The restoration of the last surviving Metropolitian line E-Class steam locomotive is underway, and the owners are fundraising to complete the work in time for its 125th birthday.

(c) Buckinghamshire Railway Centre

Built in 1898, Metropolitan No.1 is the sole surviving example of the E-Class 0-4-4 designed for use on the Baker Street to Verney Junction service. The locomotive hauled the last steam-hauled LT passenger train in 1961, and survived in use until 1965, when it narrowly survived being scrapped.

It is now preserved at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre.

However, it returned to London for the 150th anniversary steam trips that ran on the Underground in 2013 and has made occasional returns for heritage days at Amersham and the Epping Ongar Railway. In 2019 just after the locomotive helped celebrate the 150th anniversary of the District line, and with 18-months or so to run on its 10-year boiler ticket, the loco was taken out of service for an overhaul, but works were delayed due to the pandemic, and have slowly started to resume recently.

Unfortunately, inspections found that additional firebox repairs are required.

The intention is to have the locomotive enter the workshops at Quainton later this year or early 2023, where the main repairs are carried out.

Quainton Railway Society is now looking to raise a total of £70,000 with the aim of getting the locomotive back on the rails for its 125th Birthday, sometime in 2023.

“Met-1 has been our flagship locomotive for the best part of 55-years,” says Quainton Railway Society’s Vice Chairman, Colin Ashman, “She is a firm favourite among the members of Quainton Railway Society and the visitors to Buckinghamshire Railway Centre. Our ambition is to see her steam again in her 125th year.”

The details of the campaign are here.

*yes, I know I said steam train in the headline, get over it.

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