Steam in Metro-land
As a long-time commuter on the Metropolitan Line, I took part in the celebrations of this year's 125th anniversary of the Chesham branch line by treating myself to a very special trip in the original old carriages which ran on that last section of the Met until 196o. Known as 'The Chesham Set' they were built in 1898, and were pulled today by a 1923 locomotive called the 'Sarah Siddons' to Chesham from Rickmansworth, and then by the wonderful 1898 'Metropolitan Railway Locomotive No. 1' back to Rickmansworth from Chesham.
People talk about the romance of steam, the special smell of it and how it disappears up into the trees, the puff-puff-puff-puff of the engine and the husky whooooooo of the whistle. When you experience it first-hand you realise it's all true. Snugly seated in my little 3rd class compartment, I was surrounded by some rather adoring gentlemen. We all chatted happily on the journey to Chesham and back, and I had the best time on the trip.
When we arrived back at Rickmansworth, I was really sad to have to get out of the carriage. The train was going to do one more journey to Chesham and back, and as a paying passenger I had the timetable for it in my bag, and knew where and when it would appear along the line. So on the way home, I stopped the car at Chorleywood Common and then near a railway bridge at Chesham to get a couple of pictures of it puffing past. My blipfoto is of the old 1898 loco gathering speed, having just pulled out of Chesham Station.
You can take a look at my other pictures of the day here.