For one weekend this April, London Transport Museum’s Depot in Acton, west London, will throw open its doors, giving visitors the chance to explore a treasure-trove of over 320,000 artefacts from London’s transport history that are not currently on display at the Museum in Covent Garden.
To coincide with the District Line’s 150th anniversary, the event will celebrate London’s iconic Underground network – particularly the District, Victoria, Jubilee and Overground lines – and the passion, loyalty and debate these lines inspire in those who travel on them. From their architecture and design, to the stories and communities that surround them, visitors will discover another side to their journey through a jam-packed programme of talks, tours, demonstrations and fun family activities.
At the Love Your Line Depot Open Weekend visitors can:
- Join former Tube Challenge world record holder and author Geoff Marshall for fun facts and a lively discussion about which Tube lines are best and why, followed by a live World Cup of Tube Lines competition.
- Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into London Transport Museum’s Q stock restoration project and learn about the challenges and delights involved in getting a 1930s District line train back to operational condition.*
Q38 stock at Earl’s Court, 1939
- Step into the shoes of a TfL engineer and change a Metropolitan line brake block in a virtual reality training programme. Led by the Central Engineering Research and Development Team at TfL.
- Go green in a workshop with inspiring community organisation, Energy Garden, and learn about their mission to transform London Overground platforms and stations into thriving gardens and food growing plots.
- Take a special highlights tour of the Museum’s Poster Store with expert guides and discover some of the hidden gems in one of the world’s finest and most comprehensive collections of transport posters, rarely seen by the public.
- Learn about London’s living rail-side ecosystem with Mathew Frith, Director of Conservation at London Wildlife Trust, as he explores the relationship between railway infrastructure development, communities and wildlife in the city.
- Visit the Depot’s train shed to see the innovative ‘silver’ R49 stock car, the first Underground stock constructed from aluminium alloy and finished with an unpainted car body.
- Discover the underneath of a vintage bus on a guided bus pit tour.
- Join London Transport Museum’s Assistant Director of Collections and Engagement, Chris Nix, for a talk on the Jubilee line, which celebrates two big birthdays this year – the 40th anniversary of the line opening in 1979 and the opening of the Jubilee line extension in 1999. Visitors will learn about the creation of the Jubilee line, the architecture of the new, modern stations on the line’s extension, and their place in the design legacy of London Underground.
- Explore the fascinating legacy of one of history’s greatest engineers, Sir Marc Brunel, with Robert Hulse, Director of the Brunel Museum.
- See beautiful vintage vehicles, including the RF537, a single-decker bus used on suburban routes in the 1950s, and the VA115 1988 Grey Green bus, from the brief period after the privatisation of bus routes when operators weren’t yet required to paint their vehicles in the classic London red livery.
- Watch demonstrations of original London Underground signalling equipment.
- Visit the pop-up food village for teas, coffee and a bar, as well as delicious hot and cold food, all served from a variety of vintage vehicles brought to you by StreetDots.
- Shop for unique transport-related products and gifts in our Depot shop – including, for the first time, rolls of iconic moquette fabric.
- Hop on a vintage bus to take a scenic tour of Acton and the surrounding area.
With lots of activities for families, visitors can also:
- Take a ride on the Museum’s very own miniature railway.
- Play in the Family Zone. Learn about the familiar and curious objects at the Depot, have fun dressing up as a train driver, try building bridges and trains, and get crafty making transport inspired badges to take home.
- Have a go at being a train operator in a Victoria Line driving cab.
- Join a bitesize family tour called My Favourite Vehicle and see highlights from the Depot’s collection of vintage trains.
- Join interactive family workshop Send the Right Signals, and learn how to build a track and sequence of signals.
Visit https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/whats-on/museum-depot/open-weekends closer to the event date for the full programme of activities.
The Museum Depot is a treasure trove of the capital’s transport history, housing a range of objects including posters, vehicles, maps, signs and models. Other activities include:
- Viewing the largest collection of London transport signage in the world, which includes samples spanning over 150 years, with examples of different font prototypes, layouts and design styles on display.
- Seeing wonderfully preserved heritage buses including the 1911 B type and 1921 K type in their red and cream livery, their predecessor – a yellow 1881 ‘garden seat’ horse bus, and the beautifully restored chocolate brown 1924 Chocolate Express.
Tickets cost £12 for adults and £10 for concessions and are valid for one day only. Open from 11:00-17:00. Last admission 16:00. Children and young people aged 17 and under go free (under 16s must be accompanied by an adult).
To book tickets visit https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/whats-on/museum-depot/open-weekends.
Upcoming Depot Open Weekends:
Acton Depot Open Weekend: Family fun
Saturday and Sunday 13-14 July 2019
Prepare for a weekend adventure at London Transport Museum’s second annual Open Weekend dedicated to young visitors and their families. Take your pick from the packed programme of transport themed activities and experiences on offer, from miniature steam railway rides and heritage bus excursions to specially designed family tours of the Depot and creative make and take sessions. Explore the Depot and its hidden treasures and get inspired about the story of transport – past, present and future.
Saturday and Sunday 28-29 September 2019
All change please! The next stop is the Acton Depot. For the September Open Weekend, we’ve been inspired by the golden age of travel and London’s rich heritage of rail termini. Hear about the ambitious visions for these striking buildings, from the celebrated to the condemned. Discover how the creation of new rail routes transformed the lives of city dwellers and continue to play a significant role in how residents and visitors travel around London. We will also be heading out of the Capital into the countryside and overseas as we shine a spotlight on other termini and great rail routes that forged a path for travel as we know it today.
*Learn more about the Q stock restoration and donate to help restore this rare piece of London Underground history at donate.ltmuseum.co.uk/q-stock-restoration/.