The railways of London now have their own distinctive literature, notably the excellent concise periodical The London Railway Record. The physical remains are specifically excluded from the National Railway Museum and are housed in the London Transport Collection part of which is on display in Covent Garden. For the past century most services have been operated by electricity and steam was only used to generate the electricity (formerly at its own generating stations, but now purchased from the Grid). But for a further period (indeed beyond the end of steam on British Railways) some steam locomotives remained, and until the 1930s some passenger services were still worked by steam on the Metropolitan line (the Metropolitan Railway had ambitions to be a Mainline railway).
London & Greenwich Railway
Thomas, R.H.G. London's first
railway: the London & Greenwich. London: Batsford, 1972. 270pp.
Locomotives used are described in Chapter 9 (pp. 169-94) of this scholarly work (absent from Breckland Libraries). Notes 2-2-0 No.1 Royal William supplied by Marshall & Sons in 1835. Includes the Dundonald/Cochrane locomotive with a rotary engine; the use of the Curtis sledge brake; No. 7 Greenwich (supplied by Braithwaite & Co. in 1838); 2-2-2 No. 5 Victoria (supplied by Forrester) and No. 8 Hawthorn. The ship Erebus is also illustrated.
Lowe, James W. British steam locomotive builders. 1975.
Lowe's entry for William Marshall of Gravesend is a useful starting point: " This firm, according to some sources, supplied locomotives to the London and Greenwich Railway. According to D. L Bradley's book The Locomotives of the South Eastern Railway (RCTS) access to the L&GR record books produced the following information:
In May 1834 a 15 HP engine was ordered from William Marshall, and one more in July, whilst in the same year two were ordered from Bury who sub-contracted to Forrester & Co. Two more were ordered from R. Stephenson. The Forrester pair were delivered but not the two from R. Stephenson. Marshall ultimately supplied four locomotives all of the Planet type but not identical: Royal William, Royal Adelaide, Dottin, and Twells.
In 1838 they were numbered 1 to 4 and 1 to 3 became South Eastern Railway No. 127 to 129. Twells.was sold to the Admiralty and used as an auxiliary engine in HMS Erebus.
From N. Wakeman's The SECR Locomotive List 1842-1952 (Oakwood Press) SER Nos. 127 to 129 are given as ex L&GR locomotives built by Marshall in 1845.
In the Railway Magazine for August 1907 (Vol. 21) a series of articles on 'Early Locomotives of the SER' stated 'possessed nine engines the first six having names and Nos 1 to 3 were replacement engines built by Marshall in 1845. The original locomotives Nos 1 to 4 were given as built by C. Tayleur in 1836 but the works lists show only one supplied to the L&GR. (Works No.25 of 1836).
A further source A. R. Bennett's First railway in London (Loco, Pub. Co.) shows No. 1 from Tayleur, Nos 2 to 4 from Braithwaite & Milner of London; No. 2 was named Royal Adelaide and No.3 Princess Victoria. Mr Bennett also stated that Marshall took over Braithwaite in 1840.
On the weight of evidence it seems that Marshall built at least two or probably three either in the 1830s or as replacements in the 1840s.
Farewell to locomotives lists the following types which do not yet have specific entries, and were associated with the extension of the Metropolitan Railway into Middlesex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire during the 1880s and early 90s and the need for additional locomotives. Three more small classes of tank engine were added to the stud. The four 0-4-4 "C " class were built by Neilson & Company in 1891, and were very much to South Eastern Railway design. These were followed in 1894 by six Sharp Stewart 2-4-0 tanks, known as the" D" class, which owed much to Barry Railway designs. Then, in 1896, the Metropolitan put into service the first of the" E " class 0-4-4s, designed by its own Locomotive Superintendent, T. F. Clark. The first three were built in the Metropolitan works at Neasden, and one of them was given the number 1, replacing the original" A" class locomotive of that number. Four more" E" class tanks were built by Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. Ltd. in 1900-01 and, in the latter year, the" F" class also appeared. This class consisted of four 0-6-2 tanks built by the Yorkshire Engine Company specifically for freight working. Meanwhile, in 1897 and 1899, two Peckett 0-6-0 saddle-tanks were put into service for yard work at Neasden.
