Thursday 4 November 2010

The Nostalgic Smell of Tube Trains

I went to the London Transport Museum, for research purposes, and after stepping around drifts of off season tourists I stepped inside an old red 1960s era tube train. I was instantly caught in the undertow of nostalgia and dragged back to the thousands of hours I spent riding that exact type of train in my youth. Back when the silver Jubilee Line trains were the height of modernity.

It wasn't the look of the carriage as the smell and this is where I find the limitations of my prose. Dust certainly, something that might have been electricity (except the carriage had been sitting in a museum for twenty years) and a musty smell that could have been the seat covers. Really, just as honey smells of honey and shit smells of shit what the carriage smelt of was 1960s era tube train(1).

(1) I think it might have been either 1959 or 1962 Stock but I can't tell.

1 comment:

Matt said...

I haven't been for years but Transport Musuem used to be one of those brilliant museums that was itself an object of the Wellcome medical wing at the V&A, now revamped but it went 20 years with the same dusty surgical dioramas. Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood had the same feel for a long time too.

That was real time travel. Hope Transport Museum isn't too future-techy now.