Liverpool Overhead Railway motor coach number 3, 1892

railway carraige with wood panelled exterior

The Liverpool Overhead Railway, opened in 1893, was the first elevated electric line in the world. It ran the length of the Liverpool docks – around seven and a half miles. Although it was built to ease congestion along the docks it was also marketed as a tourist attraction as it provided amazing views of the docks, shipping and transatlantic liners on the River Mersey.

The trains consisted of three coaches, a motor coach at each end and a trailer coach between them. This is one of the original motor coaches which has electric motors mounted beneath the floor, a driving cab at one end and third class accommodation with wooden seats. The unpowered central coach was fitted with leather-covered seats for first class passengers.

This coach is one of a batch built between 1892-1899. It served on the Overhead Railway until it closed in 1956 and was preserved by British Railways - the only example of a motor coach to survive. It was later presented to National Museums Liverpool by the British Railways Board.

Accession number 1961.127

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Liverpool Overhead Railway gifts and souvenirs are available from the Liverpool gifts section of our online shop.


This coach is on display in the Liverpool Overhead Railway gallery at the Museum of Liverpool.

It was transported to its new location in July 2010 - see photos of its historic journey home on Flickr.