There'll Be Steam Trains On The Tube Again This Year

By Holly Brockwell on at

Looking at the news, it seems we've gone back in time in many ways -- so the fact that there'll be steam trains on the District Line once again this year doesn't seem entirely out of place.

However, thankfully it's not because there'll be no trains after Brexit (we've got a stockpile... har har). It's to celebrate the District Line's 150th birthday.

Incredibly, the line opened all the way back in 1868, serving five stations. You've come a long way, baby.

The 150th celebrations started on Saturday with a birthday event that turned out to be a lot more popular than TfL anticipated. According to Ruslkim10 on Reddit, loads of people turned up to get their cool free tote bag, but TfL only had 25 of them so they went almost instantly.

Never underestimate the people's love of freebies.

Image: Ruslkim10 via Reddit

Luckily, there are still the actual steam trains to look forward to. We don't have a date for the event yet, but no doubt the trusty District Line Twitter account (which weirdly tweets in the first person) will keep us informed.

This isn't the first time steam trains have returned to the Underground, but it will likely be the last. According to London guru IanVisits, signalling upgrades to the lines mean the old trains won't work for much longer, so jump on the steam bandwagon while you still can.


There's also an ambitious restoration effort underway to get the last three beautiful art deco Q-stock District Line trains from the thirties back in action. They need £200k and the work's being done by volunteers, so if you can spare a fiver for a fluted glass lampshade, here's where to send it.

Main image: Ed Webster via Flickr CC, of the 9466 steam train on the Metropolitan line during a previous steam on the Underground event.