Next weekend will mark the occasional opening of the Transport Museum’s overflow warehouse out in darkest Acton, and if you haven’t been, then it is worth a trip.
To the depot that is, not Acton.
Basically a former train shed right next to the current sidings for tube trains, it has a good number of old tube trains in various states of repair, a big collection of old buses and trams and for me the best bit – a couple of floors packed full of station “junk”.
Actually, I quite like it as a museum as there is limited effort to curate the exhibits or make the place look nice for visitors – it is just a warehouse they let people into at times, and is all the better for it.
There’s an electric mini-railway you can sit on and which will run around the depot, and another outdoor ride-on mini-railway.
This particular weekend, the depot will be in celebration of buses. Big ones, small ones, and even teeny weeny ones.
The bus bonanza is part of National Science and Engineering week and features static bus displays, bus pit tours, a bouncy bus, curator led small object store tours, a (small) bus rally, and bus themed films and talks.
There will also be a number of layouts from various exhibitors, with a special emphasis on buses. Look out for the LEGO and BAYKO bus displays.
You can buy tickets on the day at the depot, but sometimes the queue can be daunting, so buying tickets in advance from the Transport Museum is wise.
Tickets cost £10 for adults. Accompanied children under 16 are free.
The depot is right next to Acton Town tube station (map link) on the Piccadilly and District Lines and shockingly, there are no engineering works planned that weekend for that part of the network, so you can actually catch the train there.
A tip – they (usually) don’t let you carry large bags around the place and there is a cloakroom for that – so to avoid that queue, only take a small bag with you. My camera bag just about passes their shoebox test.