LONDON - A 19th century steam train took passengers for a rare ride on the London Underground on Sunday to mark the 150th anniversary of the world’s oldest metro system. A red and black locomotive dating from 1898 and specially restored for the occasion ran between Kensington Olympia station in west London and Moorgate station in the financial district. It was pulling the oldest operational Tube carriage, which was built in 1892, a set of four carriages from 1898, and a vintage electric locomotive. London mayor Boris Johnson, who was among the passengers, said: “It was just extraordinary.
“We had steam coming in through the windows, huge thick clouds of white steam going past and then bits of soot coming through from the engine.”
The last regular steam train service on the London Underground network - more than half of which is actually overground - ran in 1961.
The London Underground opened on January 10, 1863 and a century and a half later the Tube runs for 250 miles (402 kilometres), linking 270 stations and carries passengers on 1.1 billion journeys per year.