After listing the final three large types (G, H and K classes) the following are also mentioned: the powerful Worcester Engine Co. 0-6-0T for the St John's Wood Railway. the Manning Wardle 0-6-0 tank Nellie used by the contractors on the Uxbridge line and Fowler's Ghost
Atkins, Philip. The Metro-Land Tanks.
Rlys South East, 1987/8, 1,
That is the locomotives constructed by the Matropolitan Railway for outer suburban development. The Chief Electrical Engineer, Charles Jones (who had been appointed in 1903) sought designs for a powerful tank engine: Beyer Peacock offered a 4-cylinder 4-6-4T (presumably for a Baker Street to Gorton service) and NBL offered two varieties of 0-8-4T. Then Beyer Peacock offered an inside-cylinder 4-4-2T (as per BCDR), and the Yorkshire Engine Co came up with an 0-6-4T (author cites further reference including to sectional drawings). Using the 0-6-4T as a basis Jones drew up a specification for a 4-4-4T. This time Kerr Stewart was successful (sectional drawings: Locomotive Mag., 1921 February and Engineer, 1921 4 Feb.). In 1929 0-6-4T No. 94 was fitted with Trofinoff automatic bypass piston valves which led to 9% fuel economy. The K class 2-6-4T were assembled by Armstrong Whitworth using parts manufactured at Woolwich Arsenal. The LNER took over these locomotives from 1 November 1937. See letter from F.W. Goudie (p, 113) who states that No. 108, not 106 H class 4-4-4T was equipped with Scarab oil-burner, which was unsuccessful. Sid Checkley (Gresley Anthology) considered that the 4-4-4Ts were very lightly Baker, C. The Metropolitan Railway. 1951. Bibliog. (Oakwood library of railway history, No. 7).
An appendix tabulates the leading dimensions of the steam locomotive stock.
Becket, W.S. Steam in Metroland. Backtrack, 1990, 4, 196-204.
Mainly concerned with steam services on the Metropolitan Railway, north of Harrow (Rickmansworth from 1925) and Great Central Railway/LNER services on Joint lines. Mentions that the Metropolitan was considering an extension from Verney J. to Towcester in 1900, but instead concentrated upon suburban development through enhanced services, such as the introduction of Pullman cars on some trains. The high mileages of rolling stock are noted: the average was 227 miles, but one working achieved 342 miles. Train services, including freight, are considered in detail. Changes wrought by London Transport including the handover of most locomotives to LNER is described. Col. illus. of LT 0-6-4T 97 Brill at Chorley Wood in 1937 and LT48 at Neasden in 1939. B&w illus: Class H 4-4-4T no 106 at Aylesbury; Class A 4-4-0 condensing tank no L45 at Lille Bridge; Class K 2-6-4 no 113 at Verney Junction; Class K 2-6-4 no 115 approaching Aylesbury; Class H 4-4-4T no 103 at Rickmansworth; Former class K 2-6-4 no 115 now LNE L2 no 6162; Class A 4-4-0 no 23 at Quainton Road; Former Metropolitan Railway 4-4-4T no 105 as LNE no 6417; Class H 4-4-4T no 103 at Neasden Depot
Densham, P., compiler. Locomotives of the Metropolitan Railway, 1863-1943. North Harrow (Middlesex), Denton Equipment, 1944. 18 p. 13 illus. (thumb-nail sketches), 2 tablp, plan.
Tabulated data. Location : British Museum.
Ellis, C. Some classic locomotives. London 1949,
Farewell to locomotives on the Metropolitan Line. Rly Mag., 1961, 107, 747-55. 10 illus.
Although it was written to mark the end of electric locomotive operation, this article surveys the whole of Metropolitan Railway locomotive development.
Gadsden, E.J.S. Metropolitan steam. Northwood (Middlesex), Roundhouse Books, 1963. 43 p. + front. + 30 plates. 56 illus., 4 tables, Bibliog.
A detailed study.
Harvey, N. A Metropolitan steam locomotive resume. Rly Wld, 1961, 22, 79-82 +. 9 illus. Bibliog. (Locomotive causeries).
Partly based on MS material, compiled by G. Alliez.
Howson, H.F. London's Underground. London, Ian Allan, rev. ed. 1960. 119 p. + 32 plates. 90 illus.
