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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Steam Train on the London Underground for 150th Tube Anniversary Celebrations

This is the view of the train that I was supposed to be on! I'd very kindly been given a press ticket to be on the evening steam train that was running from Kensington Olympia to Moorgate as part of the 150th birthday celebrations for the London Underground.

Steam Train at Earl's Court

Ironically even though I got to Earl's Court in reasonable time to go one stop to Olympia - due to the steam train itself, the train that I needed to get was pulled with no announcement to this effect. It was quite galling to be waiting on the platform and for over half an hour to be hearing the birthday announcements about a train that you were supposed to be on. Particularly when I thought I'd still just about be able to make it in time.

When it became clear that the train bound for Olympia wasn't coming (or certainly wasn't coming in enough time for me to catch the restored train - I was still kind of hoping it would turn up and I'd make it in the nick of time), I decided to cut my losses and join the other people who were now crowding to see the train coming in.

Poster for Steam Train

The staff at Earl's Court were really helpful (I'd particularly like to thank the guy who even tried to see if the train would be stopping at Earl's Court, so I could get on - sweet of him to try). Bearing in mind a normal Sunday service was running today and people were getting on ordinary Tube trains while the restored steam train was in operation. So Earl's Court had that feeling of "business as normal", yet "let's celebrate as something unique is about to happen".

Waiting for Steam Train at Earl's Court

Up until the moment the restored train pulled in, staff were keeping the stairs to the platform clear. There was a general orderliness in the crowd.  However, those who turned up on the off chance of getting a good view, and started to push in front of those who'd been there earlier were politely asked to stand back.

Although when the train pulled, it was like royalty had arrived and the orderliness turned into a mini scrum with people trying to get a good shot.

My shots were fairly rubbish - firstly as I was still galled as I wasn't on the train, waving regally from the interior and secondly as it actually came through the station much faster than I was expecting.

Steam Train at Earl's Court 3

You can just about see the steam train from this picture above. Bear in mind, I myself couldn't see it at this point and just had my hands in the air, wildly pressing the shutter release on my camera and hoping I was steady enough.

Steam Train at Earls Court 3

There's more of a sense of what the train complete with the steam looked like in this photo, plus you can see the level of interest from the amount of people that had turned up on a very cold Sunday evening.

TfL Photo of the Stream Train's morning run

You'll see lots of much better pictures of the steam train pulling through stations on the Metropolitan, District and Circle Lines today.  IanVisits made it onto the train I was supposed to be on and I'm sure he'll have some great shots.

Let me know if you managed to get some pictures on the journey today or if you were on one of the trains. Even though I missed my train, it was great to see steam and electricity running side by side today and a wonderful tribute to 150 years of the London Underground.

You might also like
Google Doodle London Underground 150th Birthday
LU150: London Underground Past, Present & Future
London Underground Stamps for 150th Anniversary Celebrations
Steam Train on the London Underground - Video - Test Run for 150th Birthday Celebrations  


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