Steam returns to London Underground

London Transport Museum and Transport for London will celebrate 150 years of London Underground’s District line serving customers by running a vintage steam train into the heart of the Capital between Ealing Broadway and High Street Kensington.

Credit: London Transport Museum

Three return journeys will take place on the weekend of June 22-23.

Tickets to travel aboard one of these six special steam-powered train journeys – the last opportunity to travel through the central section of the Underground in this way – will go on sale on London Transport Museum’s website at 10:00 on Wednesday 27 March.

The commemorative trips will mark the final time steam trains are expected to travel into central London on the Underground network due to signalling modernisation that will provide more frequent services and improved reliability for customers on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines from 2021. 

Steam trains served the District Railway when it first opened to the public between South Kensington and Westminster on Christmas Eve, 1868. Today, the District line serves 60 stations – the most of any Tube line.

Credit: London Transport Museum

Sam Mullins, Director, London Transport Museum said: “Passengers on these special finale journeys will be transported to a by-gone era of Victorian steam-powered travel, giving people a rare opportunity to experience the sounds and sights of travelling on the District line when it first opened 150 years ago.”

Nigel Holness, Managing Director of London Underground, said: “The District line has been a vital part of London’s transport network for 150 years and it’s amazing to think how many billions of journeys have been made in its lifetime. This is likely to be the final time we are able to run a steam train on the Tube network though central London so offers transport enthusiasts a fantastic opportunity to be a part of Underground history.”

Credit: London Transport Museum

London Transport Museum will continue to offer its heritage steam train outings on the outer reaches of the Metropolitan line towards Chesham. Visitors looking to enjoy other heritage days out can book to board a beautifully restored red double-decker bus for day-time excursions from Covent Garden to Kew Gardens and Greenwich.

People can also discover more District line history at the next Open Weekend at the London Transport Museum Depot in Acton Town, West London on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 April.

Tickets to ride aboard the District 150 steam train, join an excursion by bus to Kew Gardens and Greenwich or visit the Museum Depot Open Weekend can be booked here: 

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