Steam returns to the Underground

AMIDST a shroud of secrecy, steam traction returned to the London Underground tunnels…

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As a precursor to next year¹s celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the Metropolitan Railway, and to help raise £250,000 to fund the overhaul of the Metropolitan Railway¹s 1898 0-4-4 No. 1, early on Sunday, February 26 LSWR Beattie well tank No. 30587 was used on a test train to see if steam haulage on the modern Underground system was feasible.

On the Saturday, it was steamed and coupled smokebox-first to the Metropolitan railway 1923 electric locomotive No. 12 Sarah Siddons, which was used as a makeshift passenger-carrying vehicle for VIPS.

The special train left Lillie Bridge just after 1am and ran to Earl¹s Court, taking the District Line through to Paddington and then along the old Metropolitan line to Baker Street, stopping briefly en route in Edgware Road.

• The complete story of this historic train movement is contained in Heritage Railway issue 161, on sale on Thursday, March 15 2012.


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