On Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 April London Transport Museum will throw open the doors of its Depot in Acton, west London, giving Londoners and visitors to the capital the chance to peek inside and marvel at treasures from London’s transport past and present.
A weekend jam-packed with activities to celebrate the hidden stories of London’s transport system is in store for families, local residents, transport enthusiasts and anybody interested in the secret history of London.
Visitors will be able to take a trip on a moving miniature railway, take part in a guided bus pit tour, watch live demonstrations of how the Emergency Response Team deals with incidents on the transport system, listen to a talk by the Editor-at-large of the
Londonist about secret tunnels and disused stations on the Underground, while film buffs can put their feet up and watch rare films from the Museum’s archives.
Acton Depot is a treasure chest of over 320,000 objects such as beautiful transport posters, vintage Underground logo signs, beautiful train carriages, uniforms, photographs, engineering drawings and unusual exhibits that help to tell the often hidden story of London and its iconic transport network.
Events and activities include on the day include:
A talk about London’s transport secrets by Matt Brown, editor of the Londonist.
Rides on Acton Miniature Railway.
Meet the team that keeps the London transport system moving and safe after a fire or other emergency on the transport network.
Bus pit guided tours.
Family activities for children which include building spaghetti bridges and sand tunnels.
Heritage bus runs.
Visit the splendid underground Carriage 353 decorated with gold leaf and velvet.
Explore the Depot’s Engineering Drawings Collection.
Spot the people that help keep London moving on the Engineering trail.
Discover how signalling works and how important it is.
Braking Eggsperiment – discover engineering secrets that slow Tube trains down with as little braking power as possible and have a go yourself on this fun activity.
Hidden Heroes Scavenger Hunt – find the objects that have kept London moving.
Miniature Models – explore the Museum’s own collection of scale models of underground stations and check out models made by our invited guests, with some creations in Lego and Bayko.
Film shows from the Museum’s archive, including a screening of the 1922 film Solving London’s Traffic Problem with live commentary from curator Simon Murphy.
Tour Hearne House, Transport for London’s engineering testing workshop. Booking essential.
Find out more about how the Museum’s recently restored Battle Bus was used to transport troops in the First World War at home and abroad, and get on board the bus for a closer look.
Shoppers can pick up stylish London Transport inspired gifts, models and books from the Museum Depot shop.
Transport enthusiasts can check out a wide variety of independent stalls selling vintage transport memorabilia and original collectable items.
Activities for children: 11.00 to 16.30
Children aged 3 to 12 can discover hidden engineering techniques by building spaghetti bridges, tricky towers, and sand tunnels.
Film screenings: throughout the day
Rare films from the Museum’s archives will be screened on both days and include:
Solving London’s Traffic Problem (1922) with an introduction and commentary from Simon Murphy, London Transport Museum Curator.
This silent film shows rare footage of the tunnels on the Bank branch of the Northern line being widened. See the Greathead Shield in action and discover how Tube lines were built under the Thames. Curator Simon Murphy will provide a commentary to set the film in context.
Other films on show include:
Behind the scenes at Transport for London’s Lost Property Office (London Transport Museum film, 2011)
On Broadway – a Day in the Life of Tooting Broadway (London Transport Museum film, 2011)
The ultimate guide to the hidden treasures of the London Transport Museum can be preordered when tickets are booked in advance. The book can be collected on arrival at Acton Depot.