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London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum explores the history of transportation and growth of modern London since the early 19th century. The museum is ‘a must see’ attraction since London is world famous for its efficient public transportation system. Furthermore, children will love the exhibits of vintage vehicles and the interactive galleries.

This fascinating museum operates at two locations in London. The museum’s main site is at Covent Garden in Central London and the other site (known as the London Transport Museum Depot) is in Acton located about 10 km (6 miles) west from Central London. While the main site at Covent Garden opens daily, the site at Acton only opens for special events and by appointment. This article covers only the main museum at Covent Garden.

 London Transport Museum by Andreas Praefcke

About

The London Transport Museum at Covent Garden is in a Victorian iron and glass building that once housed a vegetable, fruit and flower market. The market moved out in 1971 and the building later occupied by the London Transport Museum in 1980. The Victorian building comprises of three floors and entrance is from the Covent Garden Piazza. Exhibits include vintage trams, trolleys, buses and rail vehicles. There are also transport related signs, posters, photographs, equipments and uniforms on display.

Exhibits

The entrance on the ground floor to the London Transport Museum is very entertaining featuring video screenings of transportation in major cities around the world including London, New York City, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai and New Delhi. The main exhibition area is on the ground floor featuring an assortment of vintage era transport vehicles. The floor is a favourite with not only children but adults as well! Vintage vehicles here are from the 19th to 20th centuries but there is an exhibit of London’s first licensed public transport vehicle, the human carried sedan chair used in the 18th century.

Vintage buses by David Stanley

There's a horse-drawn omnibus from the early 19th century on the ground floor,which required three horses to pull. There is the first underground steam-powered train and a wooden Metropolitan Railway ‘Bogie Stock’ coach from the mid-19th century - visitors can board the coach. Another is London’s first electric train that replaced the steam-powered trains beginning in 1890. London’s double-decker buses are world famous and first began to operate in the city in 1911. On display are a 1954 AEC Regent III RT bus and a more modern New Routemaster bus.

Horse drawn omnibus by Mikey

The London Transport Museum has a large poster collection specifically designed for Transport for London (TfL) spanning over 100 years. The posters are works of art and noted for their inspirational themes, prominent use of colours and graphic abstraction. The uniform collection includes various clothing and accessories worn by operating staff of Transport for London from the 19th century to the present. Other exhibits include photographs, models, tickets, signboards, station furniture, vehicle parts and operating equipment.

Children's Playzone

The All Aboard! at the London Transport Museum is a play zone for children aged up to 7 years. The play zone is a haven for young visitors to the museum, filled with many fun-filled activities related to transport. Children get to repair a train with toy spanners, become a conductor on a bus and even become a bus driver behind the steering wheel. Youngster can also work in the ‘lost property office’ and there is a busking spot for playing musical instruments. Older kids will love ‘driving’ the train simulators and even sit on the driver’s seat of a real bus. For toddlers there is a soft play area with spongy buses and blocks to throw, squeeze or whatever they like!

Visiting the London Transport Museum

The London Transport Museum opens daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with the last entry at 5:15 p.m. Children and young people under 18 years enter free though an adult must accompany children under 12 years. You can purchase tickets at the gate or online at the official London Transport Museum website and get a discount. Individual tickets (excluding group tickets) offer unlimited entry to all the museum galleries and temporary exhibitions for a whole year!

The nearest London Underground station is Covent Garden Station (serving the Piccadilly Line), which is located in the centre of Covent Garden. After exiting the station, turn right (southward) towards Covent Garden Piazza where the museum is located. Another London Underground station but slightly further is Leicester Square Station serving the Piccadilly and Northern Lines

London Transport Museum on the Map

Covent Garden Piazza, London WC2E 7BB, UK

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