New ‘working’ museum for London Transport

The London Transport Museum is opening a 14 000m2 collection centre in Acton Town, as a back-up for its Covent Garden site. The new centre, designed by Paul Mullins Associates, will hold 360 000 items.

Unlike the existing Covent Garden museum, the new collection, which is due to open in October, will feature a working depot for restoring trains, signal boxes, station equipment and memorabilia.

Through six sidings, attached to the Piccadilly line, old trains can be collected from all over London and placed in a storage area designed by LT architects. It has a capacity of 24 carriages.

Paul Mullins of PMA has redesigned the reception, frontage and shop of the former train engineering depot. Originally part of the underground repair complex.

“I wanted to put some element of style into it and create a natural visual link with Acton Town station which is 274m away. The complex has a certain sort of industrial quality which is pointless to fight against, so I treated the windows and added the signs,” he says.

There will also be a drawing archive, consisting of 80 000 drawings, original tube maps and a 15 000-strong poster collection.

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