LONDON Transport Museum has launched a nationwide appeal to raise £200,000 to restore the last three surviving 1930s Q stock cars so they can be run on heritage tube services.
The money is needed to fund engineering and restoration work, with the aim of having the first Q stock train running since 1971.
The Q stock trains represent an experimental era of prewar modernisation on the Underground – particularly the District line, which entered its 150th year in December.
Q stock trains first ran on the District line in 1938. They became a familiar part of daily life for people travelling to and from the newly-built estates in Barking and Dagenham, along with the suburbs of Ealing, Hounslow, Richmond and Wimbledon.
They took people to the West End theatres and museums, out to Kew Gardens and Richmond Park, and to cheer on their football teams. Londoners and international visitors alike travelled on Q stock trains to the 1948 Olympics and 1966 World Cup.
Unlike modern London Underground trains made up of identical carriages, Q stock trains were formed of a combination of sleek new cars purpose-built in 1938 to run with a range of older US-style cars dating as far back as 1923.
Passengers never knew what formation would pull into their platform. Q stock were the last London Underground trains built in this way, making the three surviving 1930s cars a rare and distinctive part of the capital’s transport heritage.
Read more and view more images in Issue 249 of HR – on sale now!