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Upminster open day logo
Upminster District Line tube depot open day Sunday 30th August 2009

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 The weekend of 29th and 30th August 2009 saw the London Underground District line suspended between Barking and Upminster for track renewal, and other engineering works. With the 4th rail power switched off between these two point, London Underground took this opportunity to have a public open day at the Upminster depot.

 On the Sunday I went along with three friends for a look. The opportunity to take a close look at some historic tube carriages was not the only attraction. To ferry visitors between Upminster station (still being served by C2C mainline trains) and the depot a small fleet of vintage buses was provided. It was very nostalgic to ride on these buses with all the features that I was used to 30 or more years ago.

 So I begin this photo record with some of those buses.

Inside an original Routemaster bus
This is the interior of the top deck of the Routemaster bus that took us from the station to the depot.
note the original tungsten lighting bulbs.
RM1 and friends
A trio of Routemasters. In the middle is RML2760 which was (I believe) the last to be made, and on the far right is RM1, the first to be made.
Above, RML2589. The "L" in RML means that it was a long version that seated more passengers.
Below, the rear of the same bus. (slightly different ambient light changing the hue of the red colour)
RML2589 rear view
During our visit RML2760, the last Routemaster made, developed an oil leak and had to be taken out of service.
Before it went the driver attempted a diagnosis and repair.
RML2760 engine compartment

Prior to the introduction of the mostly standard Routemaster bus there were a wide selection of similar, but not identical buses that ran as RT's (Route Traveller ?) on the London bus network. I really wanted a ride on this one above, RT3871, but we arrived, and left, at the wrong time, and rode both ways on Routemasters.

One other bus that I did not get to ride on was RLH61. The "H" in RLH61 means it was a low height bus for use in some suburban areas that featured low rail bridges. This bus sports two licence plates. MMX 261 is it's British licence plate, and the lower one suggests that it has been overseas. I believe that there are several cases of buses that were originally sold for overseas use after becoming redundant in London that were eventually repatriated by enthusiasts. This one came back from Canada, and there is a photo page about it's restoration here.
 Seeing, and riding on those buses was very good, but the main theme was actually the tube trains themselves.
38 stock A end
Above is the A end of London Undergounds preserved 38 stock that was last used in normal public service on the Northern Line.
Below is the D end.
38 stock D end

38 stock carriage interior
Above, the interior of a 38 stock carriage, and below the control panel used by the guard.
38 stock guards panel

District Railway carriage
The oldest carriage on display was the one above. It dates back to the time when the District line was actually a separate railway called The District railway, and was steam hauled.
Just beyond the District Railway carriage, but not positioned for easy photography, was this Q stock carriage with it's distinctive clerestory roof (more obvious in the picture above).
Q stock

R stock
Seen here is R stock in unpainted aluminium, and its distinctive bodyside flair at platform level.
Below is the interior of an R stock carriage.
R stock carriage interior

D stock bogey change
At all depot open days they try and show some of the work that is carried out in the workshops.
One such demonstration was the lifting of a D stock carriage to change the bogies.
D stock trains are still in current service on the District line, and this was the only one I took pictures of.

S stock
This is an interior view of a mock up of what will eventually replace D stock trains on the District Line, and A60/A62 trains on the Metropolitan line. This mock up was two one third length carraiages joined together. The main features are the large walk through feature where the carriages join together, the air conditioning, and the two different seat layouts. At the far end the seats are transverse, and this layout will be used on the longer distance journeys on the Metropolitan line. Just visible in the foreground are the longditudinal seat layout that will be used on the District line services (and probably for the replacement of the C stock trains on the Circle, and Hammersmith and City line services). My personal view is that this modern train, like many modern "metro" trains is very soulless inside.

GWR pannier tank 7715
There was one other exhibit that was nice to see. It was ex-GWR/Ex-LUL pannier tank loco 7715. It was in live steam running up and down a 30ft demonstration track to publicise The Spa Valley Railway, and their soon to open (hopefully) extension to Eridge.
I took two short videos of 7715 in action. Due to the encoding my camera uses I have only managed to convert them to WMV (Windows video format). If you are using a Windows PC they may play directly, but if you are using Linux or a Mac I suggest right clicking the links to download the two files, and then using VLC media player to play them.
Video 1 : Video 2
Upminster open day poster