London Underground have a fleet of locomotives for use by the engineers which are unusual as they are of tube gauge and can operate from the Forth Rail electricity or from onboard battery

The original fleet were introduced in the 1930's with batches being built up until the 80's.

There is still a substantial fleet running today which is normally seen at night.

As a driver on the District Line over the years I have taken many shots of these locomotives from privialaged positions where the public are never allowed

I won't go into the history of these locomotives as I would just be repeating what's on the rather informative Wikipedia Page


Top Image L19,L32 & L18 are stabled at West Ruislip Depot whilst being prepared for the nights work in July 2009

A busy scene at Acton Town Where L50 is on a ballast train and in the background is L32.

Also the eagle eyed amongst you would of noticed 66714 on the bank, in 2009 when this was taken a major track replacement program was underway in 2009 GBRF were given the contract to bring in ballast and we would regularly have their trains on our network 

A chance photo in 2006 when I was sat a failed signal was this convoy of 5 locomotives.

I don't know what one was at the front but was followed by L26,L45,L24 & L52 at the rear

Recently the fleet have been undergoing some cab refurbishments, this has involved sealing up the cab doors as everyone used to enter through through the front centre door also new handrails and new high intensity headlights.

L51 was one of the first to be modified and is seen at Tower Hill, I think the entire fleet has now been modified as I haven't seen any non modified ones for a while

Another chance photo, this time when I was going into work.

L54 is seen passing the outside of Acton Town station being moved by road in October 2015 presumably going off for refurbishment.

On a wet March Night in 2011 L22 is passing through Ealing Common on its way through to the engineering site on the District Line. 

The regular formations for these trains has a locomotive each end due to lack of run round loops and are also double manned. The second person is needed as there are times where the rear locomotive has to be used as a banker and in deep tube tunnels it is impossible to safely change ends when reversing

L 44 and L47 at Acton Town during a main engineering shutdown.

The signal above the shunt with the 3 red lights is whats known as a Rail Gap Indicator and is illuminated when the power in the section ahead is off

The preserved locomotive which is kept at the museum store at Acton.

It is interesting to see how the equipment has been modified on the current fleet.

They were fitted with double hight buffer gear so it could haul tube gauge stock, so as the buffers would be in the way they were hinged to enable them to be lifted out of the way, these have been replaced by retractable buffers. Another coupler change has been fitting modern buckeye couplers, this was before the recent cab refurbs as mentioned previously

Below is a shot of L46 at Ruislip which shows some of the modifications done over the years

"Whats in the cab" I hear you say, well here it is a very basic cab.

The controller is like that from 1938 or 1959 stocks and a simple air brake.

Also the floor is in a couple of wells this is because its a tube gauge vehicle but with standard main line buffer gear so the floor would be too high so the only answer was to put a well in each side, this has been done in the past in reduced gauge steam locomotives

London Underground

Battery Locomotives

This is a list of the locomotives built over the years, as you can see they were not numbered in chronological order


L15      Built Metro Cammell 1970
L16      Built Metro Cammell 1970
L17      Built Metro Cammell 1971
L18      Built Metro Cammell 1971
L19      Built Metro Cammell 1971
L20      Built Metro Cammell 1964
L21      Built Metro Cammell 1964
L22      Built Metro Cammell 1965
L23      Built Metro Cammell 1965
L24      Built Metro Cammell 1965
L25      Built Metro Cammell 1965
L26      Built Metro Cammell 1965
L27      Built Metro Cammell 1965
L28      Built Metro Cammell 1965
L29      Built Metro Cammell 1965
L30      Built Metro Cammell 1965
L31      Built Metro Cammell 1965
L32      Built Metro Cammell 1965
L33      Built Acton Works 1976, Origionally L76. Withdrawn
L35      Built Gloucester RC&W 1938, Withdrawn, Preserved LT Museum
L36      Built Gloucester RC&W 1938, Withdrawn
L37      Built Gloucester RC&W 1938, Withdrawn
L38      Built Gloucester RC&W 1938, Withdrawn
L39      Built Gloucester RC&W 1938, Withdrawn
L40      Built Gloucester RC&W 1938, Withdrawn
L41      Built Gloucester RC&W 1938, Withdrawn
L42      Built Gloucester RC&W 1938, Withdrawn
L43      Built Gloucester RC&W 1938, Withdrawn
L44      Built BREL 1974
L45      Built BREL 1974
L46      Built BREL 1974
L47      Built BREL 1974
L48      Built BREL 1974
L49      Built BREL 1974
L50      Built BREL 1974
L51      Built BREL 1974
L52      Built BREL 1974
L54      Built BREL 1974
L55      Built Pickering 1951, Withdrawn
L56      Built Pickering 1951, Withdrawn
L57      Built Pickering 1951, Withdrawn
L58      Built Pickering 1952, Withdrawn
L59      Built Pickering 1952, Withdrawn
L60      Built Pickering 1952, Withdrawn

L61      Built Pickering 1952, Withdrawn