolling Stock. Harrow: Capital Transport Publishing. pp. 28/29, 57. ISBN 1854141937.
  3. ^ a b 1992 stock Transport for London
  4. ^ "London's Central line prototypes arrive" Railway Gazette International December 1986 page 901
  5. ^ "Railway vehicle; London Underground prototype 1986-tube stock driving motor car No. 16, 1986". London Transport Museum. Retrieved 18 August 2022.