- The London Transport Museum Depot is following COVID-safety measures in response to government advice.
- Typically only open for special events and pre-booked guided tours, the Depot has opened up for a special summer season, for the first time, in 2020.
- Explore transport used over the last 200 years of travel.
- See the incredible London Transport Miniature Railway - a working miniature railway based on the real London Underground.
When thinking of London museums, places like the Natural History Museum or the Museum of London instantly spring to mind. However, hidden away in Acton is an incredible museum for family fun only open on special occasions: The London Transport Museum Depot. While its famous Covent Garden-based counterpart displays London transport heritage items, the Depot holds most of the collection not on display in the main museum, making it well worth a visit.
The London Transport Museum, or LTM, was opened in 1980 as an offshoot of the British Transport Museum and now resides in Covent Gardeen. However, in 1999, the London Transport Museum Depot in Acton was opened in order to hold the huge collection not being displayed within its 6,000-square-metre walls. Its main use is for the museum's curators and conservators, and it houses more than 370,000 items of all types, including posters and clothing related to transport. The museum is not typically open to the public, so it’s a rare treat to be able to explore everything it has to offer.
A family-friendly trail will lead you through the Depot to discover the historic vehicles that have been used over the last 200 years, such as a yellow Victorian horse-drawn ‘garden seat’ bus dating from 1881 to a shiny red 1938 Stock Tube train. Children will get a special, sealed pack including a fun craft kit to make during your visit and a take-home activity.
You will also get the chance to see and potentially ride the incredible miniature railway. This railway is based on real London Underground locomotives, carriages, signals and signs, so is a brilliant way to understand how the Underground works. The main locomotives are models of no. 12 ‘Sarah Siddons’ and no. 18 ‘Michael Faraday’ which were used on the Metropolitan Railway for 39 years, up until 1961. The passenger coaches are models of the dining carriages, when you could get a full meal service on the Underground!
If the thought of food has made you hungry, not to worry. There’s a great selection of hot and cold drinks and light snacks available to purchase right in the Depot.
Once you’ve had your fun, why not pop into the shop to get a keepsake of your day, or order online if you’d rather not carry it home. With everything from the patterns on train seats on picnic sets, to limited edition vintage prints, postcards and magnets it’s a great way to remember this very special museum.
If you enjoy learning about transport, you could then travel over to St James's Park to explore some royal ways of getting around at the Royal Mews, as you go from train carriages to horses and carriages. See if you can spot the differences!
What to know before you go
- The London Transport Museum Depot has new COVID-safety measures in response to government advice: staff will be wearing PPE; capacity has been reduced inside and markings demonstrate social distancing; extra hand sanitiser and washing stations have been made available; enhanced cleaning regimes are in place; perspex screens have been put up in certain places between staff and visitors; the Depot is cashless; and information will be shared with the NHS Test and Trace scheme so if there is any illness you will stay informed. They have been awarded the VisitEngland “We’re Good To Go” industry charter marker, which means they meet and are following all government and public health guidance.
- The Depot will be open for their summer season on 19-23 August and 26-30 August. The London Transport Museum Depot opening times are from 11am to 6pm each day.
- Tickets must be booked in advance.
- It is possible to change the time and date of your booked visit, subject to availability.
- Please do not join the queue for admission until the time stated on your ticket. Please arrive within the 15 minute period after the time printed on your ticket. Queues will be kept to a minimum.
- It is recommended you wear a face mask during the exhibition.
- Random bag checks are in place.
- There will be some limited storage for storing buggies, but the Depot is buggy accessible.
- Toilet and baby changing facilities are available. All toilets are wheelchairs accessible.
- The Depot is mostly wheelchair friendly but not all vehicles are accessible by wheelchair in the museum.
- Food and drinks are available to buy, and there is a gift shop for souvenirs.
- The LTM Depot postcode is W3 9BQ.
- The nearest Tube station to the London Transport Museum Depot is Acton Town (Piccadilly line).
- The closest bus stops are Gunnersbury Lane (Acton Town station) on routes 70 or E3.
- Depot parking is only for disabled badge holders.
- Please follow the latest government guidelines if travelling by public transport.