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History of Met Loco No. 1


Built in 1898, Met Loco No. 1 is the only survivor of a class of seven engines designed by the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Met, Mr T. F. Clark, for use on the Baker Street to Verney Junction service. It was the last locomotive constructed at the Met’s Neasden Works.


On 4 July 1904, decorated with flags and bunting it headed the first passenger train on the opening of the Uxbridge branch from Harrow-on-the-Hill.


The locomotive is taken into London Transport ownership when the Metropolitan Railway was taken over by the London Passenger Transport Board on 13 April 1933.


The locomotive is renumbered L.44 and is repainted in London Transport livery.


The locomotive was withdrawn, after a final moment of glory when in took part in the Metropolitan Centenary parade at Neasden on 23 May 1963, where it hauled four Ashbury bogie coaches and a milk van.



Purchased by the Quainton Railway Society.


The first major overhaul started on 13 August 1975.


Met Loco No. 1 is loaned to the Mid Hants Railway in September 1987 for the line’s 10th anniversary.


Met Loco No. 1 is loaned to the Bluebell Railway in July 2007 as part of the celebration of the completion of their rake of four Metropolitan Chesham vintage coaches.


Met Loco No. 1 is loaned to Barrow Hill in August 2008 for their Rail Power 2008 event and to Llangollen Railway for their suburban weekend in October 2008.


Met Loco No. 1 came to the end of its boiler certificate, with a special farewell event 17 October 2010.


Start of restoration at the Flour Mill workshops in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.


The restoration of Met Loco No. 1 is completed by the Flour Mill restoration workshops.


The return of steam to the London Underground and the first steam passenger journey on the original stretch of the Metropolitan line since 1905.


Thank you for helping to return steam to the London Underground

On 13 and 20 January 2013, the newly restored Met Locomotive No. 1 brought steam back to the Underground on the original stretch of the Metropolitan line to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of the world’s first underground in January 1863.

The Underground Pioneer comprised some of the finest surviving examples of Metropolitan Railway rolling stock including Metropolitan Railway ‘Jubilee’ Carriage No. 353, recently restored by the Ffestioniog Railway thanks to funding by the Heritage Lottery Fund and London Transport Museum Friends. The Chesham set of Metropolitan Railway Bogie stock coaches (1898-1900), the Metropolitan Railway Milk Van No. 3 (1896) with Met No 1 (built 1898) restored by the Flour Mill Locomotive Works providing the motive power at the front of the train.

We would like to say a special thank you to the 200 individuals who have generously supported our appeal and helped the Museum to raise almost £100,000 towards our target of £250,000 in support the restoration and operation of Met Loco No. 1.

But the work does not stop here. The Museum needs to continue to raise income to fund the operation of Met Loco No. 1 over the next ten years to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to ride on and enjoy the newly restored locomotive. Throughout 2013, Met Loco No. 1 will be taking part in an exciting programme of heritage vehicle outings.

How you can help

You can help ensure that the Museum is able to operate this special locomotive for the enjoyment of future generations for years to come. You can support us by making a regular or one off donation by visiting our Virgin Money Giving page.


Other ways to donate:

By credit or debit card
To make a donation by credit or debit card please speak to our Operations Team on 020 7565 7298.

By cheque
Please make cheques payable to London Transport Museum, with Met Loco No. 1 written clearly on the back and send to:

Development Team
London Transport Museum
39 Wellington Street
London, WC2E 7BB

Met Loco No. 1

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Shortly after 1.00pm on 9 January 1863 the inaugural train of the world’s first underground railway pulled out of Paddington station to begin a 3½ mile journey under the capital’s streets and into the history books. The ground-breaking line had been built and financed by a private company, the Metropolitan Railway, to link the mainline stations at Paddington, Euston and King’s Cross with the business district of central London.

It was a novelty that thousands of Londoners were eager to experience for themselves and to admire what one newspaper called ‘the most stupendous engineering undertaking yet achieved in the railway world’.

To mark the 150th anniversary of the London Underground – the world’s first underground railway – and as part of a partnership with Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, London Transport Museum restored Metropolitan Railway E-Class 0-4-4T steam locomotive No.1 (Met Loco No.1) which was built in 1898.

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Testing Steam on the Underground, Sunday 17 December 2012, © Peter Zabek

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The Underground Pioneer entering Baker Street, Thursday 10 December 2012, © John Titlow