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Monday, April 21, 2008

Art Deco Tube Special - Travelling in a 1938 Tube train

In a uncharacteristically sunny afternoon, yesterday we boarded the 1938 train and started our ride from Ealing Common to Uxbridge. The
London Transport Museum had put on special trips on a 1938 stock train.

Photo by DoYouMindTheGap Photo by DoYouMindTheGap

"The train has an elegant semi-streamlined exterior with flush fitted windows ansd air operated sliding doors controlled automatically by the train guard. This was all the last word in modernity in 1938 when most main line passenger trains were still steam hauled with slam door coaches". Think Poirot (outside of London) and you'll know what the museum mean when they wrote this.

Photo by DoYouMindTheGap Photo by DoYouMindTheGap

"The designers ingeniously fitted all the electrical control equipment under the floor to give the maximum amount of passenger space. The train has comfortable cushion seating, wooden floors and elegant art deco lampshades that would not have looked out of place in a fashionable restaurant or nightclub in the 1930's. Even in rush hours, these trains felt cosy and welcoming. Standing passengers, always known as straphangers in the 1930s, could hang on to the black bakelite grab handles."

To me, riding the train felt a little bumpier than modern stock and it seemed to bounce around a lot more. Unfortunately this made it difficult for me to take a lot of interior shots without them looking really blurry (although the one on the right below was OK).

Photo by DoYouMindTheGap 1938 Art Deco Tour - Riding in the Sunshine

Over 1200 of the Tube cars were built. They were operated in seven car trains, mainly on the Northern, Bakerloo & Piccadilly Lines. This was quite confusing for Chris aka MisterChris, (it was his first trip to London from Hawaii) & he couldn't quite get his head round being on train that was doing the route of the Piccadilly Line up to Uxbridge yet had Northern Line car diagrams in it.

1938 Art Deco Tour - Vodka Ad

This particular train was one of the last units to run in regular London Underground service until 1988 (hence the 1970's and 1980's ads in the cars).

Fancy a job? by Ianvisits

Love the salaries on these ads for station guards & foremen.

Right now, the Isle of Wight has three of the former trains in regular use there. Even though some are now painted with strange graffiti

Funny painted tube train from Ryde to Shanklin by Symphonic knot

We were given some goodies, at the start of the trip, which make for interesting reading:

1938 Art Deco Tour - tickets, 1953 map, postcard & details

Many thanks to DoYouMindTheGap for the better pictures used on this post. His full set of the day is here. Thanks also to Ianvisits who's blogged the day, along with photos. Final thanks to the LT Museum for giving me a free ticket so it meant the trip for me and my friends (including Kris in Hawaii now in London for a bit - regular TFV commenter & Mecca) was cheaper than normal. Kris & Chris from Hawaii also have more in a link from their blog post of the day.

The rest of my pictures from the Art Deco Tube special are here.

; Posted by annie mole Monday, April 21, 2008 Permalink COMMENT HERE