Birkenhead Street Railway



Owner Birkenhead Street Railway Company Ltd
Opened 30th August 1860 (horse)
Operator Birkenhead Street Railway Company Ltd
Taken over (operation) Spring 1862 (Thomas Evans) - a local omnibus proprietor
Services terminated 5th (?) August 1862 - following seizure of the tramcars by the bailiff, due to an unpaid fine
Services recommenced 18th August 1862
Operator Charles Castle
Took over (operation) 1864 (BSRCoLtd) - following termination of Charles Castle's lease
Regauged September 1864 - Woodside to Park Entrance, from 5ft 2ins to 4ft 8½
Took over (operation) 21st November 1864 - newly built tracks at Woodside Ferry owned by Birkenhead Commissioners (the local authority)
Regauged September (?) 1865 - Park Entrance to Oxton, from 5ft 2ins to 4ft 8½
Taken over (company) 1877 (Birkenhead Tramways Company)
Length 2.5 miles
Gauge 5ft 2ins from 1861; 4ft 8½ from 1864/5

Button description
Title (‘Birkenhead Street Railway Company Ltd’) in upper case lettering surrounding an american-style street railway car pulled by two horses)
Materials known Brass
Button Line reference [None]

Comment The Birkenhead Street Railway holds a unique place in tramway history, being the first true street tramway in the British Isles. It was promoted by the American entrepreneur George Francis Train, who quickly moved on to open three similar lines in London: the Marble Arch Street Railway, the Westminster Street Railway, and the Surrey Side Street Railway. All three however, met significant opposition and were soon closed. He was also involved with the promotion of two other early lines, the Darlington Street Railway and the Staffordshire Potteries Street Railway.