Museum of Liverpool to unleash spectacular new galleries after record opening visitor numbers

By Culture24 Reporter | 20 October 2011
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A photo of an ancient locomotive inside a museum
The enormous Overhead Railway Carriage was one of the first exhibits to arrive at the Museum of Liverpool© National Museums Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool will seize upon its public popularity since it became the largest new British museum outside London in a century by opening the doors to galleries starring an overhead railway and a 38-metre timeline before the end of the year, organisers have announced.

Liverpool Overhead Railway will be brought back to life at the original working height it operated at before being demolished 55 years ago, displayed on rails above The Great Port gallery as part of a reconstruction of Pier Head Station.

Motor coach no 3, the hotly-anticipated exhibit which is the last surviving carriage of its kind from the zenith of the city’s industrial heritage, will be accompanied by the Lumière Brothers' archive footage from the railway in 1897.

The gallery will honour workers who dedicated their lives to the world's commercial wet dock at the mouth of the River Mersey in 1715, where canals, the first timetabled passenger railway and the world’s first elevated electrified railway line were among the industrious innovations.

A steam locomotive from 1838, Lion, also features alongside the 10-ton Super Steam Tractor, used on the docks from 1927 onwards.

Museum Director Janet Dugdale said planners were "so excited" at the prospect of further attractions for a venue which has recorded half a million visitors since July.

"People may have spotted our first object - the Liverpool Overhead Railway carriage - move into the Museum last year," she added.

"These objects have been carefully restored by our conservation team, and we can’t wait to show them off.
"Aside from The Great Port on the ground floor, we are also opening up the entire first floor of the museum which includes the Liverpool Overhead Railway gallery and two more special galleries.

"History Detectives will focus on the history of the area from the Ice Age to the present day, and the second will explore Liverpool’s special relationship with one of Britain’s oldest regiments, the King's Regiment."

The galleries are expected to open at the start of December 2011.
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