We tried our best to keep it secret, but rumours had spread so it wasn't too great a surprise that 20027 was named 'Sherlock Holmes' as part of the Class 20 Metropolitan Railtour on 29th April 2018. But the sell out tour was a very special event and some behind the scenes hard work by TFL/London Transport, The Sherlock Holmes Society and ourselves kept photo's of the name plates under wraps and made the naming ceremony pretty remarkable.
The tour had been delayed for more more than a year as the an extensive refurbishment of the TC stock was carried out at Eastleigh Works, when it was finally announced there was a huge amount of interest in the much anticipated tour meaning an almost instant sell out. The tour left Wembley Park on the Sunday morning turning heads amongst the Jubilee and Metropolitan Line Trains heading up the Met line and uniquely on to Chiltern Lines up Buckingham Railway Centre at Quainton Road and beyond to Clayton Junction. The tour offered the first chance to travel behind a class 33 on TFL Lines, with 33012 doing the honours along with 20142 and 20227.
The naming ceremony was carried out jointly by Sir Peter Hendy CBE the former commissioner of Transport For London and current chairman of Network Rail and Guy Marriott President of the Sherlock Holmes Society. Sir Peter revealed that he was a lifelong fan of the Sherlock Holmes books as well as Heritage Traction. In 1953 The Sherlock Holmes Society provided the namesplates for Metropolitan Locomotive No8 in 1953 so it was fitting that Guy Marriott played his part in the naming of 20227, the society also provided a limited run brochure to commemorate the naming.
The tour then ran back down to Harrow On The Hill and on to Marylebone Station, before returning to West Ruslip which seems to be London Transports 'Toton' with no less than six other 20's on shed. In a strange coincidence at the other end of the Central Line D8001 was taking part in the diesel gala on the Eppping To Ongar Railway.
All in all a great day and as Sir Peter Hendy said one which Holmes, Watson and even Conan Doyle would be delighted.
Thanks to all involved from the London Transport Museum, Transport for London, The Sherlock Holmes Society and all our members and volunteers that were involved in making the day such a success as well as our friend Martin Loader for his excellent header photo of the tour passing the site of Waddesdon Manor Station as the tour returned from Quainton Road.