Liverpool Overhead Railway

overhead railway carriage displayed at its original height in the museum

© Mark McNulty 

The Liverpool Overhead Railway gallery tells the remarkable story of the first electric elevated railway in the world.

The Overhead Railway was built in 1893 to ease congestion along seven miles of Liverpool's 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. It was fondly known as the 'dockers' umbrella' as it also provided shelter from the rain.

In the gallery you can meet some of the people who worked and travelled on the Overhead Railway and see an original carriage, which is fixed at the exact height of the original railway at 4.8m (16 feet) above the ground. Please note that the carriage is closed for repairs for the foreseeable future, so visitors cannot go inside.

The displays also explore why the railway was eventually pulled down in the late 1950s and the legacy it has left behind.

Gallery highlights

train on elevated railway track by warehousesHistory of the Overhead Railway

See more photos of the Liverpool Overhead railway in this online collection.


Creating the gallery

The Overhead Railway motor coach was the first object to be installed in the Museum of Liverpool. See photos of it arriving on Flickr.