As built, the 1938 Stock was numbered as follows:
|'A' DM||'D' DM||NDM||SNDM||T|
|10012 - 10323|
90324 - 90333
|11012 - 11323|
91324 - 91333
|12000 - 12028|
12059 - 12157
12409 - 12411
12422 - 12446
92029 - 92058
|92447 - 92466||012158 - 012388|
012412 - 012421
012467 - 012476
092389 - 092408
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s the Northern Line was worked exclusively by 1938/1949 Stock trains. They were starting to show their age by the late 1960s; the first withdrawals from the Northern Line took place in the early 1970s with the introduction of the 1972 Stock trains.
In the mid-1970s the Bakerloo Line started to use 1972 Stock (Mark II) cars in addition to 1938 Stock. The 1972 Stock cars were intended for eventual use on the Jubilee Line (which opened in 1979), thereafter the remaining section of the Bakerloo Line continued to be served exclusively by 1938 Stock cars until the 1980s. The Bakerloo Line trains received an "Extra Heavy Overhaul" (EHO) to keep them in service long after their intended withdrawal date. The Bakerloo Line was thus the last line to be operated solely by 1938 Stock trains.
The Piccadilly Line's few 1938 Stock trains operated alongside 1959 Stock for much of their lives. They were replaced by London Underground 1973 Stock, with the 1959 Stock being transferred to the Northern Line, replacing other 1938 Stock trains.
During the 1970s the East London Line was worked by 1938 Stock trains, replacing trains of Q Stock. Single 1938 Stock trailer carriages were also inserted into 1960 Stock trains; these were used on the Woodford–Hainault and Epping–Ongar sections of the Central Line.
With the 1959 Stock approaching life-expiry, five ex-Bakerloo Line trains of 1938 Stock were given a further overhaul in the mid 1980s. These were then used on the Northern Line for a further two years, being finally withdrawn in 1988 and sold for further use on the Isle of Wight (see below).
The formation for a nine-car train was DM + NDM + SNDM + T + NDM + T + SNDM + NDM + DM.
Plans to operate nine-car trains did not work out and so in the early 1950s the cars were renumbered. The DMs and trailers had the '9' replaced by a '1', the DMs becoming 10324-10333, 11324-11333 and the trailers 012389-012408. Twenty-eight of the thirty NDMs were likewise renumbered, the exception being 92055 and 92058 which were rebuilt into UNDMs along with all twenty SNDMs. The twenty two cars rebuilt into UNDMs were renumbered 30000-30021.
After World War II, the former 1935 stock streamlined DMs were rebuilt into trailers, and included with the 1938 stock, being renumbered 012477-012494. Before the war, three trailers were built for use with the streamlined DMs. These three cars differed from the 1938 trailers in that they were not equipped with compressors. However the cars were not delivered until after the war and with the DMs rebuilt the three cars became part of the 1938 stock fleet, being numbered 012412-012414, and fitted with compressors.
The only examples still in daily use are the six units that survive operating the Island Line service on the Isle of Wight, and allocated TOPS Class 483. Ten sets (nine serviceable; a total of twenty cars) were bought by Network SouthEast from London Underground in 1988.
After running many years in NSE colours, the trains were repainted into 'dinosaur' livery. However, as of mid 2008, all trains had been returned to an approximation of their original LT train red livery; albeit with yellow fronts as per mainline regulations
|'A' DM||'D' DM|
In addition, some other units survive in preservation, including cars from the first-built unit, which are preserved at the London Transport Museum Depot in Acton. The preserved sets have been restored into their original red liveries, one with an orange roof (Bakerloo line) and one with a grey roof (other lines). The four-car preserved set regularly ventures onto the LU system for railtours and occasional filming work.