Steam does not receive much attention.
Jackson, Alan A. London's Metropolitan Railway. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1986. 416pp. + plates.
An excellent history.
Lee, Charles E. The Metropolitan Line. London Transport, 1972. 32pp.
Ottley 12330. Excellent booklet.
London Transport steam locomotives. Rly Gaz., 1940, 73, 46. 3 illus.
Poole, S.L. The ABC of London Transport railways. Part 1. London, Ian Allan, [1950?] 73 p. incl. 16 plates. 35 illus., 6 tables.
Tabulated data and notes.
Smith, Michael J. Going round in circles. Backtrack, 1996, 10, 412-16.
Outer, Middle and Inner Circles worked under steam and eventual electrication and demise of Outer Circle. An attempted start was made on 1 July 1905, but there were problems. The Outer circle resumed on 13 September and the Inner on 5 November. There was only light traffic in the east. The Metropolitan ran all services from 4 Novemeber 1907, but the District ran some from 1908. The Middle Circle trains were withdrawn on 31 January 1905. The LNWR ceased to run to Mansion House from 6 December 1905 and Disrtict electric locomotives were used between Earls Court and Mansion House: this practice was discontinued from 1 January 1909. In 1912 the Earls Court to Willesden Junction shuttle was electrified. . . illus.: Inner circle train approaching Aldgate c 1900; Rear view of an inner circle train c1870; Uxbridge Road station c 1900; District Loco no 7A; Ex metropolitan rake of 1921 calls at South Kensington in the early 50s; Metropolitan's Aldersgate station c 1922; A 1905 car photographed in 1950
Smith, Michael J. Metropolitan freight. Part 1. Backtrack, 2001, 15, 510-14; 599-603.
Rapid expansion in freight traffic both to suburban area and into City. The late Watford branch was expected to generate considerable freight traffic. Part 2 covered motive power, its eventual takeover by LNER following absorption of Met. R. by LPTB, traffic handled, road vehicles accidents, decline and closure (to freight).
Smith, Michael J. "To this company's advantage...". Backtrack, 2006, 20, 134-41.
Transfer of London Transport (ex-Metropolitan Railway) steam locomotives to LNER from 1937:
Watters, A.S. The steam locomotives of the L.P.T.B. (Metropolitan line). Rly Obsr, 1939,
11, 386-9. 2 illus., table.
Watters, A.S. The steam locomotives of the Metropolitan RailwayII. (L.N.E.R. classes H2, L2 and M2). Rly Obsr, 1940, 12, 50-1. table.
Webb, D.R. Metropolitan line steam locomotives. Rly Mag., 1933, 73, 313-16. 6 Illus.
Webb, D.R. The steam locomotives of the Metropolitan Railway. Trains ill., 1953, 6, 98-101+. 8 illus., table.
Archibald Sturrock's condensing locomotives
Adamson, Rob. Archibald Sturrock;
an alternative perspective. Backtrack, 2002, 16, 434-8.
Questions whether Sturrock's boiler pressures were as high as he claimed. Questions concerning the condensing locomotives for Metropolitan Railway and steam tenders. Lord Vernon questions some of the assertions made in this feature (see page 534). Illus.:Sketch; GNR no 100 as rebuilt in 1856, Details of Sturrock's first passenger design, 0-6-0 Good's engine, Express 2-2-2 of 1952/3,
Goudie, Frank W. Archibald Sturrock [letter]. Backtrack, 2001, 15, 423.
See page 282: Quotes Rosling Bennet's article in the Railway Magazine for 1908 for the very rapid conversion of locomotives to condensing for service on the Metropolitan Railway.
The Beyer Peacock 4-4-0Ts were a remarkably successful design which enabled an intensive steam service to be operated on an underground railway by the Metropolitan and Metropolitan District Railways from shortly after the lines were opened until the lines were electrified. After that a few of the locomotives had a long residual career. Fortunately one of these seminal machines is preserved as part of the London Transport Collection. The design was developed by Robert Harvey Burnett at Beyer Peacock from a design built for the Tudela & Bilbao Railway. Burnett subsequently joined the Metropolitan Railway. Note Zerah Colburn (Plate 36) credits this design to John Fowler..
