C Stock Explorer Rail Tour
On Sunday, 13th April 2014, a ticket-only tour commemorating the soon-to-be-withdrawn C69 / C77 Stock trains occurred. Labelled as an ‘Explorer’ rail tour on account that the train would be ‘exploring’ a large portion of the Underground’s non-Tube network, including sections not normally traversed by the C Stock trains. Commencing at one of the two bay platforms at Moorgate, the tour ran non-stop along the Metropolitan line’s tracks to Amersham before heading to Watford over the so-called "North Curve". From there, the tour continued to Harrow-on-the-Hill, where it reversed and travelled to Uxbridge. The Piccadilly line’s tracks were then utilised as the train headed to Acton Town, where it again reversed in order to reach Northfields. After lunch, the train travelled up the lengthy District line route to Upminster. With just over an hour to go, the train joined the Hammersmith & City line at Aldgate East, travelling over the tracks also used by the Circle and Metropolitan lines. At Praed Street junction, the train headed on to the Hammersmith branch, where the tour would end.
Click the image below to see a PDF copy of my ticket for the tour.
Click here to read a PDF copy of the tour handout.
Photographs - I have split the photographs taken on the day into four pages; each page concentrates on a group of photographs with a similar theme.
Videos - all of my videos filmed during the tour can be watched by clicking the YouTube players displayed below:
Introduction from Paul, the Operating Official, prior to departure from Moorgate.
Heading north of Baker Street, the saloon lighting is temporarily extinguished as the train passes over gaps in the conductor rails - a trait last seen in this area with the Metropolitan line’s A Stock trains.
Passing Neasden Depot, we catch a glimpse of the Underground’s Track Recording Train, along with the Class 20 locomotives employed in the delivery of the new S Stock trains.
After a short break at Amersham, the train heads for Watford.
Passing Chorleywood en route to Watford via the North Curve.
Traversing the so-called "North Curve" of the triangular junction between Croxley, Rickmansworth and Moor Park stations.
Having detrained at Acton Town, the train awaits departure from the platform, in order to head into the reversal siding to the east of the station.
With tour participants having re-boarded the train at Acton Town, we head off towards Northfields, passing Ealing Common Depot in the process. The depot was undergoing extension work at the time, owing to the existing structure not being sufficiently long to accommodate the S7 Stock trains.
Whilst awaiting departure from Northfields, a Piccadilly line train of 1973 Tube Stock is seen in the adjacent platform.
View from the rear cab of the train as we pass Acton Green Common en route to Upminster.
View from the rear cab of the train as we pass Barons Court station en route to Upminster.
View from the rear cab of the train as we arrive and depart Westminster - the people waiting on the platform seem rather confused at the doors not opening!
View from the rear cab of the train as we pass through a rather quiet Stepney Green station.
Whilst awaiting departure from Upminster, a request for the next destination to be displayed on the blind is received; this would be Hammersmith.
Whilst awaiting departure from Upminster, our tame forum moderator rotates the destination blind to show Hammersmith - the final stop on the tour.
As the end of the tour looms, our train’s shadow is cast onto the walls of neighbouring properties, as well as the imposing structure of Hammersmith depot.
After a brief pause whilst our route into Hammersmith was being cleared, the train proceeds slowly past the depot and into the platform.
Close-up of the commemorative ‘destination’ displayed on the blind at the end of the tour.
The tour over, the train gracefully departs the platform at Hammersmith amidst cheers from well-wishers.