C69/77 stock

This page was last modified on 7 May 2000,
with the update-message below added on 13 July 2014.

[PHOTO: C stock calling in cut & cover station: 65kB]

A Hammersmith & City Line train calls at King’s Cross St. Pancras (Inner Rail) with a “Hammersmith via Shepherd’s Bush” service. 8-car trains of Metropolitan Line A stock also call here, so these 6-car C stock trains fit with room to spare; they stop further back to be near the platform exit, requiring the provision of a duplicate set of platform CCTV monitors (seen at top centre) at the 6-car stopping-mark. (1999 June 28, using 1000ASA film)


C stock is the mainstay of the services on the Inner Circle, running Circle Line trains and Hammersmith & City Line trains (Hammersmith to Whitechapel, and to Barking in peak hours). It also provides District Line services over the Edgware Road – Wimbledon section (the tunnels to Edgware Road (District) station cannot accept D-stock trains). Two batches of this type were produced, sometimes known as C69 and C77 stock, but these are identical for all purposes. Each train is made up of three two-car units, each of which has a Driving Motor and an Uncoupling Trailer; therefore, each train will have a cab facing outwards at each end, plus one cab facing a car-end-window one-third or two-thirds of the way down the train. The carriages are designed with the huge commuter peak flows in mind, having four sets of double doors on each side of every carriage.

The whole fleet has now undergone refurbishment, which has included the usual painting in LUL corporate livery and interior general re-fit, plus fitting of a Digital Voice Announcer (‘Vera’), cutting of car-end windows to improve passenger confidence, transverse seating turned into longitudinal to create more standing-room, and yellow-painted grab-rails replacing the strap-hangers.

[PHOTO: C stock leaving cut & cover station: 43kB]

Above: An “Outer Rail” Circle Line train, running clockwise from Aldgate to Victoria to High Street Kensington to Euston Square to Aldgate, leaves Monument station for Cannon Street, at 22:02 on Friday 30 October 1998; as the track has been canted to the right into the curve, the platform has been built up accordingly as can be seen at the extreme left. Since the refurbishment scheme, the whole fleet has had the cab windows replaced with missile-proof glass; this accounts for the black surrounds to the windows which, when the centre windows were still awaiting replacement, earned the trains the nickname “Pandas”.


[PHOTO: C stock interior in sidings, daytime: 57kB]

Above: These cars have the smallest number of seats and the largest number of doors per car, and probably the most prolific set of yellow grab-rails too! This unidentified DM car was photographed at Steam on the Met in Rickmansworth sidings, May 1999.

In the driving cab

[PHOTO: C stock cab, wide landscape view in daylight: 52kB]

Above: The driving cab has very similar main equipment to that found on 1972 stock, with a Selector barrel on the right of the desk and a Traction Brake Controller (TBC) on the left

The TBC incorporates a deadman’s handle, seen in the released position here. Unless the train is stopped or running at less than 7mph and the TBC is in the “Rheo 1 and Hold” notch, the driver must not let go of the deadman handle or the emergency brakes will be applied (by exhausting the Westinghouse air brake pipe to the outside world). Note that this feature was not provided on earlier stocks (eg A stock, the driver having to move the selector (or in that case Reverser) key from “Forwards” to “Off” every time he wanted to let go of the handle at a station.

The console-top has a sheet of perspex covering the speedometer, brake and reservoir pressure gauges and some warning indicators. On the edge of the console are door-operation buttons which are a comparatively recent addition: originally these trains had guards, and after that the door controls were behind the driver’s seat (and are just visible on left). They were re-sited for comfort and convenience, probably during refurbishment. In front of the driver’s tip-down seat can be seen the telephone handset by which he/she makes announcements and talks to the Line Controller by radio.

[PHOTO: C stock cab, portrait view in daylight: 48kB]

A closer view of the driving desk. A selector key can be seen in the selector barrel; various yellow notices appear under the perspex, together with a whistle-valve button which pokes through a hole in it. On the corner pillar are further controls, including a Rate Switch that allows the driver to select one of two rates of acceleration.