Ahrons, E.L. British steam railway locomotive, 1825 to 1925.
The early batches were fitted with Bissell trucks, but Adams' bogies were substituted from 1879. They were fitted with Krupp steel tyres. He noted that The Engineer for 17 May 1889 (p. 415) contained a survey of all the locomotives manufactured of this type.
Bennett, Alfred Rosling. The early locomotive history of the Metropolitan Railway. Rly Mag., 1908, 22, 317-26; 497-503: 23, 204-8
Includes the intteresting claim on page 497 that a Craven 4-4-0T (No. 136) for the LBSCR was rhe fore-runner of the Metropolitan 4-4-0T. Bissell truck diagram page 500.
Colclough, E. discussion on Kyffin, Arthur Ellesmere. Notes on axleboxes and axlebox guides. J. Instn Loco Engrs, 1921, 11, 626-7.
Colclough (Cambrian Railways) pp. 626-7 noted the excellence of the axlebox slides fitted to Metropolitan Railway 4-4-0Ts (which in the response to the discussion were observed to have been developed by Beyer Peacock,
Goslin, Geoff. The Beyer Peacock 4-4-0Ts. Part 1. The Metropolitan 'A' class. (London Locomotive Record. No. 6. London Rly Rec., 2001 (28) 91-5.
An extremely useful summary which quotes its sources: cites Jackson for information about locomotive engineers, Ahrons (Locomotive and train working in the nineteenth century Rly Mag. 1924 December) , Rosling Bennett, Nunn, Reed, Goudie, Hills and Lee.
Goslin, Geoff. The Beyer Peacock 4-4-0Ts. Part 2. The Metropolitan 'B' class. (London Locomotive Record. No. 7. London Rly Rec., 2001 (29) 122-5.
Goudie, Frank. Metropolitan steam locomotives. Harrow Weald: Capital, 1990.
Ottley 13691: mainly illus.?
Hills, Richard L. Some contributions to the locomotive development by Beyer Peacock & Co. J. Stephenson Loco. Soc., 1976 Dec.
Presumably Goslin was unaware of major history of Beyer Peacock by same author and his paper in Trans. Newcomen Soc., (Some contributions to locomotive development by Beyer, Peacock & Co. R.L. Hills. 40, 75-117. Disc.: 118-23) which includes a full list of locomotives manufactured.
Jackson, Alan A. London's Metropolitan Railway. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1986. 416pp. + plates.
Pages 124/5: Tomlinson in 1884 reported to the Board that six side rods had broken in the last six months of the year. Further there had been ten broken springs, three burst tubes and three derialments on MDR track at Mansion House. Tomlinson resigned shortly after and Hanbury told the Board that all the coupling rod failures had been on the 'B' Class engines and set about replacing these with rods of heavier section. Difficulties continued, no doubt associated with the unremitting strain, day in, day out, of working such an intensive, frequently stopping service. With 34 engine and 16 carriage failures in a single month (December 1890), T. F. Clark, the locomotive shops foreman, had been in charge, with the result that 'the epidemic of engine failures' had ceased. Clark was accordingly made locomotive superintendent on 1 January 1896 at £250 a year. Whilst Clark's abilities may have had some impact on the locomotive problems, it is interesting to note that during the early part of his term of office significant modifications were being made to the engines. The difficulties formerly experienced were largely overcome by redesigning the connecting rods and by fitting Gibson & Lilley link motion. After a three-year trial on No 29 in 1889-92 during the Hanbury regime, the latter device was found to decrease fuel consumption, save time on starting from stations and to provide a uniform motion which reduced wear and tear. By the end of 1896 all locomotives had been fitted with it. Trials with oil burning, using Holden's apparatus fitted to no 62 in 1898 were less successful... with fuels of suitable price.
Nock, O.S. Historical steam locomotives. 1959. Chapter 11: Tank engine prodigies.
"Queer though they looked...these... were splendid engines in service".
Nunn, K.A.C.R. A celebrated locomotive class. J. Stephenson Loco. Soc., 1942-5.
Reed, Brian. The Met Tanks. Locomotive Profile No. XX. 1971.
Rutherford, M. Spoilt for choice. (Provocations). [Railway Reflections No. 24]. Michael Rutherford. Backtrack, 1996, 10, 681-8.
