Central London Railway (CLR, now Central line), electric multiple unit on a trial run at Shepherd's Bush depot prior to the opening of the line. The gate-end tube stock cars are hauled by CLR locomotive no 19.
Unknown photographer, 1900
Location: Shepherd's Bush depot, Shepherd's Bush, Hammersmith and Fulham, W12
Image no: U13088
Inventory no: 1998/87699
20th Century London caption: This electric train is on a trial run at Wood Lane depot before the opening of the Central London Railway (C.L.R, now the Central line). The C.L.R. used steam locomotives from 1900 before changing to electric multiple units in 1903. These so-called camel-backed locomotives caused so much vibration in nearby buildings that the line was converted to use electric multiple units at the earliest opportunity. Multiple unit operation was invented by the American Frank Sprague. It involved fitting several carriages in a train with motors and control equipment that were linked by a master control line running the length of the train. This unit was powered by electric traction, and had a driver's cab at each end of the carriage.