Earlier today a very old train took a very rare trip through central London for what will be one of the last times it can make such a journey.

The 1938 era tube trains were mainly used on the Northern and Bakerloo lines, with some on the Piccadilly, and yes, of course, some were sent to the Isle of Wight.

One remains in London as a working unit, but with signalling upgrades on the sub-surface lines underway, soon this old train won’t be able to run through the crowded central section of the London Underground.

So, after several months of planning to squeeze it into the timetable, the 1938 tube train made an almost final trip from Ealing Broadway and around the Circle line, delighting those on board, and surprising those who were at platforms we passed through.

Some were too engrossed in their digital distractions to noticed, others thought it was just another train arriving and got up to try and get on, and some were scrambling to get phones out, jaw agape as the strange old red train pulled into the platforms.

A few photos and videos:


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  1. Jon Jones says:

    I thought I recognised you!

  2. Andrew Gwilt says:

    Finally you are on Youtube. Does that mean you’ll be adding your videos aswell on Facebook and Twitter. Just subscribed to you on Youtube. Brilliant photos of the 1938 tube train whilst it was on tour.

  3. I am so glad that I was able to see this beautifully restored train, with my two daughters, as it passed through Rickmansworth.

  4. The 38s are still working on the Isle of Wight (as far as I know) I used to go on holiday there and thought it was so funny to watch people on the long seats bounce up and down in unison on the way to Shanklin. I worked on the east London line in the 70s using 38 stock
    until they changed it for the A40 stock which was the fastest stock
    on the tube with the weak field flag up we used to overtake BR on the on the met express to Amersham which used to piss off BR motormen no end
    I also worked on them on the Drayton Park to Moorgate line until it was taken over by BR, my favorite shift was doing the stock transfer to and from neasden depot over BR track on the battery loco and god knows how old they were.

  5. RogerTCB says:

    I must have stood next to you as it arrived at Ealing Broadway and not realised. Perhaps I should pay more attention to people & less to trains! What a wonderful day it was.

  6. Joe says:

    Lol, I saw my brother in law he last picture at Moorgate, I went there as well.

  7. NL says:

    I think I’m muddled in the small group of people at Moorgate, it certainly was nice to see the 1938 stock again this weekend just gone, but it’s a shame that the tour sold out so quickly!

  8. mrs mair haynes says:

    Wish I had heard of this earlier, I was born in the Middlesex hospital in London in1938, my parents lived in Wembley at the time so wondered if my mother would have travelled on it.

  9. Simon Farnham-Smith says:

    I miss the 1938 red tube stock. My father used to take us (my younger brother and I) “to the end of the line” as he called it as a special treat for a ride from Clapham Common, on the Northern Line to Morden during the School Holidays.
    We lived for a couple of years in the early 1960’s in a ground floor flat and could hear the faint rumble of the trains approaching and leaving Clapham Common Underground Station. It was a magical experience as a 5 or 6 year old. Polished wooden interiors with green and red painted carriages. We would watch the guard leaning out of the guard’s door entering and leaving the stations while he would operate the buttons. The thrill of reaching Morden and seeing daylight.

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