Development of four-coupled tank engines from Gooch onwards. Locomotives discussed included Met Rly 4-4-0T; and Met Rly 4-4-4Ts.
Experiment with oil fuel (1898)
Barker, Robert. The quest for
alternative fuels [Letter]. Backtrack, 1997, 11, 285.
Metropolitan Railway experiments: Beyer-Peacock 4-4-0T fitted with Holden apparatus in 1898 and H class 4-4-4T No. 108 fitted with Scarab appartus in 1921 - as were two boilers at Neasden power station. Original page 148.
Tom Speck, Locomotive Superintendent, modified the design for Nos. 25-30 by fitting an Adams bogie in place of the Bissell truck and increased capacity (1200 gallon) tanks.
Ellis, C.H. Some classic locomotives. Chap. 4.
District Railway 1920s
The District retained some locomotives of this type for service duties and in the 1920s further engines of this type were bought from Metropolitan Railway.
[METROPOLITAN District Rly. purchase of 4-4-0T No. 22 from the Metropolitan Rly. for works trains.] Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1925, 31, 260.
REBUILT locomotive, District Ry.. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1927, 33, 311. illus.
No. 34 was rebuilt with a cab and other slight modifications.
UNDERGROUND locomotives. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1926, 32, 97-8.
General notes on District steam stock.
0-6-0T (St Johns Wood Extension) 1868
Lloyd, Mike. Surplus to requirements.
British rlys J.., (17) 327-31.
Five powerful 0-6-0Ts were ordered by the Metropolitan Railway in 1868 to work the unbuilt Hampstead Extension of the St. John's Wood Railway. They were designed by R.H. Burnett and supplied by the Worcester Engine Co. Four were sold to the Taff Vale Railway in 1873/4, and the remaining locomotive went to the Sirhowy Railway in 1873, became part of the LNWR fleet, but was sold to the Alexandra Docks and Railway in 1879 where it was rebuilt several times and finally became an 0-6-2T in 1921, becoming GWR No. 663 before being withdrawn in 1926. The TVR locomotives were rebuilt with smaller cyclinders between 1881 and 1885. Cites Ahrons Locomotive and train working and RCTS Locomotives of the Great Western Railway. Part 10. Illus. Number 91 (photograph) and drawing by Trefor Jones.
Atkins, Philip. A tale of red 0-6-4Ts.
Backtrack, 1998, 12, 37-8.
A somewhat selective examination of the 0-6-4T type which it is generally agreed was not a very succesful type. The Metropolitan G class were built by the Yorkshire Engine Co., and suffered from cracked frames: some entered LNER stock in 1937. illus.: Metropolitan no 94 Lord Aberconway. Summary of building and scrapping of 0-6-4Ts.
H class/LNER H2
Page, David. Great days at
'Nottingham Vic'. Steam Wld, 1999, (146) 42-6.
In Nottingham Victoria area the Metropolitan Railway 4-4-4Ts were known as 'Luftwaffes' and were considered to have difficult steam brakes and an unusual form of Walschaerts valve gear.
Snowdon, James R. Metropolitan H and K class tanks. British rlys J., (49) 414-20.
More comprehensive treatment is given elsewhere, but the photographs are excellent: pp 418-19 (two-page spread) show Neasden shed on 1 July 1934 with F class 0-6-2T No. 93; A class 4-4-0T No. 49 and H class 4-4-4T No. 104 (H.F. Wheeller). All still in Metropolitan livery.
This class, which eventually became the LNER L2 type, was constructed from parts built at Woolwich Arsenal for 2-6-0 locomotives (see Southern Railway N Class). Hally is given the credit for this purchase/reconditioning. Rowledge is probably best retrospective source.
2-6-4 tank engines, Metropolitan Railway. Rly Mag., 1925, 56, 300-2. 2 illus., table.
2-6-4 tank locomotive for goods traffic, Metropolitan Railway. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1925, 31, 67-8.2 illus., diagr. (s. el.)
2-6-4 tank locomotives for the Metropolitan Railway. Rly Engr. 1925, 46, 128-9. 2 illus., diagr. (s. el).
