This Saturday (2nd Sept) will be a rare chance to go onto the site of one of London’s larger railway depots, to mark its eleventy-first birthday.
111 years since first servicing trains on 17 March 1906, GWR will unlock the doors of Old Oak Common Depot for members of the public.
On display will be a collection of steam, diesel, and electric trains and locomotives which have all helped to make the Great Western ‘God’s Wonderful Railway’.
During the depot’s 111-year history, the depot and its staff have maintained everything from steam era Kings and Castles, to the diesel-powered Westerns and Warships. In 1976 the depot was the maintenance hub in the Western region for the newly introduced Intercity 125s. Soon it will be a depot for the Elizabeth Line as well.
Tickets for the open day, which takes place this Saturday (2nd Sept 2017), cost £20 per adult and are available here.
As it is a working depot, decent shoes to get around the railway tracks are recommended. High heels, rather less so. Bring cash if you want to buy anything on the day, as the middle of a railway depot is unsurprisingly, rather scarce of cashpoint machines.
Talking of buying things, there will be a “token system” in operation for any additional rides you might want. Tokens cost £1 each and will be sold in multiples of 5, so that’s five rides on the shuttle train, or the miniature railway, or the ghost train.
At the current count, there are 42 different sorts of railway locomotive, 25 events, 45 trade stalls, 9 funfair rides, and one entertainer, that the website helpfully notes is a singer.
All profits will go to the depot’s chosen charity Place2Be, providing mental health support for children.