The Last A Stock in Service  (Peter Robins) Local Railways - Metropolitan & GC Joint Line

This gallery presents a selection of types of trains which have operated on the Metropolitan & Great Central Joint Line. Running a few miles east of the GW & GC Joint Line, it is operated by Chiltern Railways services from Marylebone to Aylesbury and London Underground's Metropolitan Line services from Aldgate and Baker Street to Amersham with branches to Chesham, Watford and Uxbridge. As well as the normal passenger services, from 1989 to 2000 a steam event was held most years which brought a variety of locomotives to the line, along with heritage underground stock. If anyone has any photos of any locomotives or trains not featured here let us know. Copyright remains with the photographers.

Select a subject:     Normal Service Stock   Steam on the Met   Miscellaneous  

Normal Service Stock

A Stock At Chesham (Tim Edmonds)

A Stock at Chesham, 26 February 1977

For 50 years the mainstay of Metropolitan Line services was A Stock built by Cravens of Sheffield in 1960-2 and refurbished by Bombardier in the mid 1990s. A four car un-refurbished train is seen leaving Chesham for Chalfont & Latimer. Up until late 2010 a shuttle service operated between these two stations with a few through services to London in the morning and evening peaks.

Photo by Tim Edmonds
Class 115 DMU at Great Missenden (Tim Edmonds)

Class 115 DMU at Great Missenden, 31 July 1977

From 1960 until the early 1990s BR services from Marylebone to Aylesbury were provided by Class 115 DMUs built by BREL at Derby. A unit is seen at Great Missenden passing the Metropolitan Railway signal box, now at the Mid-Hants Railway. This station, along with Wendover and Stoke Mandeville, became the responsibility of British Railways in 1961 following the completion of the LT electrification to Amersham.

Photo by Tim Edmonds
Empty Stock DMU working passes Quainton Road (Tim Edmonds)

Empty Stock DMU working passes Quainton Road, 24 August 1976

Since the closure of the Great Central Main Line in 1966 the line north of Aylesbury has seen bin liner trains to Calvert Landfill, fertilizer trains from Akeman Street and empty stock workings to and from Bletchley Depot when the 115 DMUs were allocated there. 0ne of these workings passes Quainton Road station (the former northern extremity of the Metropolitan & Great Central Joint Line and the current home of the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre) on 24 August 1976.

Photo by Tim Edmonds
Special DMU working passing Waddesdon (Tim Edmonds)

Special DMU working passing Waddesdon, 29 May 1986

Occasionally special passenger workings have operated to Quainton Road in conjunction with special events at the BRC. A DMU on one of these workings passes the site of the former Waddesdon station on 29 May 1986.

Photo by Tim Edmonds
A Stock in experimental livery on Chesham Shuttle (Peter Robins)

A Stock in experimental livery on Chesham Shuttle, 22 July 1990.

As well as the Met, seven 4-car units A Stock worked on the East London Line from 1977 until this line became part of the London Overground in 2007. In 1988 these units were painted in a series of experimental liveries prior to the 1990s painting of underground stock. As these units were maintained at Neasden depot, they occasionally saw service on Metropolitan services. Unit 5066, with white body sides, red cab ends and blue doors, is seen on the 16:05 departure from Chalfont & Latimer to Chesham on 22 July 1990.

Photo by Peter Robins
Class 165s in Aylesbury Depot (Mike Walker)

Class 165s in Aylesbury Depot, 25 April 1992

After a period of neglect, including the threat of closure in the early 1980s, the line was upgraded in the 1990s and received new stock, Class 165 Turbos. The Marylebone-Amersham-Aylesbury service, now operated by Chiltern Railways, is unique in that it is the only Train Operating Company operated regular working to pass over non Network Rail owned metals (LUL is responsible for the line between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Amersham) and the 165s are fitted with LUL trip cocks which prevent signals being passed at danger. A pair of units are seen in Aylesbury Depot on 25 April 1992.

Photo by Mike Walker
55020 passing 97723 (960021) at Aylesbury (Brian Hopkinson)

55020 passing 97723 (960021) at Aylesbury, 14th July 2003

Chiltern Railways has retained a Bubble Car for use on special workings, including bank holiday shuttles to Quainton Road, which has been painted into corporate colours. Here it passes the maroon painted Sandite Unit 97723 at Aylesbury while working a peak hour shuttle to Princes Risborough on 14th July 2003.

