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Take a ride on the Piccadilly line in a restored 1938 art deco tube train

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Things To Do Editors

People seem to have this idea that trains are romantic. But when you’re debating whether to sit on the Northern line tip-up seat that’s encrusted with black petrified chewing gum, that notion feels like total nonsense. London Transport Museum’s Art Deco Special journey, however, might just prove their point.

For one weekend in April, you can ride the Piccadilly line on a restored 1938-stock tube train. It has wood panel flooring, wobbly light-bulb shaped grab handles, lampshades, old-school moquette seating fabric and advertising posters from the period. Basically, it’s a nostalgia trip on what was once the most advanced electric tube train on earth. The journey runs between Northfields, Heathrow Terminal 4 and Acton Town.

Photograph: Courtesy of London Transport Museum

The Art Deco Special trips take place on the LTM’s Depot Open Weekend, a chance to see the museum’s not-so-secret store of 320,000 artefacts, which is usually closed to the public. At the Acton depot, you’ll find disused London Underground ticket machines, vintage posters, maps, station signs, plus actual buses and tube trains. 

The Art Deco price tag (£45) might make you reconsider those gum-encrusted seats, but for proper London Underground nerds, riding this time portal to the days of elegant 1930s tube travel will be worth every penny. 

The Art Deco Special takes place on Saturday April 25 and Sunday April 26. Find out more here

For more modern tube news: check out this tube busker leading a conga line

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