London Transport Museum Depot

On Saturday I was lucky enough to make it to the London Transport Museum’s Depot Open Weekend. Although I’ve been to the main site in Covent Garden several times, this was the first time I’d visit the Acton Depot. A huge train shed, it’s filled with all the treasures the Museum has neither the space nor the money to exhibit in the museum proper, so a couple of times a year they open the doors to allow the public opportunity to view the full unedited collection.

There is everything from train cars to buses, station signs to lift gates, ticket machines to signalling equipment. Transport artefacts from the Victorian period to the present. Some bits are just piled high in racks, with little apparent semblance of order – although I’m sure that’s not the case – and there isn’t too much in the way of labelling or explanation, unlike a regular museum. Fortunately the were no shortage of passionate Museum Volunteers on hand to talk curious visitors through the items on display, and the lack of reading matter is probably just as well considering the size of the depot and the number of things look at. I stayed for around 4 hours and probably still didn’t quite see and take everything in.

There were also stalls selling memorabilia, several food vans in the yard (I had a lovely crepe), and a children’s play area, so all well set up for visiting families as well as transport nerds. Overall, a great afternoon out and an essential destination for anyone with an interest in London’s transport infrastructure.

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