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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 100 - October 2008

Metropolitan Railway E Class 0-4-4T No. 1

Met No 1 - New Loco or Rebuild! - Allan Baker

Those of you who have seen Met No. 1 in recent weeks will I'm sure have noticed the sparkling new builders plates adorning the front splashes. QRS member Tony Reed very generously funded their production a couple of years ago but they were only fitted earlier this summer. Why the delay you ask? A not unreasonable question, but the answer is bizarre indeed, for it turns out that our Met No. 1 was never built at all - at least not officially. Roy Miller provides the facts as we know them:-

"The original No. 1, a Beyer Peacock, similar to No. 23 as in the LT Museum, was involved in a serious accident at Baker Street, we understand at the junction of what is now the Inner Circle. The locomotive was so badly damaged and being in a tunnel it was cut up on the spot.

The Operating Department applied to the Metropolitan Railway Board for funds with which to replace No. 1. This was denied for financial reasons.

At this time a small batch of the more modern E class locos were being built at Neasden Works, together with spare parts to maintain them. The Operating Department was still desperate for another locomotive so arrangements were made to manufacture one additional set of spares to repair the original Met 1. When assembled, of course, there emerged a new locomotive, but on paper the original Met No. 1 had been repaired. The loco was given No. 1 and not a higher number for this reason. To have fitted builders plates with the date of "building" would, of course, let the cat out of the bag."

Coming back to the present day we can now understand why we could not find evidence of where to fit the plates and Tony will understand the protracted delay in fitting the plates.

The text in this Quainton Railway Society publication was written in 2008 and so does not reflect events in the 6+ years since publication. The text and photographs are repeated verbatim from the original publication, with only a few minor grammar changes but some clarifying notes are added if deemed necessary. The photos from the original publication are provided as scans in this internet version of this long out of print publication.

Met No 1 - New Loco or Rebuild! - Allan Baker - Quainton News No. 100 - October 2008

Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
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