It’s January 2013 and a humble 0-4-4T that spent a good proportion of its life hauling permanent way trains became Britain’s most famous locomotive, over shadowing the likes of Flying Scotsman or Thomas.
That locomotive was Metropolitan No. 1 and it was celebrating the 150 anniversary of the world’s first underground railway – the Metropolitan – by taking to tunnels under London that hadn’t played host to steam since 1971.
Engineering sample shown – subject to changes
It wasn’t the first time that No. 1 had made history.
It was built at the Metropolitan Railway’s Neasden works in 1898, apparently from spare parts left over from the construction of Nos 77 and 78 two years earlier. As such it became the third of TF Clarke’s ‘E’ class to enter service, although on paper it was officially the rebuilt ‘A’ 4-4-0T, which had been scrapped after an accident at Baker Street.
‘Met 1’ worked the opening train on the Uxbridge branch on July 4 1904. As London Transport No. L44, it worked the 50th anniversary train in 1954. It would work LT’s last steam-hauled passenger train in 1961 before taking a starring role in the Metropolitan Centenary Parade at Neasden on May 23 1963.
It was rather fitting that it would work some of the first ‘Steam on the Met’ specials in the 1990s as well as being the engine of choice to mark significant anniversaries in the 21st Century.
Rapido Trains UK is delighted to be able to add such an historic locomotive to our growing range.
As No. 1 was built between the main batches of ‘Es’(Nos. 77-78 in 1896 and 79-82 in 1900/01), it featured detail differences not found on Nos. 77-78 (built Neasden, 1896) and 79-82 (built Hawthorn Leslie, 1900/01). The ‘Es’ also received numerous modifications over the years, so, consequently, our model only depicts ‘Met 1’ in its London Transport and preserved conditions. We’re also pleased to be able to announce that classmate No. L48 (formerly Metropolitan No. 81) was close enough in detail to be able to offer that too.
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