Photo by Brian Hopkinson
66554 heads the 6M80 Dagenham Dock - Calvert Binliner (Brian Hopkinson)

66554 heads the 6M80 Dagenham Dock - Calvert Binliner off the Princes Risborough-Aylesbury branch, 14th July 2003

As mentioned above, one of the workings to use the line north of Aylesbury are bin liner trains to Calvert. Freightliner Class 66 66554 head the 6M80 working from Dagenham Docks off the Princes Risborough - Aylesbury branch on 14th July 2003. Further views of these workings can be seen in our Great Western & Great Central Joint Line Page

Photo by Brian Hopkinson
Aylesbury Vale Parkway (Mike Walker)

Aylesbury Vale Parkway, 18 May 2010

In 2008 a "Parkway" station was opened a mile north of Aylesbury bringing a regular passenger service back to that section of line for the first time in 40 years. A 165 enters the station on 18 May 2010. Chiltern Railways propose to extend their services beyond this point to Milton Keynes.

Photo by Mike Walker
A Stock Farewell Tour (Peter Robins)

A Stock Farewell Tour, 29 September 2012

The last A Stock train ran in service on Wednesday 26th September 2012 making it the longest serving stock on the Underground (beating the 1938 tube stock by two years). On Saturday 29th September a farewell tour traversed all branches of the Metropolitan. It is seen here at Northwood having just passed one of the replacement S Stock trains and the siding with ramp where the withdrawn cars were loaded onto road transport bound for scrapping at Eastleigh and Rotherham. As with all other pre-1980s Underground stock, the A Stock was painted into LUL corporate colours upon refurbishment due to the original aluminium unpainted finish being damaged by graffiti.

Photo by Peter Robins
S Stock at Chorleywood (Peter Robins)

S Stock at Chorleywood, 29 September 2012

The S Stock began entering service on the Metropolitan Line from July 2010. Built by Bombardier, the trains are made up in fixed formations rather than individual cars as on previous stock, hence the introduction of all day through services to Chesham. As well as Metropolitan services, this stock will eventually be used on all LUL's sub surface lines and will run in Automatic Train Operation once the resignalling program is complete. Two varieties, the S8 sets (for Metropoltitan services) are 8-car formations and have some transverse seating for the longer-distance services, while the S7 (for the other sub surface lines) sets are 7-car formations with only longitudinal seating. An Aldgate bound train is seen passing a 165 unit on a Chiltern Railways service at Chorleywood.

Photo by Peter Robins

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Steam on the Met

67416 at Chesham (Alan Morris)

67416 at Chesham, circa 1950s

Although the Metropolitan Railway electrified its inner city lines in the early 1900s, the rural part of its system remained steam worked and employed a large fleet of steam locomotives. After the absorption of the MET into London Transport in 1933, responsibility of steam passenger workings and freight passed to the LNER. Ex GCR C13 Tank 67416 is seen at Chesham with the push-pull shuttle. All of the coaches used on this service survive, the driving trailer is in the London Transport Museum at Covent Garden while the other three coaches are in active preservation on the Bluebell Railway.

Photo by Alan Morris
L.99 at North Harrow (Tim Edmonds)

L.99 at North Harrow, 26 June 1969

London Transport did retain a few small former MET steam locos for departmental use. By the mid 1950s they were becoming life expired so LT purchased thirteen ex Great Western 0-6-0 Pannier Tanks from BR which remained in service until 1971. L.99 is seen passing North Harrow with a working from Croxley Tip on 26 July 1969.

Photo by Tim Edmonds
Metropolitan No. 1 Passes Chorleywood (Mike Walker)

Metropolitan No. 1 Passes Chorleywood, 8 July 1989

Steam returned to the Met & GC Joint Line in 1989 to celebrate the centenary of the Chesham branch, although the A4 Pacific "Mallard" had been diverted over the line the previous year. Here Metropolitan E Class 0-4-4T No. 1 passes through Chorleywood at the rear of a train bound for Watford on 8 July 1989. This locomotive, built at Neasden in 1898, spent her entire working career on the Metropolitan Line and is now preserved at Quainton Road. Views of her working there can be seen in our Local Preservation page.

Photo by Mike Walker
80080 Approaches Chorleywood (Mike Walker)

80080 Approaches Chorleywood, 22 July 1990

In 1990 the event was repeated, though with trains running between Amersham and Harrow on the Hill. Standard 4 2-6-4T 80080 is seen approaching the road bridge just south of Chorleywood hauling a hired BR Class 312 EMU. This view is no longer possible owing to the erection of a wire fence on top of the bridge. Standard 4 Tanks regularly appeared on the line in the latter days of steam, hauling both BR suburban services from Marylebone and LT services north of Rickmansworth.

