1995 Stock Tread Plate
This tread plate was one of a considerable number replaced throughout the 1995 Stock fleet as part of a "refresh" that commenced in late 2012 and is set to be continued until 2014. As part of this work, new tread plates incorporating a yellow strip are being fitted, in order that they are more visible to visually-impaired commuters. This may appear surprising, as the existing plates (certainly this one, anyway) are in good condition, although signs of corrosion are beginning to appear on the rear side. The plate was sold through Haydn Brand’s excellent collectables website (http://www.londontransportoriginalsigns.co.uk), and at the time of writing, there are identical tread plates on sale.
The plate is of a far simpler design than the tread plates of earlier Underground trains have been - most of this plate is smooth, with only a central band containing the manufacturer’s logo and production commencement date providing a tactile surface for passengers. The plate measures 1300 mm ( 53 in ) × 173 mm ( 6.8 in ).
The plate only carries the GEC Alsthom logo, whereas the Jubilee line’s original batch of 1996 Stock trains have both this and "Metro-Cammell" cast into their tread plates; Metro-Cammell’s rail division being sold to GEC Alsthom in 1989. This company itself was formed out of the merger of France’s Compagnie Générale d’Electricité with the UK’s equivalent, the General Electric Company, in the same year. Today, the company is known as simply "Alstom", following the company’s introduction on the Paris Stock Exchange in 1998.
A feature of the company’s logo at the time was the triangle located in the centre - a stylised inversion of the first letter in "Alsthom". This triangle was coloured red when in print form.
One potentially confusing feature of the 1995 Stock is that the year 1996 is displayed on its tread plates; indeed, neither the 1995 nor the 1996 Stock trains were in service before 1997, and introduction of 1995 Stock continued for two years after the last of the 1996 Stock (original batch) trains had entered service. The difference in the stock naming can therefore only serve as a means of distinguishing between both types.
A short ( 9 mm / 0.35 in ) flat section exists at either end of the plate - when fitted, this is hidden from view.
Another seldom-seen view is the rear of the plate. The adhesive used to secure the plate to the car floor can be seen at the front. During cleaning, this flaked in places, revealing the blue of the Underground livery’s lower portion in places. As mentioned earlier, corrosion was appearing on this side of the casting.
As a comparison, I placed the plate next to the 1972 Stock plate in order to demonstrate the size differences. The additional width of the 1995 Stock plate necessitates the use of two rows for fixing screws, with each row accommodating five screws spaced equally.
One final view of the two logos together.