Upon disembarking your train at end-of-the-line Epping Station, you might spot a rather old-fashioned looking–but deliciously restored, with a smart yellow coat of paint–train, sat by the station carpark.
If you’ve ever wondered what this model of train is, we can tell you: a Locomotive L11. This particular shunting train is over 90-years-old, and makes up one cog in the newly-revamped Epping Museum.
What can I find at the Epping Museum?
The museum may not be huge, but in its small space it provides a broad gaze into London’s treasured past on the railway lines.
At this railway museum, a trifecta of train-based artefacts can be viewed. Joining up with the restored signal cabin, which made up the formerly-named Epping Signalling Museum that opened in September 2019, is an opportunity to view the beautiful Locomotive L11 train, and the recently kitted-out display room with pieces from London Underground History.
The Locomotive L11
Standing grandly as the centrepiece, the museum’s big draw is this rescued train. In 2004, it was almost scrapped, but eventually was moved from Acton to Epping. Not much happened until 2017, when restoration plans for the model began, and today we can see it in a dazzling new glow.
This train began life as ‘Standard Stock’ , which were often referred to as 1923 Tube Stock or pre 1938 Tube Stock, and were used to create an earlier generation of trains. Standard Stocks were decked out with motor cars and driving cabs, as well as boasting sliding doors.
The Locomotive L11 itself was actually formed in 1964 by merging two former Piccadilly line trains together to form a shunting locomotive. In its early days, it rocked a maroon coat before yellow became the in vogue colour for these trains in the ’80s.
Extensive reads on the history of the Locomotive L11 on the Epping Signalling Museum site, and via this piece on TrainWeb.
The display room (with a model railway track!)
Many of us Londoners use the Tube every day, so it’s no wonder that a room full of old oddities and items from the Underground’s past is going to be right up our street.
In this beautiful new room, you can clap eyes with old London Underground signage, formally-used signal levers and much more.
Oh, and there’s a fabulous little model railway that gets up-and-running when the museum opens every Saturday.
This is brand new for 2023, and displays what might have been an extension to the Northern line from Mill Hill East to Bushey Heath, a construction that was started but never completed. (Read more about the model railway here!)
The Signal Control room
Formally used at Epping Station, this room sits past the Locomotive L11, and features railways signals that have been donated to the museum. Epping’s original signal cabin dates back to 1949, where it began directing the first Central line trains to run through Epping.
The cabin was eventually dismantled in 2005, after being slowly forced out of use due to worse of wear for many years prior. Now, in the restored cabin, visitors can view swathes of switches, and an upstairs control panel which is operational and attached to a screen which allows you to control trains in the room.
Where can I find Epping Museum?
You’ll find the museum situated right by Epping station car park. If you’re arriving by train, simply head out of the main entrance and take a left towards the ramp going down to the carpark, and you should spot the resplendent Locomotive L11.
Entry to the museum is completely free, though donations are very much encouraged! Boxes can be found on site to give the museum a token of gratitude for their hard work preserving these train artefacts, and you can also donate via PayPal on their site.
The Epping Museum (Station Road, Epping CM16 4HW) is run by volunteers, and is open every Saturday between 10am-4:30pm. Find out more information via their website. By signing up for their free membership page, you’ll also be able to access a smashing collection of old Tube photos.