One of the last few chances to do this — as a 1938 tube train will trundle though central London next month, and you can be on board.

This will be a rare opportunity to travel on the beautifully restored art-deco 1938 train, along the District, Circle, Metropolitan and Piccadilly Lines, and it will also be one of the last heritage runs on this route due to signalling upgrades on the Circle Line.

Trips are a curious mix of the nostalgia, sitting in the old train, looking at old adverts and generally enjoying yourself — but massively livened up each time you pass through a station and see the looks of wonder and surprise on the faces of people expecting a more conventional Circle line train.

There are two specially extended, non-stopping trips travelling through central London on 24th Feb, and (for Journey 2) out into the rolling Buckinghamshire countryside for a taste of suburbia.

  • The first trip will depart from Ealing Broadway at 10.11 and operate via High Street Kensington and a full circuit of the Circle Line to terminate at Moorgate at 12.07.
  • The second trip will leave Moorgate at 13.11 and run to Amersham, returning via Rayners Lane to Ealing Broadway (arrive 15.23).

Tickets are expected to go on sale this coming Wednesday here — the booking link currently says email for details, but don’t, just wait for the page to go live.

The cost is £30; Concessions and Children £25. Note these journeys are not suitable for those under the age of 11, due to their length.

Tip – to save howls of anguish when everyone rushes to buy a ticket, if you already have a log-in, check your password is working — and if you don’t, you’ll need one to buy tickets, so register here.

Naturally, if you’re not on board, you can watch the vintage little red train ply its route from the sidelines as well.


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  1. David Stevens says:

    Nostalgia- I’m old enough to have travelled on this unit when commuting to work

  2. Valerie Pyott says:

    Really enjoyed reading about the Deco train trips which I shall sadly miss.
    Thank you

  3. Angela M Reeves says:

    These are the trains I used to travel to work on. From Kew Gardens to Victoria on the District line and on the Northern line to Clapham Common. Follow up your ride with a visit to the London Transport museum in Covent Garden and look at all the 30’s design related exhibits:textiles,advertising artwork and station architecture and furnishings. Enjoy!

  4. Areucrazy says:

    Nostalgia for monney???? Are you serious???? That’s absolutely not the best offer to show your old train. Its british busines, not something else. Not a well done. No respect at all!

  5. Areucrazy says:

    Better to say to all your customers: Here ia our excuse to evryone who was effected becouse of our low sistem, suspended and deleted train – get the old train for freee!!!!! Its noy respect to want £30. Its a joke to be interesting….. Chip trick. Absolutely no respect!

    • David S says:

      You have obviously failed to understand what the word heritage means . These events raise money to keep these units preserved and to pay towards operating costs of the museum . They are not cheap, but neither is the cost of keeping something old in running order .

    • ubay says:

      It is operated by a museum that is open to ticket holders. They are funded by tickets and various other funds. They are a charity and it costs a lot of money so think of your money as going to the upkeep of the museum. Sure, it’s expensive, but some people are invested in keeping their history alive. It’s not something owed to you – it’s something you owe yourself.

  6. Adrian Toth says:

    It is really dissapointing that it is not for free. I think people pay enough money to travel in this country everyday and they deserve to see such thing without paying extra. What a shame and disrespect !

    • ianvisits says:

      You can “see” if without paying extra, but if you want to be “in” it, then that costs extra. As it should.

  7. Garry Clayton says:

    I would love to be able to do this but it would cost me £120 to do this with my family. To show my children a part of our history and to fit in with their schoolwork we have to pay through the noise. It’s outrageous. £10 at a push would of been fine but £30 each, are you serious?!

    • Sean says:

      £30 is a reasonable price for such an event and it’s unlikely to help with your children’s schoolwork.

  8. MikeP says:

    As Ian says, it’s worth it just to see the faces on the platforms. Even better was the 150th anniversary “Steam on the Met” run from Moorgate – no-one expects a steam loco to come through the tunnels . Well, most people on the platforms were as they were photographing the train, but there were enough surprised faces nonetheless.

    As to those bemoaning the price (repeatedly…) – these runs cost a lot of money to put on, it’s hard to fit them in with the service trains. And, as is alluded to, the demand will be massive. Supply and demand, and all that. Moreover, prices aren’t out of kilter with full time heritage operations – this is a 2 hour run, a day rover on the West Somerset f’rinstance is over £20. And that’s for scheduled trains on dedicated infrastructure – not a one-off threaded into “normal” services.

    • Nicolas Maennling says:

      A vivid memory of the late 1940s going to Moorfields Eye Hospital and getting off at Old Street. A steam goods train went through the station !

