We were delighted to attend the open weekend event the London Transport Museum had at their Acton depot.
We wander around a huge depot filled with tube and train wagons, buses, tickets machines, operating machines, to name a few that transported us back in time.
It was very was an interactive and fun experience to learn directly from the members of staff how the tube works and how the ticket machines were operated back then. Visitors also had the chance to take part of the many tours, talks and demonstrations they had running throughout the whole day celebrating the 150thanniversary of the District Line.
We started by visiting the first floor where you could go into the old tube wagons. We were able to sit and experience how comfortable the seats were, very different from the ones of today. We wandered off to see the old buses and understand how they developed into what they are nowadays. To give you an example, back then the driver was seated outside the bus – it must have been very hard during winter times- poor drivers!
We saw 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 a period before operators were required to paint their vehicles in the classic London red livery.
Visitors can 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. They can discover the underneath of a vintage bus on a guided bus pit tour.
Then we strolled around and admired many different transport signs of the tube, tube maps, advertisements, tickets booths, ticket counters, gates, clocks, announcement boards to name a few of the thousands of things you can find there.
We were able to open and shout the doors of the tube and understand how the whole mechanism works- this was very cool!
We even got a whole explanation session on how to operate the tube and were able to pull on the mechanism on how the tube functions and how to make an emergency stop!
Energy Garden, an inspiring community organisation, were holding workshops where you learned about their mission to transform London Overground platforms and stations into thriving gardens and food growing plots. Here we painted with markers they provided a picture of a tube to coloured it that then we could wear as a crown or to place as an ornament on the outside of the plant pot. They were giving away with some soil and seeds to plant your own plant at home.
We even had a chance to meet the acclaimed Tube Challenge world record holder and author Geoff Marshall (see picture of him signing autographs for all his fans – there was a large queue so we only took a picture of him).
We had a delicious pizza and coffee outside at the pop-up food village. While waiting for your food to be cooked visitors can buy original London Underground signalling equipment including tube cushions and rolls of iconic moquette fabric.
We missed being able to hop on a vintage bus to take a scenic tour of Acton and the surrounding area as they run on specific times. But we enjoyed very much especially my 16 months old son the Museum’s own miniature railway where for £1 extra we rode on top on this miniature train.
We had fun at the Family Zone where they had a section for children to get crafty making transport inspired badges to take home, play with wooden train tracks and trains, build bridges and trains with London iconic items. You can even dress up as a train driver and take pictures that make a perfect souvenir from your day at the London Transport Museum Depot in Acton.
Special offer for Kensington Mums Only
Use code KENSINGTON20 it’s valid for 1 use per customer on LTM exclusive toys (https://www.ltmuseumshop.co.uk/toys/exclusive-to-ltm#show=14) and pre-printed posters – excluding made to order and art on the underground (https://www.ltmuseumshop.co.uk/posters/pre-printed-posters). It’s valid from today until 31 May .
For additional information please visit
£12 for adults and £10 for concessions and are valid for one day only. Children and young people aged 17 and under go free (under 16s must be accompanied by an adult).
Open from 11:00-17:00. Last admission 16:00.
To book tickets visit https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/whats-on/museum- depot/open-weekends.
Travel to Museum Depot
Address: 2 Museum Way, 118-120 Gunnersbury Lane, Acton Town, London W3 9BQ
Museum Depot can be reached by:
Underground: Acton Town (Piccadilly and District Lines) o Bus: Acton Town is served by local buses
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, 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.