Photo by Mike Walker
44932 and Sarah Siddons depart Amersham (Mike Walker)

44932 and Sarah Siddons depart Amersham, 17 May 1992

London Midland & Scotish Railway 4-6-0 Black 5 No. 44932 pilots Metropolitan Railway electric locomotive No. 12 "Sarah Siddons" away from Amersham tender first. Black 5s appeared regularly on the line after the GC had passed to the Midland Region in 1958. In 1992 London Underground had purchased two Southern Reigon 4TC Units painted maroon to provide rolling stock for the steam events.

Photo by Mike Walker
69621 at Amersham (Mike Walker)

69621 at Amersham, 17 May 1992

N7 69621 from the East Anglian Railway Museum, complete with Amersham Centenary headboard, shunts at Amersham where locomotives were usually changed during the events.

Photo by Mike Walker
69523 at Amersham (Alan Costello)

69523 at Amersham, 1992

LNER 0-6-2T N2 No. 69523 is seen at the head of a train at Amersham. N2s worked alongside Metropolitan Line trains when they worked services on the City Widen Lines from Kings Cross to Moorgate, and one worked over the line in steam days whilst on loan to Neasden LNER Shed.

Photo by Alan Costello
6024 near Waddeson (Mike Walker)

King Edward 1 near Waddeson, 30 August 1992

As well as the LUL events, in 1992 steam appeared on the northern part of the Met & GC with the Aylesbury-Quainton Road shuttles being worked by steam rather than the more normal DMUs. Great Western Railway 4-6-0 No. 6024 "King Edward I" passes the site of the former Waddesdon station bound for Aylesbury. It was appropriate for this locomotive to be used as she had recently returned to main line service after restoration at Quainton Road.

Photo by Mike Walker
5029 near Waddesdon (Mike Walker)

Nunney Castle near Waddesdon, 30 August 1992

The other locomotive used on these shuttles was another recently restored ex GWR express 4-6-0 in form of No. 5029 "Nunney Castle" which is seen at the same location as above on the rear of the train consisting of Mark 2 coaching stock painted in Network South East livery.

Photo by Mike Walker
46441 Approaches Amersham (Mike Walker)

46441 Approaches Amersham, 22 May 1993

British Railways 2-6-0 Class 2 46441 from the East Lancashire Railway, painted in an unauthentic maroon livery, approaches Amersham on 22 May 1993.

Photo by Mike Walker
L.90, L.99 and Sarah Siddons Near Moor Park (Mike Walker)

L.90, L.99 and Sarah Siddons Near Moor Park, 29 May 1993

Two of the former LT Pannier Tanks returned to the Met in 1993. L.90 from the Birmingham Railway Museum and L.99 from the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre are seen near Moor Park with Sarah Siddons. These three locomotives also took part in a one off Steam on the District Line event the same year.

Photo by Mike Walker
9466 Approaching Rickmansworth (Alan Costello)

9466 Approaching Rickmansworth, May 1995

Another locomotive based at Quainton Road which took part in many of the steam events was Great Western Hawksworth 0-6-0 Pannier No. 9466. She is seen approaching Rickmansworth during the 1995 event.

Photo by Alan Costello
12 approaches Rickmansworth (Brian Hopkinson)

No. 12 "Sarah Siddons" approaching Rickmansworth, 21 May 1995

"Sarah Siddons" is seen on rear of a Watford-Amersham train on 21 May 1995. This locomotive was built in 1922 as a batch of 20 electric locomotives and used on Metropolitan services from Baker Street to Rickmansworth up until the extension of electrification to Amersham and Chesham in 1961. Since when No. 12 has been retained for departmental use and since the 1980s has been used on special workings. Her role during the steam events was to provide air braking for the coaching stock which were not compatible with the steam locomotives.

Photo by Brian Hopkinson
20227 at Amersham (Brian Hopkinson)

20227 at Amersham, 21 May 1995

From 1993 two trains ran during the events which brought the need for a second air braked locomotive besides No. 12. This came in the shape of Class 20 No. 20227, preserved by the Class 20 Society and based at the Midland Railway Centre, which is seen at Amersham on 21 May 1995.

Photo by Brian Hopkinson
80079 Passes Chorleywood (Mike Walker)

80079 Passes Chorleywood, 28 May 1995

Another 1995 performer was BR Standard 4 2-6-4T No. 80079 from the Severn Valley Railway, which is seen passing Chorleywood.

