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If you catch a train from London Bridge, then look out for a Spitfire fighter plane sitting in the middle of the main concourse.
It’s a replica of the famous WW2 fighter plane, and was installed overnight by Network Rail and the Imperial War Museums (IWM) to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
The replica Supermarine Spitfire is usually on display at IWM Duxford in Cambridgeshire, and will be at London Bridge station until Sunday 9th June.
Photo tip – the overhead photos are taken from a) the escalator next to it and b) the upper concourse next to the lift, where there’s just about enough space to peer over and see it.
London Bridge station was chosen for the display thanks in part to its proximity to HMS Belfast, the Second World War cruiser and one of the first warships to fire on the Normandy beaches on D-Day in support of the Canadian and British troops on Juno Beach, opening fire at 5.27am on 6 June 1944.
The Southern Railway, as the operator of the railway through London Bridge was then known, made an immense contribution to the war effort, both before and after D-Day. The railway was a vital part in Britain’s military supply chain, from the crucial evacuation of civilians away from London to moving the masses of troops returning from Dunkirk back inland. The Southern Railway also maintained a civilian passenger service, continuing to run trains during blackouts despite incurring heavy bomb damage.
A dockyard at Southampton owned by The Southern Railway prior to the outbreak of the Second World War was also used extensively to ship large quantities of military freight and personnel over the course of the conflict and was especially busy around the time of D-Day. From D-Day to VE Day, over two and a half million British and American service personnel passed through the dockyards at Southampton.
As part of the D-Day commemorations, the IWM is distributing a free limited-edition newspaper, full of facts and stories about D-Day, throughout the week at London Bridge and Waterloo stations.
This article first appeared on www.ianvisits.co.uk
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