Originally part of a fleet of 20 electric locomotives Sarah Siddons was built in 1923 by the former Metropolitan Railway for its London - Chesham / Amersham - Aylesbury (and beyond) services
which until WW2 sometimes even included a Pullman carriage offering light refreshments. These engines hauled trains over the electrified section between London and Harrow-On-The-Hill (or, after 1925, Rickmansworth)
whilst steam locomotives operated services over the rest of the route. The use of electric locomotives to haul passenger trains ended in September 1961 and initially Sarah Siddons was one of eight locomotives which escaped
the "knacker's yard" - four went to British Railways (London Midland Region) for electric locomotive testing purposes and four remained with London Transport for "operational" reasons, such as acting as depôt shunters.
Eventually however their nostalgic value was realised and two have been preserved. One of these now lives at the London Transport Museum which is located at Covent Garden in central London http://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/ (link opens in a new window) whilst Sarah Siddons has been kept in fully operational condition and sometimes takes part in leisure-orientated events such as "Steam on the Met". Until railway privatisation some railtours even saw her hauling British Railways InterCity carriages on both the Underground and the 3rd rail Southern Electric networks.
Named Galatea and Mayflower (after two yachts contesting in the 1886 America's Cup) the two Pullman carriages were actually introduced in 1910 and using different electric locomotives were the first electrically hauled Pullman's "anywhere" globally. They were for first class passengers only and as usual there was a supplement (extra charge) for travelling in them. Initially this was either 6d (ie: six pence in real money or 2½p in modern decimal money) or 1s 0d (ie: one shilling, which equated to 12 pence in real money or 5p decimal) according to distance travelled, although later this was reduced to just 6d for all journeys. In addition to offering freshly cooked light refreshments they were also fitted with toilets, which - as was usual in those days - discharged on to the tracks and were even allowed to be used whilst travelling through tunnelled sections of the route. Their demise came as a wartime economy in October 1939, and it is reported that neither survived. Scones and afternoon cream tea anyone?
The images above were all sourced from 35mm film. Most of the images seen below were taken using a digital camera at Upminster depôt on its 2009 50th anniversary opening day. At this event Sarah was an unpowered static exhibit and visitors were able to have a look inside.
Inside Sarah has much of her electrical equipment is located down the centre, with narrow walkways on either side. As will be apparent, internal space is very restricted with sight lines extremely limited, so even with a wide angle lens landscape format photography was a challenge, which explains why so many views are in portrait format.
The Metropolitan Heritage Train is formed of four ex-British Railways Class 438 4TC (Trailer Control) carriages. At each end of the train is a DTSO / driving trailer second open carriage (Nos. 76297 & 76324),
between them is TFK / trailer first corridor (No. 71163) and TBSK trailer brake second corridor (No.70283). Travelling in the compartments of the two corridor carriages is especially nostalgic, and 1st class is especially comfortable!
In British Railways days the Class 438 4TC trains comprised of un-powered multiple-unit fixed formations with a driving position at each end of the set. Originally these Mark 1 carriages were locomotive-hauled, they were converted to multiple-unit format by BR at York Works in 1966-1967 and 1974. In this format they were primarily used on services between London Waterloo and Weymouth. Between London and Bournemouth they operated in push-pull mode with a high power (3200 HP) 4REP four carriage electric multiple-unit attached at the London end, whilst over the un-electrified line between Bournemouth and Weymouth they would operate in push-pull mode with a Class 33/1 diesel locomotive at the Weymouth end (and without the 4REP units).
They were purchased from BR in 1992 and have been covered in a vinyl wrap themed along the unpainted teak (ie: wooden) bodied carriages which at one time the Metropolitan Railway used on this route. They are capable of being hauled by steam, diesel and electric traction.
As an aside, some original Metropolitan Railway wooden carriages (just about) survived into the present-day era and having been restored now carry passengers on the Bluebell Railway. Some photographs of these can be found at the first link below - which leads to another page within this website. Passenger Compartments On British Trains. This next link leads to the Bluebell Railway website http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/ (links open in new windows).
This page represents a branchline off the main website so after viewing it should be closed - navigation through the website is only possible via the main pages - however in case you arrived here courtesy of a search engine then clicking here will take to you the opening page of this website.
citytransportinfo is also here:
share this page with your friends!