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Transport Museum

Tramway Managers

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The Line: Phase 1


In the November 1986 edition of the MTPS newsletter there was a report on a letter sent to the society chairman by the chief executive of Merseyside Development Corporation, Mr. John Ritchie. The subject was the possibility of a tourist tramway on the Liverpool waterfront (at that time the MTPS was based at Princes Dock close to the Pier Head). While not ruling it out, Mr. Ritchie suggested that the MTPS should develop a proposal for Birkenhead as "opportunities are much more promising there". Indeed, on October 27th a plan was unveiled in the local press for a future Albert Dock type development around Birkenhead, Woodside and Morpeth Dock. A tramway with "original carriages" was to be part of the setup.

On Wednesday 29th January 1987 two members of Wirral Borough Council Leisure Services Dept. paid an informal visit to Princes Dock where they met Secretary Bob Jones and took a look at the society's trams.

Jumping forward to February 1989 the newsletter announced that informal discussions were to take place between the MTPS and Wirral Borough Council, who are planning a Tramway Museum at Woodside.

Andrew Worthington, the Council's Leisure Services and Tourism Director was quoted as saying "The tramway is perceived as a tourist attraction but also as an obvious transportation system of great potential and historical significance."

The new tram line would commence at the present Woodside bus terminus and go via Shore Road to the first bridge on Morpeth Dock. At current prices, and not allowing for any points or passing loops, new German single trackwork would cost over 575,000.

Though sercretary Bob Jones has had previous dealings with Wirral Borough Council due to his work on their Birkernhead horsecar No.7, this is the first time the MTPS has been officially approached with regard to the proposed Wirral scheme.

But before this could come about, Princes Dock was required for redevelopment and the transport collections had to move to accommodation at Cammell Lairds in Birkenhead. In February 1991 the newsletter carried a prediction by consultants for Wirral Council that if there are no delays to the granting of a Light Railway Order, the Woodside Tramway could be complete by July 1992.

They made a clear recommendation that standard gauge be adopted for the tramway, whose first phase is estimated at 437,390 including contingency engineering design and supervision.

At Woodside the tram terminus will be adjacent to a piazza in front of the ferry terminal and a spur is included. At the junction with Pacific Road it is proposed to install a triangular junction to give access to the tramsheds from either end of Shore Road. (This was only partly constructed as Pacific Road shed later became an Arts Centre and trams were to be stored at Taylor Street.) The tramway would then proceed to its other teminus, a distance of 715 chains. At this terminus there could be a loop. Beyond this, phase two to Twelve Quays would be laid on ballasted track which may be purchased secondhand.


Details of the Light Railway Act can be found at these links:

Statutory Instrument 1994 No. 1761
The Wirral Tramway Light Railway Order 1994


Statutory Instruments 1999 No. 1306
The Wirral Tramway Order 1999



The 1957 AEC ex-Huddersfield towerwagon used by
Peter Price Electrical Installations to erect the overhead.
(pic. M Mercer)


The end of the journey at Woodside buffers. (D.Pendleton)
The two Hong Kong trams are delivered to Woodside.
All we need now are the poles and wiring! (pics by M.Mercer)     
The track on the left runs into Pacific Road
shed as we travel to Woodside on the top deck of the
Hong Kong car. (D.Pendleton)
20 stands at the entrance to Pacific Road shed.
A Hong Kong car about to depart for Woodside, 14th April 1995.  
View inside Pacific Road shed on
14th April 1995.
View inside Pacific Road shed on
14th April 1995.
later views inside Pacific Road, taken on 10th March 1996. (D.Pendleton)   
later views inside Pacific Road, taken on 10th March 1996. (D.Pendleton)
Some views of the line under construction taken by Mike Mercer, on the left the gateway into Shore Road.   Approaching Pacific Road shed from Woodside. The start of the point leading into the shed is in place. (pic. M Mercer)
Phase One: Shore Road, 7th December 1996. Birkenhead 20 with just a few yards to go before it reaches the Pacific Road terminus. (A.Pendleton)      
This late 1993 picture by Mike Mercer shows the new track at the museum tramshed at Pacific Road.    
The next to last and final trampoles at Woodside.

May 1991 Newsletter

Application for a Tramway and Light Railway Order was made in 1992    

August 1994 Newsletter