You Can Play With This Miniature Tube Train At Hounslow West Underground Station

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You Can Play With This Miniature Tube Train At Hounslow West Underground Station
A miniature tube train on a track
You can see the miniature tube in action until March 2024. Image © Tube Mapper

The Piccadilly line's Hounslow West station now has a fun addition to its ticket hall — a model tube train you can play with!

Inside the station's passimeter (that's the big wooden box from which tickets were once sold), is a vibrant illuminated backdrop telling the story of Hounslow's urban landscape: the Gillette Building, an art deco house in Inwood Road, the former Edmunds and Littlewoods department stores on High Street, the electricity substation on Barrack Road, and Hounslow West station itself feature. Around this whizz the models of an Underground steam train, and a miniature cherry red 1930s tube train, with visitors invited to press a blue button to get them moving.

The passimeter with the installation inside
A new purpose for an old passimeter. Image © Dan Maier
A woman in a blue cardigan presses a button, making the miniature train move
The artist playing with the new installation. Image © Tube Mapper

The installation — which was the idea of a staff member, and celebrates 160 years of the London Underground — is a collaboration between TfL, artist Dan Maier, and the Twickenham and District Model Railway Club. You may recognise Maier's work from her installations that went up at Southgate tube station in March 2022. Intended as temporary fixture, staff and passengers loved these so much, many of them are still in situ.

A detail showing an illustration of an old bi plane
Details pay tribute to nearby Heathrow. Image © Tube Mapper
A model train on mini track
Dan Maier's illustrations are becoming a fixture of the Piccadilly line. Image © Dan Maier

Says Maier about her new installation: "Whenever I create a bespoke artwork for a building, I like to draw attention to the beauty of the building itself, so in addition to the railway and its backdrop, I decided to add the 'sky' frieze, which in the same vein as the trains from different eras, depict planes from different eras, giving a nod to nearby Heathrow. This highlights the wooden latticework in the windows."

By the way, if tube trains and pressing buttons is your kind of thing, check out this terrifically fun creation at Novelty Automaton.

The installation is at West Hounslow station until March 2024.

Last Updated 30 January 2024

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