Photo by Mike Walker
75019 Departs Rickmansworth (Alan Costello)

75019 Departs Rickmansworth, May 1996

BR Standard Class 4 75019 from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway appeared at the 1995 and 1996 events and is seen departing Rickmansworth for Watford.

Photo by Alan Costello
7325 Approaches Rickmansworth (Alan Costello)

7325 Approaches Rickmansworth, May 1996

Also appearing in 1996 was 2-6-0 GWR Mogul No. 7325 from the Severn Valley Railway, which is seen approaching Rickmansworth from Watford.

Photo by Alan Costello
1264 at Rickmansworth (Brian Hopkinson)

1264 at Rickmansworth, May 1998

The star of the 1998 event was LNER 4-6-0 B1 1264 from the Great Central Railway. The locomotive was appropriate for the event as B1s regularly worked over the line in steam days on passenger and freight services between Marylebone and the Midlands.

Photo by Brian Hopkinson
2698 enters Chorleywood (Mike Walker)

2698 enters Chorleywood, 16 May 1998

LMS 2-6-0 Mogul No. 2698 from the Severn Valley Railway also featured during 1998 and is seen entering Chorleywood on 16 May.

Photo by Mike Walker
45110 arrives at Amersham (Tim Edmonds)

45110 arrives at Amersham, 25 May 1999

1999 saw another Black 5 take part in the steam event. 45110 from the Severn Valley Railway (and notable for being one of the locomotives to haul BR's last steam train in 1968) arrives at Amersham on 25 May carrying a headboard commemorating 10 years of Steam on the Met.

Photo by Tim Edmonds
31625 and 62005 depart Harrow-on-the-Hill (Mike Walker)

31625 and 62005 depart Harrow-on-the-Hill, 31 May 1999

An unique feature of the Steam on the Met Events was the parallel runs between Harrow-on-the-Hill and Moor Park, giving the opportunity to watch two locomotives together at speed. LNER 2-6-0 62005 from the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Southern 2-6-0 U Class 31625 depart Harrow-on-the-Hill together on 31 May 1999. Although neither locomotive has historical connections to the line. The U Class shares the same design lineage to the K Class used by the Metropolitan Railway for freight traffic.

Photo by Mike Walker
41312 and 61572 (Gordon Rippington)

41312 and 61572 pass Pinner, May 2000

The 2000 event also saw parallel running. BR Standard Class 2 2-6-2T No. 41312 from the Mid Hants Railway and LNER B12 4-6-0 No. 61592 from the North Norfolk Railway are seen passing Pinner. Standard 2 tanks saw service on the line during the latter days of steam when the GC Main Line was under LMR auspices and found employment on the push-pull shuttles of the Chesham branch.

Photo by Gordon Rippington
61592 departs Watford (Gordon Rippington)

61592 departs Watford, May 2000

61592 crosses the spectacular viaduct between Watford and Croxley over the Grand Union Canal. Although the Watford branch is now served only by Metropolitan services, when it was first opened in 1925 the LNER provided a short lived service from Marylebone to Watford. Sadly 2000 saw the last Steam on the Met event for the time being. However it may return for the 150th anniversary of the Metropolitan Railway in 2013, as London Underground's Private/Public partnership has provision for the operation of special trains.

For photos of other steam specials in the local area please see our Steam Specials and Maidenhead-Wycombe and Marlow branch pages.

Photo by Gordon Rippington

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Sleet Locomotive ESL 166 at Rickmansworth (Peter Robins)

Sleet Locomotive ESL 116 at Rickmansworth, 1 May 1977

As well as regular passenger stock, the line south of Amersham sees a variety of service stock owned by LUL on engineering duties. Many of these consist of former passenger cars converted. Here Sleet Locomotive ESL 116 sits in the bay platform at Rickmansworth. This was one of eighteen locomotives converted from 1903 built ex Central London Railway Driving Motor Cars between 1938 and 1941 for removing ice from conductor rails. These were made redundant when de-icing equipment were fitted to service stock, and were withdrawn by 1985, though one was preserved by the LT Museum.

