Locomotive L11

The history and how it all began.

1931 Metropolitan Cammell motor car leading an eastbound Piccadilly Line train at Hammersmith. There were 145 of these cars and two of them (3080 and 3109) were used to create Acton Works shunter L11. Brian Hardy

1931 Metropolitan Cammell motor car leading an eastbound Piccadilly Line train at Hammersmith. There were 145 of these cars and two of them (3080 and 3109) were used to create Acton Works shunter L11. Brian Hardy

The Standard Stock title was applied to a variety of Tube stock built between 1923 and 1934, all of which shared the same basic characteristics, but with some detailed differences. This design is also sometimes referred to as 1923 Tube Stock or Pre 1938 Stock. Most of the Standard Stock was built to replace the first generation of “Gate Stock” Tube trains or to provide additional trains for extensions built in the 1920s and early 1930s. Standard Stock cars consisted of motor cars (with a driver’s cab, behind which was a “switch compartment” occupying approximately one-third of the length of the car), plus trailer cars and “control trailers” (with a driving cab but no motor). All were equipped with air operated sliding doors, although the guard’s door on the earlier trains was a manually operated inward-opening hinged door. (Source: Wikipedia)

Brian Hardy

In 1964 ex Piccadilly Line DM’s 3080 and 3109 were chosen to construct L11 for use as a shunting locomotive at London Underground’s Acton Works. The passenger compartments were removed to leave just the ‘working bits’ these were then joined together to form one Locomotive.

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Before being painted yellow. ‘Richy’Richards

…And after. ‘Richy’Richards

The Acton end of the loco was fitted with couplers at both tube and surface stock height and a special window in the cab door for improved visibility when shunting. The loco was fitted with sanding gear for hauling stock up the steep gradient to Acton Town station and painted maroon. Like other stock in the engineer’s fleet it was painted yellow in the early 1980s.
L11 was transferred to Ruislip depot on 22 June 1989, returning to Acton for storage in 1991, we have been unable to establish the date that the locomotive was last used.

 

L11 at Acton before transfer to Epping

L11 at Acton before transfer to Epping

 

d37820_20b840f49e8541039d2ed58a76fe35f0.jpg_srb_p_600_300_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srbDestined for scrap if a home couldn’t be found for it Cravens Heritage Trains were contacted by the London Transport Museum to see if CHT had a place L11 could go to. Following on from a couple of site visits at Epping by the then BCV site owners, agreement was reached between CHT and BCV to ‘plinth’ L11 on a section of track London side of Epping Station but not within the area deemed ‘operational railway’.

The night of 14th/15th April 2004 was selected for the move with departure expected around 2130. Engineering Services were chosen as haulier having vast experience of this type of work. The assistance of the Emergency Response Unit had been secured in case of difficulties moving the locomovtive – it had not moved for many years and the wheels and breaks were locked solid.

The event was recorded by a film crew from Mosaic Films and featured in an episode of Carlton TV’s documentary series ‘The Tube’ broadcast in August/September 2004.¬†Photographs of the move are kindly provided by Donald McGarr.

 

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The job complete, L11 on it’s own section of track at Epping.

 

L11 in preservation

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Over the past 10 years of L11 being at Epping very little was done in the way of preservation except a coat of Red Oxide not long after arrival. L11 was not looking good and comments about the ‘rusty hulk and ‘eyesore’ on Facebook prompted a new and concerted effort to turn the clock back and get L11 looking good again.

d37820_b55b52af16de49cab81db0b3319f5e6b.jpg_srb_p_600_676_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srbA Facebook page was set up and via this use of social media the first combined working/open day in May was organised. This first day proved eventful and by days end a change of fortune for L11 had been made, it was noticeable that things were changing and the comments on Facebook were encouraging to say the least.

Over the summer much progress has neen made by a dedicated few inasmuch that L11 is well protected for the onslaught of winter.
The Loco has been completely re-painted in Red Oxide and the roof has been given special attention by one of our members. The roof of L11 is now covered in a rust neutralising paint, holes around the roof vents and along the cant rail are now sealed using a waterproof tape. The inside of L11 has been given a good clean removing years of accumulated moisture retaining dirt and dust, the side access panels and locks were rusted solid, these are now all operable.

We would like to extend our thanks to Transplant at Ruislip Depot for the donation of 10 litres of Yellow Engineers train paint.

If you have technical knowledge of this type of train or would just like to get involved please use the information on our contact page.

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