Photos: Rob Greig
If you didn’t make it on one of the exclusive 150th Underground anniversary steam train trips back in January, fret not, for there’s another chance to see the the beautiful 1898 steam engine and immaculately restored carriages at the London Transport Museum Depot in Acton in a couple of weekends’ time (April 13-14). Not only is this a great opportunity to climb aboard these rare locomotive icons (sadly, they won’t actually be moving) but the Acton Miniature Railway will be going full steam, and there will be film screenings, workshops and guided tours aplenty.
For info, see ltmuseum.co.uk.
While you are at the Depot, there’s also loads of other amazing transport-related gems to geek-out over. We had a nose around before they flung open the doors to the public and picked out a few of our favourite items out of the 400,000 items in the collection.
Make sure you see this beautiful art deco 1930’s tube train.
It was in service until 1988, hence the incredible adverts. 81p for a fry up?! Bargain.
Don’t miss the spiral escalator: Part helter skelter/part travelator, this experimental piece of machinery was designed for Holloway Road tube station. Sadly it didn’t work and was buried at the bottom of a lift shaft for many years until it was finally dug up and a restored section lives here.
Be sure to see the 1898 Metropolitan Jubilee Carriage 353. This is the beautiful carriage that made the 150th anniversary journey in January. You’ll be able to hop aboard and appreciate the plush velvet seats and gold leaf trimmings. It has been so carefully restored to its former glory that you would never know it had been used as a barn, house, office and a garage after it was taken out of service!
The Metropolitan Line Steam Locomotive No. 1 will also be blowing off steam out in the yard over the weekend.
Swing by the old signal frames and various other bits of vintage Tube paraphernalia.
40p for a journey?! Someone show Boris.
This 1885 horse bus comes complete with ‘decency boards’ on the upper deck to preserve the passengers’ modesty. These were a mainstay of public transport from 1827-1911. Kinda wish they were still on the roads.
The first motor buses hit the roads at the start of the 1900s. This wartime bus comes complete with netting over the windows for blitz time traveling.
The classic Sarah Siddons carriages will also be on site to have a peek at.
The Devil’s Tube! This Victoria Line train just came out of service and had been chugging along on the tracks since 1967.
See what the Tube map looked like in 1926, before Harry Beck made it look all swish.
Before Johnston designed the roundel we all know and love, these 1908 ones were the only way people could identify the stations. No one knows where the circle design came from – it’s rumoured to be based on a target…
So so so many great old signs to see. Try and find the one for your local station and revel in being a Tube nerd.
Shoreditch before it became ‘Shoreditch’.
You may well have seen the chosen 150 Underground posters currently on show at the London Transport Museum but here’s where the rest are.
Browse the Small Object Store for a wealth of transport treasures…
After a day out at the Depot, your Londoner status and knowledge of transport facts will be vastly improved. Enjoy! Sonya Barber