Wirral Transport Museum and Birkenhead Tramway

Wirral Transport Museum and Birkenhead Tramway
Wirral Transport Museum
1 Taylor Street
Birkenhead, Wirral
Merseyside
CH41 1BG
England

Website

www.wirraltransportmuseum.org

E-mail

birkenheadtram@tiscali.co.uk

Telephone

0151 647 2128

Ernie Russler - Group and school bookings

0151 666 4000

Fax

0151 666 3965

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
venue representative image
Library icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

Welcome to the Wirral Transport Museums. Birkenhead is a town packed with transport heritage, it is the home of Cammell Lairds shipyard and the home of the European tramway. George Francis Train chose Birkenhead for the first European tramway, back in 1860. Mr Train made an agreement that if the tramway was unsuccessful, he would return Birkenhead's streets to their original state with his own money. Luckily the tramway was a success and operated until 1937 when the petrol motor bus took hold. The Starbuck factory on Cleveland Street built approximately 3000 trams between 1862 and 1913. Trams were made for the UK market and for export. The Manx Electric Railway and Snaefell Mountain Railway are both still using vehicles built in Birkenhead. Trams still operate on the streets of Birkenhead, the main service trams were built in Hong Kong in 1992 to a 1948 pattern. However, a genuine 1901 Birkenhead Tramways tram of the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society can be seen in service on special days. The Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society has a number of local trams, both electric and horse-drawn. Pictures of the electric trams at Taylor Street tram depot are included under our "vehicles" page, further information about the group and it’s trams can be found on their web-page.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Sat-Sun 13.00-17.00

Easter, Whit and Summer School holidays,
Open all week 13.00-17.00

Group visits welcome by arrangement, outside of normal opening hours.

Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Admission charges

Museum FREE! Tram trip fares are: Adult return £1, Concessions return 50p

Also FREE is Shore Road Pumping Station, which is on the tram route (ask the tram conductor to tell you where) and houses the Large beam pumping engine (The Birkenhead Grasshopper) that used to pump out the Mersey Railway Tunnels between Birkenhead & Liverpool.
There is an audio visual presentation here and when finished, the screen rolls up, and the engine can be seen in all its glory. You can walk round this and down the stairway to come out into an Edwardian street scene, complete with sights & sounds from that era.

Also (now by appointment only) there is Egerton Bascule Bridge. There is a video description here, of Birkenhead narrated by the ghost of John Laird MP (the first MP of Birkenhead) talking with one of his ex employees. There are also photos and models of Birkenhead, the docks and surrounding areas.

Wirral Museums Historic Vehicle Collection is housed a Wirral Transport Museum showing a selection of vintage buses representing a variety of local operators over a number of years. There is also a display of cars,and motorcycles and a 1930's garage scene. The 26foot model railway layout is always the centre of attaction. As well as operating trams, Wirral Museums are also a bus operator, using a London Routemaster they provide transport for school children to visit the various historic sites on the Wirral peninsula. Operations increase when special events require additional public transport. The museums resident vintage buses may be seen providing a free service connecting the tramway at Woodside Ferry terminal and passes Egerton Bridge, Seacombe Ferry terminal and Seacombe Aquarium.

Collection details

Land Transport, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • Wirral Heritage Transport Collection
  • Taylor Street Model Railway
  • Baxter Collection
  • George Francis Train
  • Starbuck factory
  • Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society
  • 201 Bus Group.
  • Wirral Transport Library and Archives.
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