To mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of the District line, London Underground plans to run steam trains along the line once again.
The service is due to run over the weekend of 22nd and 23rd June, with the steam train running between Ealing Broadway and High Street Kensington.
The commemorative trips will mark the final time steam trains are expected to travel into central London on the Underground network due to signalling modernisation that will provide more frequent services and improved reliability for customers on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines from 2021.
Sam Mullins, Director, London Transport Museum said: “Passengers on these special finale journeys will be transported to a by-gone era of Victorian steam-powered travel, giving people a rare opportunity to experience the sounds and sights of travelling on the District line when it first opened 150 years ago.”
Although steam wont be able to return to central London again, the London Transport Museum will continue to offer its heritage steam train outings on the outer reaches of the Metropolitan line towards Chesham.
Tickets to travel aboard one of these six special steam-powered train journeys – the last opportunity to travel through the central section of the Underground in this way – will go on sale on London Transport Museum’s website at 10am on Wednesday 27 March.
Each trip will last around 1.5 hours – 30 minutes each way for the trip, and 30 minutes at High Street Kensington as the steam locomotive is watered.
The train will be made up of the Metropolitan No.1 steam locomotive, hauling Bluebell Chesham Coaches, 387, 412, 368 & 394, the District Railway Coach No.100 from the Kent and East Sussex Railway — and in first class, the London Transport Museum’s Metropolitan Jubilee Coach 353
At the back, will be the restored Sarah Siddons electric locomotive.
The train will be hauled by Sarah Siddons to High Street Kensington on the outbound journey, and by Met No.1 steam locomotive on the return journey to Ealing Broadway.
Prices are expected to be around £150 for a standard ticket and £180 for a first-class ticket.
If you have an account with the LTM website, check your login works ahead of Wednesday, and if you don’t have an account, it’s wise to open one in advance, as tickets will sell out exceptionally fast.
London Transport Museum is also fundraising to restore a rare part of the District line’s heritage – the last three surviving 1930s Q-stock Underground carriages, which were in service from 1938 to the late 1960s. £200,000 is needed to complete the restoration work to make the trains operational.