This modelled locomotive is 20 142. Originally built for British Rail in 1966 and first used in Birmingham, it is one of the oldest diesel locomotives still in regular use on Britain’s railway network. Repainted into a London Transport locomotive variant of its maroon livery and adorned with Metropolitan Railway crests and London Transport fleet names, 20 142 has been named Sir John Betjeman in honour of the much loved former poet (later Poet Laureate), writer, broadcaster and conservationist who led the campaign to save St. Pancras Station from demolition. Sir John also made the 1973 documentary ‘Metroland’ for BBC which reignited popular interest in the area served by the erstwhile Metropolitan Railway. An additional detail of interest is the addition of Wadebridge Depot shedplates (72F) representing his love of this part of Cornwall and its railways.
The model is based on the former (and very long lived) British Rail Class 20 freight locomotive which is privately owned but on long term hire to Transport for London primarily for use on contracts moving S Stock to and from Bombardier’s Derby works initially for delivery and latterly for equipment updates. The locomotive also saw use on London Transport Museum’s highly successful programme of excursions on the Metropolitan line. In the Museum’s passenger service the locomotive is coupled to a refurbished former British Rail 4TC four car train set which has also been painted in a matching maroon based livery. A former Network Rail Inspection carriage, similarly painted, can also be added for use on excursions.
This model is available to London Transport Museum customers as DCC ready version. Bachmann’s Collectors Club are simultaneously releasing DCC fitted versions. Please refer to their website www.bachmann.co.uk for details of these variants.
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