The final class of loco for Stage 1 of Artillery Lane is the Metropolitan Railway’s Beyer, Peacock 4-4-0T. Various design changes over the years resulted in two almost identical types, classes A and B. Forty-four of the former and twenty two of the latter were constructed between June 1864 and October 1885, a further fifty four were built for the Metropolitan & District, and another twenty eight for several main line companies serving the capital. The design was not new, as Beyer, Peacock had supplied similar engines for export prior to the Metropolitan taking delivery. For now, only the sixty six Metropolitan locomotives concern us; they were painted olive green until 1885 when the deep crimson, similar in shade to the Midland was applied, and by the opening period of my timeline, it is assumed all Metropolitan locomotives had been repainted.

This is going to be the most awkward class of the four to deal with, and yet arguably the most important to set the scene. At the time of writing there are no kits on the market for the class, though I am aware one was in development not long ago, but was stymied by the fact that clearances were a problem (in 32mm) which meant it could only travel in a straight line. Back to the drawing board! Perhaps it’s time to measure and photograph No.23 and buy some new piercing saw blades.

The photo shows a Class B loco, number 55 of 1880, emerging from the tunnel at Aldgate on the line from Aldgate East and Whitechapel which ran parallel and south of the line to Basilica Fields. The train is bound for Hammersmith, probebly in the late 1890s/early 1900s as evidenced by the new boiler/central position of the dome, and the decorative style. The loco was withdrawn in 1906.

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