Retrospective and critical
Goslin, Geoff. The genesis of
the Metropolitan K class 2-6-4 tanks (London Locomotive Record. No. 4.
London Rly Rec., 2000 (25) 402-8.
H class 4-4-4Ts unsuitable for freight work.
Kirkland, R.K. The Woolwich moguls : a locomotive family. Trains ill., 1951, 4, 134-7. 2 illus.
Middlemass, TomThe 'Woolworths' Woolwich Arsenal tentative entry into main line locomotive building. Backtrack, 1990, 4, 148. 148-54.
2-6-4T and 2-6-0 for SR (N, N1, K, K1, U, U1); 2-6-0 for MGWR/GSR (K1, K1A); 2-6-4T for Metropolitan Railway (K). Same writer wrote more general article about Woolwich Arsenal in Railways South East 2, 111. See letter from Historian of Woolwich Arsenal (page 286)
Rowledge, J.W.P. The Maunsell Moguls. Oakwood, 1976. (Locomotion Papers No. 99). 64pp.
A highly useful summary of this convoluted collection of locomotives, including the 2-6-4T designs and those supplied to the Metropolitan Railway and to Irish railways.
Hunslet Engine Co. engines built for the District Railway. These conformed to the 12 ft 3 in loading gauge of the Inner Circle line.
NEW tank locomotives, Metropolitan [District] Railway. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1931, 37, 220-1. illus.
LONDON Transport steam locomotives. Rly Gaz., 1940, 73, 46. 3 illus.
LONDON Transport steam locomotives. Rly Mag., 1940, 86, 408-9. 3 illus.
Both of the above articles describe Nos. L 30, 31 and 34 (L 34 was a small Kerr Stuart 0-4-2T built to meet the tube loading gauge and introduced in 1922).
Smith, Michael J. London Transport steam. [letter] Backtrack, 1994, 8, 222.
Non-Metropolitan Railway steam stock: the District Railway provided L30 and L31 (Hunslet 0-6-0Ts) for shunting at Lillie Bridge. L34 was an interesting Kerr Stuart 0-4-2ST (1922) supplied to the C&SLR for work on the Morden extension. It was built to the tube loading gauge and was subsequently used on the Piccadilly line's extension to Cockfosters and the Central line's eastern extension. Letter in response to a colour feature on page 161
Transfer of mainline steam locomotives to LNER
METROPOLITAN locomotives transferred to the L.N.E.R. Rly Mag., 1937,
The 2-6-4Ts, 0-6-4Ts and 4-4-4Ts were transferred to the L.N.E.R. These classes were surveyed in the RCTS publication Locomotives of the L.N.E.R. (the 4-4-4Ts are described in part 7.)
TRANSFER of the Metropolitan line steam services to the L.N.E.R. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1937, 43, 365.
Railway Correspondence & Travel
Society. Locomotives of the LNER. Part 7. Tank enginesclasses
A5 to H2. 1964.
Metropolitan Railway H class became LNER class H2.
Railway Correspondence & Travel Society. Locomotives of the LNER. Part 9A. Tank enginesclasses L1 to N19. 1977.
Metropolitan K class 2-6-4T became LNER L2 and Class G 0-6-4T became LNER M2
From 1957 the fleet of steam service locomotives was standardized. Redundant Western Region 57XX 0-6-0PTs were acquired for this purpose.
LONDON Transport. Rly Mag., 1963, 110, 65. table.
A stock list of the 57XX class on the LTE "books".
L.T. "pannier". Rly Wld, 1957, 18, 255. 2 illus.
WESTERN Region steam locomotives for London Transport. Rly Mag., 1957, 103, 645-6. 2 illus., table.
W.R. tank locomotives for London Transport. Loco. Rly Carr. Wagon Rev., 1957, 63, 175.
Designed by T.F. Clark: Three (Nos. 1, 77 and 78) constructed at Neasden Works. Remainder supplied by Hawthorn Leslie. (Lowe)
2-4-0 (Fowler's Ghost)
Picture and brief paragraph, p. 58: Taylor, Sheila The moving Metropolis. London: Laurence King, 2001: John Fowler's unsuccessful attemt to build fireless locomotive heated by hot bricks.
Facts and fables of Fowler's Ghost. Rly Wld, 1974, 35, 18-22; 60-5.