Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Steam on the Underground in 2012

Next year it will be 150 years since the opening of Britain's first underground railway, the Metropolitan Railway, which began operating on the 10 January 1863 between Paddington and Farringdon Street. Of course, given that electricity was in its infancy at the time the service was operated by steam trains. Therefore, for the anniversary there are [tentative] plans to operate a steam service on the line and you can read more about this at the excellent London Reconnections site.

But these days running steam trains anywhere on the railway network is not an easy task, and magnificent events have to prepared for. Thus, my joy was almost unbridled when the video above appeared on my Twitter feed last night. Using a London and South Western Railway Beattie 'Well' tank, a 'steam test' took place on the Metropolitan Line at 1 am on 26 February. The effects of steam on the modern Metropolitan stock were then tested by running two trains through it, yet, I can't imagine there were any problems. Well, I hope not, as I'm  now very excited about 2013's celebrations.

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