After a 3 year overhaul, Metropolitan Railway No.1 returned to steam working on the Dean Forest Railway, the Avon Valley Railway, and even working on the Severn Valley Railway (it was tested at 50mph) in order to prove itself ready for two days of special trains on the London Underground, to celebrate the 150th birthday of the London Underground.
On the 13th January, 4 days after the 150th birthday, Met 1 took to the Underground with the first of the special trains, with various celebrities and dignitaries on board (including Mayor of London, Boris Johnson). Because the rest of the trains would be dark, I decided not to bother seeing those trains, and so have uploaded this video now.
We begin at Olympia Junction, and the car park at a Tescos next to Earls Court. The first train of the day started at Kensington, and the first movement of the day would be the positioning movement from Lillie Bridge depot to Kensington Olympia. The trains would be top’n’tail with fellow Metropolitan Railway (electric) locomotive, No.12 Sarah Siddons, with the Bluebell Railway’s magnificent Metropolitan Railway coaches in between. At 09:43, the empty coaching stock left the depot at Earl’s Court and passed the car park.
A little over 15 minutes later, the pair were back, this time with Met 1 leading and No.12 on the back.
At Moorgate, the passengers detrained and Met 1 was lined up next to one of the new S-type tube trains. Unfortunately, Met 1 was all-but obscured by the modern tube train, and only people with tickets to ride on the special could see Met 1. I managed to capture a little bit of footage of Met 1 when the doors on the tube train were opened to the public.
My last shot from today was at Baker Street, with No.12 leading the train back to Kensington.
I never thought I would ever see Steam on the Underground, but this event was one that I couldn’t miss. I do not know whether I will return to London for Steam Returns to the Met in May, but I am looking forward to seeing No.1 again soon – it is a wonderful little locomotive!
PS. Keep an eye out in the next issue of UK Heritage Hub – I am currently writing an article about Met 1 on the Underground which might be in the next issue!
PPS. And here is that magazine with my report in it! See page 17/18, I look forward to writing more for UKHH in the future!