Published 18th December 2012
Ticketing arrangements for Transport for London’s (TfL) 150th anniversary celebrations have been featured on rail.co.uk and now the full details of the celebratory trains have been announced.
So what do lucky passengers get for their £150 steam ride ticket or their £80 ticket for a trip behind the 1923 electric Metropolitan Railway No.12 Sarah Siddons.
Steam services will be operated by the 1898 built Metropolitan Railway ‘E’ Class 0-4-4T Met No. 1 and assisted with No.12 as required. The prices are high for a ride of less than an hour but the costs of putting the event on have to be covered. Met No. 1 has been overhauled in The Flour Mill, a workshop in the Forest of Dean and has since visited the Avon Valley Railway for test steaming and then the Severn Valley Railway for fast running trials at speeds thought to be up to 50mph.
Further test runs are thought to be scheduled for the weekend of 15/16 December on the Underground before the public services run in January over two consecutive weekends.
The train will be formed of vintage wooden carriages including the LT Museum’s 1892 Metropolitan Railway first class carriage No. 353 and the vintage ‘Chesham Set’ of wooden carriages owned by The Bluebell Railway. Heritage Lottery Fund and the London Transport Museum Friends funding has helped with 353’s restoration in Ffestiniog Railway workshops at Porthmadog.
A couple of the Bluebell carriages, Nos. 394 and 397 plus Met No. 1 were displayed at Rickmansworth during the final Steam on The Met event in May 2000.
The special trains are to operate on January 13 and 20 and will be shuttle services running between Kensington Olympia and Moorgate on the first date with a couple of one way positioning runs. These commence at 1210hrs from Moorgate to Kensington Olympia arriving half an hour later using electric loco Sarah Siddons.
The steam services start in the early evening departing at 1915hrs from Kensington Olympia, via Edgware Road to Moorgate taking half an hour. Then a round trip from Moorgate to Edgware Road and back one way steam and one way electric hauled taking an hour leaves Moorgate at 2010hrs. Tickets for this train were charged at £80 first class, or £50 Standard (3rd) class!
The final shuttle on January 13 is at 2125hrs from Moorgate to Edgware Road and back again with both locomotives taking charge in one direction. The curtain comes down at 2240hrs when a one way service using Sarah Siddons departs Moorgate for Earls Court and the plan is if possible to run non-stop.
The trains a week later on January 20 commence with the 1823hrs departure from Kensington Olympia go to Moorgate but Met. No. 1heads up the train for an estimated six minutes only! Then Sarah Siddons takes over to Moorgate getting the train in place at 1900hrs ready for the evening shuttles.
They start with the 2130hrs service to Baker Street and back return using both locomotives with a total journey time of 50 minutes..
The event’s final train is another one way service non-stop from Moorgate as the week before departing at 2240hrs but this time behind Met No. 1 to Earl’s Court via Edgware Road taking around 25 minutes.
The tickets were only available via a public ballot which ended in mid-November and all winners have now been advised they were successful.
The London Transport Museum at Acton will be opening in the Spring allowing the collection to be visited. There will also be a series of steam services in May on the Metropolitan Line to look forward to.