17 March 2023
Rapido Trains UK is delighted to add one of Britain’s most famous locomotives to its range: Metropolitan Railway 0-4-4T No. 1.
Rapido Trains UK is to add one of Britain’s most famous locomotives to its range, Metropolitan Railway 0-4-4T No. 1. Models are to be priced at £179.95 for DCC-ready variants, with DCC sound-fitted models priced at £279.95. Models are reportedly at the engineering prototype stage of development, with production models expected to arrive early-2024.
Visitors to the London Festival of Railway Modelling on March 18/19 will be able to see the first engineering prototype being put through its paces.
Rapido Trains UK commented: "Launched to coincide with the 160th anniversary of the start of railway services on the Metropolitan Railway, ‘Met 1’ brings a model from the Tube’s history back to life for many to enjoy."
The following liveries are promised:
- 909001: No. L44, London Transport livery
- 909002: No. L48, London Transport livery
- 909003: No. 1, 1999-2009 preserved livery
- 909004: No. 1, 2013-present preserved livery
Models are promised with fine detail, a smooth and powerful mechanism, flickering firebox, Next18 decoder socket and factory-fitted sound speaker. Sound-fitted versions are also available. All ‘Met 1’ models are available to order now and the order book closes on July 3, 2023.
Sales & Marketing Manager Richard Foster said, “As No. 1 was essentially a one-off, it has some unique features and detail differences. Therefore, we’ve just produced No. 1, which has become a bit of an icon. We have discovered that classmate No. L48 (formerly Metropolitan No. 81) was close enough in detail to be able to offer that too.”
Ellen Sankey, Brand Licensing Manager at Transport for London said: “The Tube is a true London icon, connecting people across the capital and transporting tourists and commuters across the city. This new model of ‘Met 1’ brings a model from the Tube’s history back to life for enthusiasts and collectors to enjoy.”
No. 1 is being offered in two preservation era liveries: the livery is carried between 1999 and 2009 and the take on the 1920s Metropolitan livery that it has carried since 2013. Rapido also plans to offer two London Transport liveries, including ‘Met 1’ as No. L44. All models have been licensed from Transport for London.
‘Met 1’ played a central role in January 2013’s 150th anniversary celebrations of the Tube when it brought steam back to London Underground’s tunnels for the first time since 1971. As a consequence of celebrating the opening of the world’s first underground railway, No. 1 challenged the likes of Flying Scotsman or Thomas The Tank Engine as the world’s most famous steam engine. 2023 also marks the 125th anniversary of the Met 1 locomotive which was first built in 1898 at the historic Neasden Works in northwest London.
Metropolitan No. 1 was built at the Metropolitan Railway’s Neasden works in 1898, apparently from spare parts left over from the construction of Nos. 77 and 78 two years earlier. As such, it became the third of TF Clarke’s ‘E’ class to enter service. On paper, however, it was officially the rebuilt ‘A’ 4-4-0T, which had been scrapped after an accident at Baker Street. Two main batches of ‘Es’ were built: Nos. 77-78 at Neasden in 1896 while Hawthorn Leslie built Nos. 79-82 in 1900/01).
The locomotive worked the opening train on the Uxbridge branch on July 4, 1904. As London Transport No. L44, it worked the 50th anniversary train to Uxbridge in 1954. It would work LT’s last steam-hauled passenger train in 1961 before taking a starring role in the Metropolitan Centenary Parade at Neasden on May 23 1963. It was rather fitting that it would work some of the first ‘Steam on the Met’ specials in the 1990s as well as being the engine of choice to mark significant anniversaries in the 21st Century.
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