This is a sponsored article on behalf of London Transport Museum.
Good news, transport fans — it's that time of year again! London Transport Museum's first Depot Open Days of 2023 have been announced — and tickets are selling fast.
For three days only, the doors of the Museum's Depot in Acton — normally off-limits to the public — are thrown open for us to all get a peek inside. It's an absolute treasure trove of transport history, home to tube trains, buses, maps, signs and vintage transport posters. Over 320,000 historical objects which are not on display in the Covent Garden Museum can be seen in this west London transport paradise.
Each set of Depot Open Days operates with a specific theme, and this time round, it's 'Electric Journeys'. Through talks, tours, displays and family-friendly activities, you can learn how electricity has shaped the ways we move around the capital, from the early days of electric travel to the introduction of the Oyster card, and what London's electric future might look like. Activities to get stuck into this time include:
- Try your hand at being a train driver, in a Victoria line cab. It's a chance to learn how the trains on the world’s first automatic railway work;
- Climb on board a fully electric, zero emissions, Abellio-operated Wrightbus Electroliner bus. As well as having a close-up look at the vehicle itself, chat with representatives from Abellio about their electric bus fleet;
- Take a guided tour of the Depot’s poster store. It's home to 5000+ different designs of poster from throughout the years, and this tour focuses specifically on how electricity influenced the design of transport posters through the ages;
- See an original 1930s District Line Q stock train car, and check out how the restoration project is going;
- Hear talks about how electricity has shaped London life, from the expansion of the London Underground network to art and design, station architecture and sustainability;
- Learn how to code an electric train, and make a light-up LED poster in the Family Zone (for children age 7+).
All this is in addition to viewing some of the Depot's impressive artefacts, including the largest collection of London transport signage in the world, with samples spanning over 150 years.
Plus, did you know about the London Transport Miniature Railway? It'll be running on all three open days — tickets to ride are sold separately on the day. Peckish? There's no need to leave, as Auntie Bonnie’s Jerk Pit and the Mini Bean Coffee mobile bar are at the Depot, to keep you fed, watered and ready to explore.
There's a pop-up shop on-site too, selling exclusive gifts and souvenirs, including moquette pattern socks, scarves and cushions, framed posters, limited-edition prints and authentic Underground signs.
The Electric Journeys Depot Open Days event is part of London Transport Museum's Climate Crossroads programme, sponsored by ABM and Sopra Steria, which was launched to shine a light on sustainability and transport and to inspire the Museum’s visitors to take action toward a greener future for London.
Check the Depot Open Days website closer to the event for full details of the programme — but don't wait to book your tickets. These events are always extremely popular, so don't miss out.
'Electric Journeys' Depot Open Days take place at London Transport Museum's Depot in Acton (not at the Museum in Covent Garden!) on 24-26 March 2023. Tickets are £15 adult/£7.50 child (children aged 3 and under go free) and must be booked in advance. Concessions are available including local tickets for residents of Ealing, Hounslow or Hillingdon, priced at 1/3 off.