The Metropolitan 4-4-0T is undoubtedly the ideal model for all railways entering London. They appeared alongside many of the pre-grouping and post-grouping locomotives of the various companies.
The first of the Beyer Peacock 4-4-0Ts arrived on the Metropolitan Railway in 1864 and lasted through to London Transport surviving in service until 1946. There were two similar classes A and B (the latter having larger bunkers). Early examples were built with an open cab, so this loco can be manufactured in both open and closed versions with very little alteration. At various times the locos had condensing apparatus and an over boiler tank equalising pipes, all of which could be supplied separately, depending on the era. In total 66 were built for the Metropolitan.
The District (Metropolitan District Railway) also acquired examples, Nos.25-54. The Midland Railway bought five in 1867. The South Eastern Railway bought three in 1883 from the Metropolitan Railway as a stop gap measure and subsequently sold them back to the Metropolitan when their own locos arrived. The London & South Western Railway bought six in 1885 (Nos.318-323) the last being scrapped in 1913.
Many of the 4-4-0Ts were sold out of service when the Metropolitan Line was electrified and examples went to the Cambrian Railways (Nos.2/12/33 &37) where two others (Nos.34 and 36) were rebuilt as 4-4-0 tender engines. The 4-4-0Ts became Great Western 1129-1132, with the 4-4-0s becoming Nos.1113 and 1114. Only No.1130 survived to carry its Great Western number. The Mersey Railway also had one (Mer Rly No.2) as did the West Somerset Mineral Railway. The Nidd Valley Railway took two, No20 as No.1” Holdsworth” and No.34 as “Milner”
Seven were sold into industrial use, six to collieries, three going to Pelaw Main Colliery (Nos.24, 26 and 44, No.26 (as 26a) lasting into the N.C.B. era (being withdrawn at the end of 1948.) South Hetton Colliery had an example which they rebuilt as a 0-6-0T
What would make it viable?
It is an attractive design, unlike anything on the market. 110 built. Long lasting, 1864 to 1946. Can run on many pre-group and grouping lines. Single basic design with ability to individualise with add-on pipework for era required. Many different liveries possible: Metropolitan Rly, Metropolitan District Rly, London Transport, Great Western Rly, Cambrian Rly, London & South Western Rly, Mersey Rly, and in industrial guise.
Can I see a real one?
Metropolitan No.23 (L.T. L45) at the Museum of Transport, Covent Garden, London.
What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts and they may get feature in MR247, out Thursday 12th April