The Victorian steam powered pumping station at Crossness in south London will resume steam operations later this month for the first time in several years.

The Victorian steam engines were installed at Crossness as part of Joseph Bazalgette’s massive London sewer network as the endpoint for the southern outflow, and was constructed with four massive steam engines to pump the sewage up from the sewer into the Thames.

The four steam engines were left in place when the Victorian pumps were replaced with modern machines, and in recent years, one of the four was restored back to working order.

Unfortunately, a crack developed a few years ago, so the steam engine has been silent. Until now.

The first open day where the steam engine will be pumping away will be on Sunday 20th August and tickets to visit are now on sale from here.

Tickets cost £19.97 for adults and £5.04 for children.

Apart from seeing the huge steam engine in action again, there’s a museum about water waste treatment and plenty to see in the ornate Victorian building.

You can comfortably spend a couple of hours there.

The nearest railway station is Abbey Wood on the Elizabeth line.

It’s a modest 20-30 minute walk to the pumping station, with the last few hundred yards on their new light railway. There are local buses, but they only go part of the way, and by the time you’ve waited for the bus, you’ve probably only saved 5 minutes anyway.

Visitors are advised to wear appropriate clothing for exploring a pumping station including flat shoes.

While in Abbey Wood, you might also want to pay a visit to the nearby ruins of Lesnes Abbey, as they’re a marvel to see.


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  1. MilesT says:

    Is the RANG railway also running again, or do they still have engine troubles (on my last visit there was no railway and no steaming, although still lots to see).

  2. Mike Ricketts says:

    I would like to book a ticket, but the Eventim website appears to only accept MOBILE e-bookings.
    Like many of my generation (born 1950), I don’t have a “Smartphone”.
    There’s a certain irony in that those of us who remember steam trains (and, in my case, volunteered on a steam railway – no smartphone required to book!) cannot book for a “steam event”…

    • ianVisits says:

      I presume you mean Eventbrite rather than Eventim, as the tickets link is to Eventbrite — and I can assure you it works fine on a desktop computer as I often book tickets from Eventbrite using my PC.

  3. Mike Ricketts says:

    Indeed – Apologies.
    The EventBRITE booking site only refers to “Mobile eTicket”.
    I did not want to pay upfront, only to find that I could not access the ticket

    • ianVisits says:

      It’s a ticket that is emailed to you.

      You can print it out instead of showing it on your phone if you prefer.

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