This page was last modified on 31 August 2000,
with an addition on 31 July 2006.
1967 stock was ordered and built exclusively for use on the then brand-new Victoria Line; the 8-car trains are formed of two 4-car units, and from the start were equipped with One Person Operation (OPO) and Automatic Train Operation (ATO).
OPO, as now used throughout the London Underground, means that the “driver” (or Train Operator as he is now officially called) watches the platform activity (with the aid of platform-mounted mirrors and/or CCTV screens), and closes the doors when appropriate — previously the task of the guard. ATO means that the train drives itself: the Operator presses the twin Start buttons, then merely supervises the running before opening the doors when the train stops itself at the next station. She can, however, drive the train herself but speed is limited to 25mph and she has to keep a “Vigilance” button pressed (the master controller has no “deadman” device); this would normally only be done if the ATO had failed, in no small part because a piercing alarm goes off when the speed goes above 22mph! The ATO drives the train as fast as conditions allow all the time, reducing operating discrepancies and ultimately helping to allow higher train frequencies.
The whole Victoria Line is in deep tube tunnel apart from Northumberland Park depot which means that trains will still get rained on from time to time, although not whilst in service! The 1967 stock trains incorporated a design feature found on the experimental 1960 tube stock, that of long, double-glazed metal-framed windows in the sides of the cars. The Victoria Line fleet has been refurbished and all trains are painted in corporate livery, with the driving ends in red; however, the “middle” cabs of single-ended units (middle cabs are only found at a point half way along the train) are no longer in use, following modifications made to outer cabs only, and so are painted blue and white to match the car-sides. Following the recent withdrawal of 1959 stock, the 1967 stock is now the oldest Tube stock in passenger service on the Underground.
There is no opportunity to take pictures of a service Victoria Line train in daylight, and as the automatic driver causes the trains to enter the platforms at higher speed than is usual on other lines (ATO sections of Central Line excluded!), it is less easy to obtain decent photographs which incorporate the front of the stock.
It is worth noting that 31 cars of the Victoria Line fleet are actually of 1972 MkI tube stock origin, though they have been refurbished to a similar standard. These cars are all in the middle parts of trains, as they were not fitted with the Victoria Line’s Automatic Train Operation equipment.
The 1967 stock was designed by stylists as well as by engineers, and incorporates what was intended to be an aesthetically-pleasing front end. Wrap-around driving windows provide the Train Operator with ample visibility, and high-intensity headlamps were an innovation shared by C stock and subsequently retro-fitted to all older stocks; the latter explains their more sensible location than was the case with previous marques. The striking circular-top profile of the cab was also used in 1972 MkI and MkII stocks, which have the same bodyshell design.
Of note is that the train shown has come from King’s cross on its way south, whereas just through the wall to the viewer’s right is a Northern Line (City Branch) platform — also southbound — which leads to King’s Cross on its way to the Bank: to complete the confusion, the two southbound lines run due west (Vic) and due east (Northern) at this point anyway! This phenomenon is one of those neat idiosyncrasies which, for me, makes the London Underground more than just another Metro system! (1998 Nov 1 at about 19:30)