For enthusiasts,researchers and modellers of the Great Eastern Railway

RG052: Metro-Land, the Metropolitan Railway c.1930.

NEW MAY 2022.  The GER was well-known for its workmen's trains serving the inner suburbs. More profitable, though, were the commuter services for the middle classes from the leafy outer suburbs: every house that was built on a new estate there gave the promise of another season ticket sold.

There was active competition for this business from other railways, however. The Metropolitan Railway, for instance, was trying hard to sell its utopian idea of Metro-Land. Their line into London, shared with the Great Central Railway, served growing locations such as Amersham, Northwood, Pinner and Harrow-on-the-Hill. Fast commuter trains would be hauled by a tank engine in as far as Harrow: from there the line was third-rail electrified, so one of their characteristic electric locomotives then replaced the tank engine for the rest of the journey right into central London. One of the destinations was the underground station at Liverpool Street - competition indeed!

The Metropolitan Railway published an ambitious guide book which they called simply 'Metro-Land', annually from 1915 to 1932. It contained what they hoped would be irresistable reports of the locations with plenty of photographs, some in colour, plus advertisements for dream houses being built on the new estates along the line.

The copy available for scanning is missing its front cover - this was changed for each edition, but was sure to show a coloured illustration of some rural idyll. No date is evident, but from its descriptions of estates in progress it would seem to be around 1930. An account of Chiltern Court, a residential building they erected near their Baker Steet Headquarters, appears to show it open - and that happened in 1929.

It has emerged too that this particular copy has also lost a single leaf within, because there is no page 15 or 16. They would be part of the section on getting around London, but must have been self-contained because there is no obvious discontinuity in the text which is there.

Despite those defects, it is hoped that you will find a lot that is enjoyable in the 124 pages of the original 128 you will get. The GER had also produced a book to entice them to its line ('By Forest and Countryside') which is on offer as File RG031. It is interesting to compare the two styles.

The file is provided with bookmarks and is word-searchable. It will be available to download as soon as payment has been made. You go to your account and click on ‘Downloads’. New customers create an account as they place their order.

Pages 124
File Size (MB) 8.0

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