Past becomes Present with Steam Underground

Met 1 at Hammersmith Station on 30th July 2014

On a humid summer night on the platforms of Northfields station, with the last Piccadilly and District line services faithfully plying the tracks, we waited with excitement.

We were waiting for the reassuring ‘chuffing’ sound of a steam train in the distance. As it came closer the sound grew louder until, at 23.38, we witnessed the arrival of Met 1 accompanied by her familiar whistle and plume of steam for the first time since the 150th anniversary celebrations of the London Underground in 2013.

The train, comprising the now familiar line up of Met 1, the Milkvan, Carriage 353, the Chesham set of coaches and Sarah Siddons, was being tested during engineering hours ahead of the Museum’s summer programme of heritage train outings taking place throughout August.

Following its prompt departure from Northfields the train, hauled by Met 1, made its way along the District and Circle lines up to Moorgate, surprising unsuspecting late night travellers as it slowly progressed along the line and through near empty stations.

Without a glitch the train soon reached Edgware Road, quickly filling the tunnels of the oldest part of the London Underground with steam, while the unmistakable smell of the coals delighted the senses of everyone who had the opportunity to travel on the train on this warm July morning.

After refilling at Moorgate, it was the turn of Sarah Siddons to haul the train, now with a free reign following the shutdown of the system all the way to Hammersmith. The journey was repeated for a second time before the arrival of the dawn chorus and the start of another working day.

We hope you’ll join us on these historic and memorable journeys with Met 1 on Saturday 2 and 9 August. For more information go to: Heritage Vehicle Outings

2 thoughts on “Past becomes Present with Steam Underground”

  1. I do think that Mr William Cooper needs to check his facts about the saving of Met No. 1 from being scrapped, because for one thing the Quainton Railway Centre did not exist at the time when he implied that they bought it. I was the person (Jim Stringer) who handed over the cheque to London Transport for the sum of £450’in 1965.
    I was greatly helped in saving this locomotive by the London Railway Preservation Society, who looked after it when it was driven under its own steam from Neasden to Skimpot Lane, Luton.
    The process of saving a Metropolitan Railway tank locomotive started (by me) during the Winter of 1962, when I was a 19 year old apprentice.
    Your’s respectfully,
    Jim Stringer


  2. And another thing. L44 (Met No. 1) could not have been “sold” to Quainton as they just did not exist then, and, as I still have the book in which I recorded every donation or loan received towards buying the loco, Quainton did not contribute one single penny towards its purchase. Just thought you aught to be aware of this. Jim Stringer.


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