Here’s a Christmas treat for railway enthusiasts, Victorian and twentieth-century nostalgia buffs and, for that matter, anyone who cherishes this curious old city and its suburbs.
A real steam train is being run on the Metropolitan Line – probably for the last time ever on this stretch – to mark the end of the Underground’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
You’ll have to book ahead for this rare chance to experience the romance of steam travel. For £25, you’ll make the journey to Uxbridge from Harrow-on-the Hill in the recently restored finery of an 1892 Metropolitan Railway carriage, handsomely appointed with plush mauve seating and wood grain ceilings. Or, for £15, you’ll ride aboard a 1950s ex-British Rail 4TC coach – also quite old. You’ll be pulled by Metropolitan Locomotive No 1, built in 1898 and restored earlier this year, while return trips are hauled by a classic Class 20 diesel. Limited edition souvenir brochures come free with each journey.
NB: Children under 11 aren't allowed in the Jubilee Carriage and children under three must sit on a parent's lap. Rides run once an hour, starting at 10.50am; the final ride sets off at 2.50pm.