Photo by Peter Robins
Battery Locomotive L52 at Chorleywood (Peter Robins)

Battery Locomotive L52 at Chorleywood, 22 April 1979

The majority of works trains on the Underground are handled by a fleet of battery locomotives built to tube tunnel loading gauge. L52 is seen just south of Chorleywood during a line possession on 22 April 1979. The maroon livery seen on the loco was superseded by yellow in the early 1980s

Photo by Peter Robins
31161 and 1986 Prototype Tube Stock at Aylesbury (Peter Robins)

31161 and 1986 Prototype Tube Stock at Aylesbury, 15 November 1987

Class 31 31161 in Railfreight Grey livery is seen just south of Aylesbury with one of the three 1986 tube stock trains with 31215 tailing. These trains were used as prototypes for the 1992 tube stock and ran on the Jubilee Line until 1989. In the background is a pair of semaphore signals, removed during the route modernisation of the early 1990s, and County Hall, the main offices of Buckinghamshire County Council.

Photo by Peter Robins
56064 Shunts at Aylesbury (Peter Robins)

56064 Shunts at Aylesbury, 28 October 1989

Class 56 56064, again in Railfreight livery, is seen shunting a stone train in platform 1 of Aylesbury.

Photo by Peter Robins
Bubble Car at Amersham (Alan Costello)

Bubble Car W55023 at Amersham, May 1994

During the steam events, a variety of Underground and BR stock appeared. Here BR Bubble Car W55023, preserved on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway, is seen at Amersham during the 1994 event, when it took over the Chesham Shuttle.

Photo by Alan Costello
1996 Rickmansworth Rolling Stock Display (Alan Costello)

1995 Rickmansworth Rolling Stock Display

Several steam events had a rolling stock display at Rickmansworth. In 1995 this consisted of a refurbished A Stock train, D Stock from the District Line, 1973 tube stock from the Piccadilly Line, 1983 tube stock from the Jubilee Line and a Class 37 Locomotive.

Photo by Alan Costello
1996 Rickmansworth Rolling Stock Display (Alan Costello)

1996 Rickmansworth Rolling Stock Display

The 1996 display included an array of tube stock in various liveries. These include the 1972 tube stock from the Bakerloo Line in LUL coperate colours, 1959 tube stock from the Northern Line in Heritage Livery (applied for the City & South London Railway's centenary) and 1973 tube stock from the Piccadilly Line in United Airlines advertising.

Photo by Alan Costello
Class 90 at Rickmansworth (Alan Costello)

Class 90 at Rickmansworth, May 1996

Also appearing at Rickmansworth in 1996 was this Class 90 painted in Belgian Railways livery.

Photo by Alan Costello
C Stock near Chalfont & Latimer (Peter Robins)

C Stock near Chalfont & Latimer, 17 May 1998

Besides the Rolling Stock Display, several unusual units worked the Chalfont-Chesham Shuttle during the steam events. A four car train of C Stock in Yellow Pages advertising livery is seen just north of Chalfont & Latimer on 17 May 1998.

Photo by Peter Robins
1938 Tube Stock at Chorleywood (Mike Walker)

1938 Tube Stock at Chorleywood, September 2008

Besides the steam events, heritage underground stock has run on the line on a number of occasions. This has included Cravens Heritage Trains' preserved 1960 tube stock train and the London Transport Museum's 1938 tube stock train. The latter is seen passing Chorleywood on September 2008. Although this stock never saw service on the Met & GC Joint, it did operate on the former Metropolitan Railway's Stanmore branch after it was transferred to the Bakerloo Line in 1939 and on Piccadilly Line services extended over the Met's Uxbridge branch west of Rayners Lane.

Photo by Mike Walker
Sarah Siddons at Harrow-on-the-Hill (Murray Tremellen)

Sarah Siddons at Harrow-on-the-Hill, May 2009

Following a period out of the public eye after the last steam event, Sarah Siddons was restored by Metronet in 2007 to her original condition and has appeared on the Met several times with one of the 4TC units which has been painted in a livery representative of the teak finish of the Metropolitan Railway's Dreadnought stock. She is seen at Harrow-on-the-Hill when she was running shuttles to Amersham in conjunction with the Rickmansworth Canal Festival. This station is the southern extremity of the Metropolitan & Great Central Joint Line. Beyond here, LUL and Chiltern Railways pass over separate tracks to Baker Street and Marylebone respectively.

Photo by Murray Tremellen
20189 and 20227 at Amersham (Murray Tremellen)

20189 and 20227 at Amersham, May 2009

As running in push-pull mode is now prohibited, when Sarah Siddons is in operation she tops & tails the 4TC unit with 20227 and a second Class 20 20189 painted in BR Green. The pair of 20s are seen at Amersham on May 2010.

Photo by Murray Tremellen

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