Sunday, May 7, 2017

Mass Transportation, London Style

Moving people back and forth is the hallmark of any great city and no one does it better than London.  I think pretty much everyone in the world can equate the city of London with those double-decker buses and the infamous "tube".

On my last trip to London, I thought it was about time I learned a little more about how the city developed such a sophisticated and efficient transportation system.  So, I headed to the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden.

The museum explores how London transportation models have evolved over the past 200 years and emphasizes the link between efficient transport and the growth of a modern and thriving city.

The museum got its start back in 1920 when the London General Omnibus Company decided to preserve two Victorian horse buses and an early motorbus for future generations to see.

The museum itself has been located in several places around the city over the years before it found a perfect spot in the center of Covent Garden, one of the busiest places in London.

The collection is arranged in a sort of timeline from the very beginning of public transport with horse drawn wagons and busses to rail systems to motorized busses and then on to the oldest underground network of trains in the world.

There is even a display explaining how those iconic "underground" signs were designed and how their design has evolved over the years.

Another display tells about the fabrics used to cover the seats on the train cars and how the different train lines have different patterns in their upholstery fabrics.  The gift shop even had tote bags and eye glass cases made from the same fabric so you can pick up a little piece of the London Underground and take it home with you.

The buses on display and the underground train cars were all open for exploration.  I spied a lot of children checking out the driver and engineer compartments to see if they could drive one of those busses or trains.

One of my favorite things in the museum was this map that showed where the different underground train lines were actually located so deep under the busy city above them.  A white line would show up outlining the route of the different lines as they were identified above the map.

It is a very interesting museum and is especially appealing to youngsters.  So, if you are a family traveling to London, it's a great place for kids to get a hands-on experience.


Mersad said...

This is truly a museum after my own heart. Love trains and the railroad.

Mersad Donko Photography

PerthDailyPhoto said...

It's an excellent museum Sharon, the old transportation​ vehicles are beautifully restored.. never mind the kids, I know many grown ups who would be thrilled to visit here 😊

Lowell said...

What a fantastic place. I'll bet one could spend hours checking it out. Thanks so much for this fine post; for your gorgeous photos - just superb; and for the excellent commentary which was so helpful in understanding the totality of this museum. You do know how to travel and seek out the most interesting places!

William Kendall said...

This would definitely fascinate me! The old fashioned interior of the tube particularly is eye catching.

Lois said...

This place is great Sharon. So interesting to see those early horse buses.