President David Shepherd  CBE FRSA FGRA
Founded 1953

'Fowlers Ghost'


This is the only known photograph of this locomotive. It is standing near Edgware Road station on the Metropolitan Railway in about 1865. What was special about it?


‘Fowler’s Ghost’ was an unusual - and disastrously unsuccessful - locomotive, built to run on the Metropolitan Railway in London. This line was, and is, just below street level, much of it being built by ‘cut and cover’, but some of it is in open air. There was concern about steam and smoke emissions from the locomotive and Sir John Fowler, the Metropolitan’s Engineer, ordered an experimental locomotive designed to not produce smoke while in the tunnel sections.


It was built by Robert Stephenson & Co of Newcastle, arrived in 1861, was tried on a few test runs, and was never seen again...