Design Uncovered, Open Weekend on 26 & 27 September – London Transport Museum Depot, Acton





Design Uncovered

London Transport Museum Depot Open Weekend, Acton

26 and 27 September 2015

11.00 to 17.00

Plus the chance to visit the Siemens Heathrow Express Depot

Small – SiemensOpenDay52 – Copysmall – Tube carriageSmall Johnston block – Copysmall – London Transport – Copy


London Transport Museum’s Depot in Acton, West London will throw open its doors to visitors on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September with its Design Uncovered Open Weekend, allowing adults and children to delve into the visual history of London’s transport, uncovering stories from the city’s unique design heritage.


For the first time visitors will get the chance to combine a visit to the Museum Depot, which houses a treasure chest of iconic transport design and branding, with a behind the scenes look at the operational Siemens Heathrow Express Depot in North Acton where the Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect trains, that whisk people to the airport, are maintained.


The Design Uncovered Open Weekend forms part of the Museum’s London by Design season, celebrating London’s great transport design heritage and its internationally recognized branding. Design fans, families, local residents, transport enthusiasts and anyone interested in London’s history will be able to enjoy a bustling weekend of design-themed activities including the opportunity to view newly discovered objects relating to Edward Johnston, the creator of the famous Johnston font which has been used since 1916 and is still in use today in an adapted form. The font, which is instantly identifiable on transport signage and branding, and is known as “London’s handwriting”, is seen by millions of passengers in London every day.


Other design-inspired activities include a talk by a renowned fabric designer whose designs have been used to upholster seats on public transport, film screenings from the archives, family tours and family activities.


Transport and design fans can also explore the collection of heritage trains and buses, vintage posters, uniforms, photographs and classic Underground sign logos that form part of the Depot’s store of more than 320,000 historical items.


A new ice-cream cab will be parked up at the Museum Depot serving ice-cream and fruit lollies to visitors.


Design activities at the Museum Depot:

• Discover the original printing blocks used for the Johnston font – London Transport’s iconic typeface

• Take a look at never before displayed Johnston objects which include an original leather bound gift to Frank Pick, Chief Executive of London Transport, who commissioned many of London’s transport design icons and early examples of how to use the Underground logo

• Join Harriet Wallace-Jones, of award winning design duo Wallace and Sewell and find out about their designs for woven fabrics which are used to upholster the seats on today’s public transport (on Sunday 27 September only)

• Uncover the secrets of classic vehicle design with an expert talk

• Enjoy a display of new material in the Cabinet of Curiosities

• Take part in a London Letters creative workshop for families inspired by the Johnston font

• Learn about Transport for London’s new Design Idiom – a manual to ensure all stations conform to the same standard

• Watch films from the Museum’s archive on design themes, including a film about Tom Eckersley, the influential poster artist known for his bold and graphic artwork


Other activities at the Museum Depot:

• Get on board the bouncy bus, and bounce yourself happy

• Go underneath a historic bus and discover more about its workings in a guided bus pit tour

• Discover the iconic First World War Battle Bus and the splendid Underground carriage 353 from 1892 with expert talks

• Explore the vehicle collection

• Join a bite size family tour and hear stories about some of the guides’ favourite buses and trains

• Climb on board a miniature railway

• Issue your own tickets with a 1950s Gibson ticket machine at a Tickets please! drop in session

• Step back in time and take a scenic ride of the local area on a heritage vehicle

• Keep cool with ice-cream and fruit lollies from the new ice-cream cab

• Visitors will be able to buy the new London Underground S Stock train models on Sunday 27 September at the Museum Depot


Enjoy a double bill of transport fun by taking a trip to the Siemens Heathrow Express Depot for a free family-friendly behind-the-scenes tour on Saturday 26 September only. There will be a free shuttle bus service between the two depot sites, which are just a few miles apart.


Design activities at the Siemens Heathrow Express Depot open day:

• Find out about how modern Siemens trains are designed

• Hear about the recent re-design of the Heathrow Express Class 332 interior for a superior passenger experience

• Take part in family fun activities including a ‘design your own train carriage’ competition and face painting


Other activities at the Heathrow Express Depot open day:

• See a train up on jacks ready for maintenance

• Take a walk under a stationary train to see how it’s maintained

• Visit show and tell sessions to get hands-on with real train parts and how they work

• Sit in a driver’s train cab and ask a train driver questions

• Meet Paddington Bear

• Join in with the world’s biggest coffee morning and help raise valuable funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, through cake sales, refreshments and special commemorative train pin badges at £1 each


The Siemens Heathrow Express Depot will be open between 11:00 and 17:00 (last entry 16:00). For more information visit


To buy tickets for the Museum Depot Open Weekend, which includes the opportunity to visit to the Heathrow Express Old Oak Common Depot on Saturday 26 September please go to:

or call 020 7565 7298 or 020 7565 7299


Tickets £10, conc. £8. Children and young people aged 17 and under go free (under 12s must be accompanied by an adult)

The London by Design Pass

Design enthusiasts can indulge their passion with a special London by Design Pass which allows two daytime visits to the Museum in Covent Garden, entry to designjunction* and the Design Uncovered event at the Museum’s Acton Depot in West London. The London by Design Pass is valid from 11 September until 23 November 2015. This combined ticket costs just £20.00 (*designjunction on 24 to 27 September only).


The Museum Depot is located in Acton at: 2 Museum Way, 118-120 Gunnersbury Lane, Acton Town, London W3 9BQ.

The nearest London Underground station is Acton Town which is on the District and Piccadilly lines. Acton Depot is also served by local buses. Please check before you travel at

Tickets are valid at the Museum Depot on both days of the Open Weekend.

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