Members of the public are being offered the opportunity of take part in a very special celebration for the 150th anniversary of the London Underground - the world's first ever subterranean railway.  The opening of the railway was considered a great novelty – and was described by one newspaper, The Illustrated London News, as "the most stupendous engineering undertaking yet achieved in the railway world". 

On Sunday, January 13, 2013 and again on Sunday, January 20, 2012, a series of special trains will be hauled by the newly restored Met Steam Locomotive No. 1 along part of the original route first travelled on January 10, 1863. Met No 1 was the last locomotive to be built at Neasden in 1898 by the Metropolitan Railway. It will pull the Met Railway Jubilee Carriage No 353 - the oldest operational underground carriage in existence - which has also recently been restored with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as the Chesham Shuttle Coaches from the Bluebell Railway.(See pics above). Ex-Metropolitan Railway electric Locomotive No. 12, Sarah Siddons, will also be part of the train.The journey will retrace the route through the tunnels of the Metropolitan line between Paddington and Farringdon (now part of the Circle and the Hammersmith & City Line).

Due to demand for tickets and limited capacity on the steam train, a public ballot for tickets will be open until Sunday 11 November 2012.  A maximum of two tickets per person can be requested and only one request per person. It will be possible to select the date and either first or standard class seats. It will not be possible to select specific seats or train departure times.  Successful applicants at ballot stage will be selected at random by computer and notified from November 19, 2012 onwards. Those who are successful will be contacted to arrange secure payment, with ticket despatch scheduled to begin on December 3, 2012.

Ticket prices vary depending on the vehicle and journey allocated – and range from £50 to £180. You can register for the draw online at http://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/whats-on/lu150/calendar or by telephone on 020 7565 7298.

There will be additional heritage steam runs later in the year including:

Other heritage vehicle runs include;*

•        Rickmansworth Festival on 19 May (1938 stock)

•        Rickmansworth - Steam back on the Met on 25-27 May (steam from Harrow to Amersham only)

•        London Transport Museum at Buckinghamshire Railway Centre on 3-4, & 7 August

•        Neasden Depot Open Day on 31 August (static steam display)

•        Amersham on 8 September (steam from Harrow to Amersham only)

*        Details of the above runs are to be confirmed and are subject to change.

Other 150th anniversary events include an exhibition showing the London Underground’s best posters, Behind-the-Scenes events at the Museum’s depot at Acton as well as talks, family events and Friday Lates.