Our meeting on Wednesday 10 January 2024 was our first official meeting of the year 2024, and was held on line. As part of the business for the evening, our Club agreed to support an outbound Rotary Youth Exchange Student who will travel overseas for an academic year and learn about that country’s customs and culture.
Our speaker on the evening was fabricated from two of Geoff Marshall’s excellent videos dealing with a railway in our locality which had gone since 1964 – known to locals as the Belmont Rattler, and another showing the forthcoming rolling stock to be used on the Piccadilly Line, one branch of which travels through Harrow.
The Belmont Rattler had run from Harrow and Wealdstone station and started out as steam, eventually moving on to the modern diesel unit shown below.
With the line closing in 1964, industrial estates and Stanmore Golf course have replaced the line, although it is still possible to walk nearly all the route. Club members were interested in the prospect of holding a walk to cover the route from Harrow and Wealdstone, through Belmont to Stanmore Village station, where the building still exists but is now a residential property.
We then moved on to the new Piccadilly rolling stock which was designed by Siemens, and about half the 94 trains will be built in Vienna, and half will be built in Goole in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Geoff Marshall’s video showed a test train on the Siemens Test Track at Wildenrath, near Dusseldorf.
The trains will be ‘walk-through’ and air conditioned, but we learned that nearly half of the cars (carriages) will have no wheels! With some clever engineering, they will be supported at both ends and float above the rails, reducing weigh and reducing noise. Some platforms may need alteration for the new trains to fit as they are wider (5cm) and longer (7metres). The new rolling stock should enter service during 2025.
All agreed that this was both interesting and informative, and Geoff Marshall has a series of videos on London’s Lost Stations and on the changes that London Underground has made in the past. The two videos can be found at: