Tramcar 245 project

Tram of the Year 2015

The restored Tramcar 245 on the Birkenhead Heritage Tramway

Tramcar 245, shown here on the Birkenhead Heritage Tramway following restoration, was voted Tramcar of the Year (Traditional) 2015.

Tramcar 245 is an important piece of Liverpool history and its preservation is crucial to the heritage of the city. However the condition of the tramcar had deteriorated over the years and, due to its size, it has been difficult to display meaning visitor access has been severely limited.   

National Museums Liverpool recognised that Birkenhead based Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society had the prefect set of skills, coupled with boundless enthusiasm, to tackle the restoration of this historic tram. To this end National Museums Liverpool (NML) entered into a Partnership Agreement with Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society (MTPS) along with Wirral Borough Council, who own the Taylor Street premises where the tram was stored during the restoration project, to restore the tram to its former glory.

Find out more about Tramcar 245 in our Land transport collection highlights.

old photo of people looking at a tramcar

Accession number MMM.1993.255

See Tramcar 245 running

Following the completion of the restoration project in 2015, Tramcar 245 is on loan to Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society. It runs on the Birkenhead Heritage Tramway, which links Wirral Transport Museum to Woodside Ferry Terminal. 

Wirral Transport Museum is open weekends and school holidays, 1-5pm.

Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society

Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society (MTPS) was formed in 1960 specifically to preserve a Liverpool Green Goddess Tramcar that now operates at the National Tramway Museum at Crich in Derbyshire. Their main purpose since then has been to acquire and preserve tramcars relating to the Merseyside area to display and run on the Birkenhead Heritage Tramway. 

MTPS have about 300 members and their activities are funded through donations and subscriptions. The majority of work on Tramcar 245, which has taken several thousand hours over several years, has been done by their volunteers.

Visit the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society website for more information on the restoration work they have done on Tramcar 245 and other tramcars from the Merseyside area.

The project

people moving a tramcar onto some tracks

Tramcar 245 arrives at Taylor Street, May 2006

The first stage of the Tramcar 245 project was for MTPS and National Museums Liverpool to produce a feasibility study. To do this the tram had to be moved to MTPS’s base at Taylor Street in Birkenhead. The move took months to plan and the journey was completed in May 2006. 

The feasibility study was then completed and found that although it needed a lot of work, the tram was actually in better condition than had been feared. 

The Partnership applied for a Your Heritage Grant through the HLF and was successfully awarded £50,000 towards the three year project to restore Tramcar 245 to running order. 

The tramcar is an important historical vehicle both made and used on Merseyside and the only one of its type that is in preservation. It is a vehicle that is much loved by locals and transport enthusiasts alike.

Restoration

The restoration of the tramcar has involved an overhaul of the motors and truck, restoration of the bodywork and interior fittings (including lights, windows and handles), rewiring and the repainting of the exterior bodywork. We have retained as much original material as possible whilst bringing the tramcar up to current Health and Safety standards for operation. 

We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund, MTPS and their magnificent volunteers and Wirral Borough Council for their support with this project.

For more information on Heritage Lottery Fund grants please see the Heritage Lottery Fund website.

logo: Heritage Lottery Fund - Lottery Funded