  9. Mike says:

    You can ride on one of these simply by going to the Isle of Wight 😄

  10. Clipper boy says:

    I hope 2nd carriage will be authentic smoking one !

  11. Jason says:

    I agree it’s not cheap and they have done it for cheaper before, but it costs a fortune to keep an 80 year old train in tip top condition and it is funded by London Transport Museum, NOT TFL.

  12. SWRcrap says:

    As I’d need to use South Western Railway to get into London it would be too expensive a gamble for me as they’d either be on strike, cancel or delay my train!

  13. Chris Rogers says:

    Three I think were brought back into service in the late eighties on the Northern line in an attempt to improve services

  14. Keith ward says:

    With few transport events this time of year great shame it clashes with epping ongar railways first major event of the year, need better coordination as EOR event planned last year ,

    • RogerTCB says:

      The trouble is that all the heritage organisations are independent and a lot of background planning goes into the preparation for every event before it can be publicised so it’s inevitable that clashes will happen. Just imagine for one moment the cost and bureaucracy if every museum had to submit plans to some central clearing house before it could plan an event. Nothing would ever happen because the costs & time needed would be prohibitive.
      In general, there’s a rule of thumb that says that in order to run a successful event you need 2 clear months after the announcement to give your customers time to prepare & book. Work backwards from that trying to get volunteers organisations to commit before you announce the event and you’ll see the problem.
      In this case though, LTM know their customers very well and took a bet that 1 month would be enough, and they were right. It’s just as well, because running a separate heritage event on a commercially active system has to be a planning nightmare, working around all the planned maintenance which of course usually happens on Sundays, the least busy day.

  15. Jon says:

    Curious question, what’s to stop you boarding this service as it goes round the Circle line? One assumes once you’ve entered the station with your oyster card, you can board any service.

    • RogerTCB says:

      You can only get on or off the train if the driver opens the doors at the platform and I don’t imabine he’ll be doing that unless the train platform is secured from deliberate or accidental intentions.

    • Colin Cutter says:

      It is a non-stop service. Good luck in trying to board it other then at the start.

  16. Colmac says:

    Brings back memories for me!! I used to go to work daily on these (when we could smoke on buses and tubes:) people were much nicer then and we actually passed the time of day with each other unlike today where no one speaks to each!!
    This train looks lovely as they were rarely that clean then (full of cig ends!) But even £20 is out of range for a pensioner for a nostalgia ride. Shame we can’t use our Freedom Pass !!!!

  17. Dan says:

    As per the article… these are “non-stopping trips”.

  18. Sue says:

    Yay got tickets!

  19. Tony Hodges says:

    So much negativity!
    If you don’t want to pay the price then don’t.
    But don’t complain when the organisers fold due to lack of finances.

  20. HB says:

    Isle of Wight: old London underground trains are used for the regular service from Ryde Pierhead (where the ferries from Portsmouth and Southsea come in) to Sandown and Shanklin at least two an hour every day and costs about £6. It’s a regular service used by commuters and shoppers as well as tourists. From Sandown and Shanklin it’s a longish (10-15 min) walk down to lovely beaches, and of course a walk back up!

  21. John Lewis says:

    I was a guard on the Northern line 1987 – 2000
    I drove one of these and was a guard on them.Everyone liked the 38’s!
    Today’s tube trains have no soul!I worked on the Northern Line for 30 years – retired now!

  22. RogerTCB says:

    I really don’t understand the attitude of some of the comments I’ve seen. Why on Earth should this beautifully restored train, restored at the expense of the LTM and its supporters I might add, be ‘free’ to ride? If you just want to get from A to B, ride a normal tube train for your normal fare. Heritage trains are very expensive and time consuming to maintain. Quite rightly the fare paid to ride them reflects the professional and material costs incurred. However, a lot of the personal skills that are also needed comes for free from the volunteers who give up their time to make it happen.
    Thank you Ian for alerting us of this – I got my tickets!
    The only problem is that while I’ve paid to ride I can’t be outside taking photos of it for free 🙂

  23. Ross Fox says:

    Would I be able to sit back imagine I’m back in the 1940’s and light up a fag?

  24. Roger Green says:

    I think that the ticket price was set to low as it was an instant sell out. What happened to supply and demand? Yours without a ticket to ride.

  25. Delboy says:

    Stick it back in a museum where it belongs, it will delay normal services……
    History belongs to the past……..with steam trains. Horse drawn busses ….

  26. Maria says:

    Disappointed sold out already! Just saw this 🙁

  27. Steve B says:

    Too late to get tickets … shame.
    Hope the quote “one of the last opportunities” means there will be more !!

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