THE Swanage Railway’s Class 33 D6515 Lt Jenny Lewis RN has made history twice over in London.
On Sunday, April 29, it became the first class member to haul a passenger train over part of the London Underground system, and on Friday, May 11, it hauled the special four-coach ‘Purbeck Explorer’ Swanage Railway charter train from London’s Ealing Broadway station to Swanage.
The April 29 trip was organised jointly by London Transport Museum, London Underground, GB Railfreight, Chiltern Railways and the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre at Quainton Road. The special train (reporting number 746 on London Transport and 1Z33 / 1Z20 / 5Z20 on Network Rail) comprised D6515, Class 20s Nos. 20142 Sir John Benjamin and Nos. 20227, plus London Transport Museum’s go-anywhere Southern Region 4TC carriage set.
This set was converted in York during 1966 for the Bournemouth to Weymouth line from the end of steam traction in 1967 to the electrification of the line in 1988, and later restored by the Covent Garden museum.
The Class 33 was used for the tour in order to help power up ETH on the train. In order for it to be allowed to run over the Metropolitan Line, it had to be fitted with trip cocks. Gauging tests were carried out at Watford in case the train was diverted.
Starting from Neasden depot at 9.41am, the special ran empty to Wembley Park platform 1, arriving eight minutes later for the passengers to board. It then ran to Amersham via Harrow-on-the-Hill. At Amersham, the London Underground crew was replaced by a GBRailfreight one, for the part of the journey over Network Rail metals in the form of the Great Central & Metropolitan Railway Joint Line.
The special arrived at Aylesbury at 11.11am, and then ran via Quainton Road to Claydon Junction, where the train reversed.
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