This is actually two museums. The museum's main facility is located in a Victorian iron and glass building that had formed part of the Covent Garden vegetable, fruit and flower market. It was designed as a dedicated flower market by William Rogers. The market moved out in 1971, and the building was occupied by the London Transport Museum in 1980. The collection had been located at Syon Park since 1973 and before that had formed part of the British Transport Museum at Clapham. The first parts of the collection were brought together at the beginning of the 20th century by the London General Omnibus Company (LGOC) when it began to preserve buses being retired from service. After the LGOC was taken over by the London Electric Railway (LER), the collection was expanded to include rail vehicles. It continued to expand after the LER became part of the London Passenger Transport Board in the 1930s and as the organisation passed through various successor bodies up to TfL, London's current transport authority. The horse-drawn (such as the 1929 Shillibeer) and motorised buses in the collection illustrate the key developments in the vehicle’s history. The red bus is most associated with the image of London, especially the iconic Routemaster. However, the collection is also home to several green country area buses. London’s first trams were horse-drawn. Later, electric trams covered many areas of the city. Trolleybuses were introduced in 1931 to replace trams. Like trams, they were powered by electricity from overhead wires, but they were cheaper to run as there was no track to maintain. Today trams have made a revival in Croydon.
Other vehicles in the collection include bicycles, taxis and the earliest vehicle, the sedan chair. As well as representing the modes of public transport to have operated in London, works vehicles show how London’s transport infrastructure was maintained. The collection of railway rolling stock dates back to 1866. Vehicles span from one of the first steam locomotives to operate on the Metropolitan line to the Victoria line train that the Queen drove to open the line. The vehicles show the developments in railway rolling stock for both passenger use and track maintenance. The Museum Depot is located in Acton, west London, and was opened in October 1999. The depot holds the majority of the Museum's collections which are not on display in the main museum in Covent Garden, It is the base for the museum's curators and conservators, and is used for the display of items too large to be accommodated in the main facility. The depot provides 6,000 square metres of storage space in secure, environmentally controlled conditions and houses over 370,000 items of all types, including many original works of art used for the Museum's collections of posters, signs, models, photographs, engineering drawings and uniforms. The building has both road access and a rail connection to the London Underground network, which allows the storage and display of significant numbers of buses, trams, trolleybuses, rail rolling stock and other vehicles. Galleries include: 19th Century London; Steam Underground 1863-1905; Growth of the Suburbs; Digging Deeper; Travelling Underground; Design for Travel; Transport at War and On the Surface. The museum is accessible for wheelchair users with level access at the Ticket Desk, and lifts to all floors. There are ramps in some areas. Due to the historic nature of ther collection, not all of the vehicles are accessible. To support your visit, a wheelchair is available for visitor use. Please ask at the Ticket Desk. Large print Highlights Tours are available on request from the Ticket Desk and the Information Desk on the First Floor. Magnifiers are also available on request. Please ask at the Ticket Desk. Assistance dogs are welcome, and water bowls are available on request, from the Ticket Desk. Described Tour for Blind and Partially Sighted Visitors are available - call ahead.
Location : Covent Garden Piazza (south east corner), London WC2E 7BB
Transport: Covent Garden (Piccadilly Line). London Buses routes RV1, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23 and 139 stop on Aldwych.
Opening Times: Except Friday 10:00 to 18:00.
Friday 11:00 to 18:00
The Museum Depot at Acton is open for special events and by appointment only.
Tickets : Adults £16.00 Children (under 18) Free
Concession / Senior £13.50 Discount for Groups
Tel: 020 7565 7298.