Glasgow Museum of Transport

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The Glasgow Museum of Transport in Glasgow, Scotland was established in 1964 and initially located at a former tram depot in Pollokshields. In 1988 the museum was relocated to the city's Kelvin Hall, then moved to its current location in the Riverside Museum building at Glasgow Harbour in 2011.


The Museum of Transport was opened on 14 April 1964 by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.[1][2] Created in the wake of the closure of Glasgow's tramway system in 1962, it was initially located at the former Coplawhill tram depot on Albert Drive in Pollokshields, before moving to the Kelvin Hall.[3] The old building was subsequently converted into the Tramway arts centre.[4]

The museum was then situated inside the Kelvin Hall opposite the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum in the west end of Glasgow. The Kelvin Hall was built in 1927, originally as an exhibition centre, but was converted in 1987 to house the Museum of Transport and the Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena.

The Kelvin Hall site itself closed in April 2010, with the Museum moving to its third home at the Riverside Museum in 2011.[5]

Museum of Transport (1988–2010)[edit]

Models of Queen Mary (foreground) and Queen Elizabeth (background) in the Clyde Room (Kelvin Hall)
Accurate full-scale recreation of a pre-1977 Glasgow Subway station, featuring salvaged items from the former Merkland Street subway station (Kelvin Hall)

The Museum of Transport in the Kelvin Hall was one of the most popular museums of transport in the United Kingdom, attracting half a million visitors a year, and housed many exhibits of national and international importance.

Road vehicles[edit]

The museum housed the oldest surviving pedal cycle and the world's leading collection of Scottish-built cars and trucks, including pioneering examples from Scottish manufacturers Argyll, Arrol-Johnston and Albion. More modern Scottish-built cars, namely the Rootes Group's Hillman Imp, Chrysler Avenger and Chrysler Sunbeam were represented too along with many other motorcars in a large showroom-type display sponsored by Arnold Clark.

All forms of transport were featured, from horse-drawn vehicles to fire engines, from motorcycles to caravans, even toy cars and prams.

Ship models[edit]

In the Clyde Room was a display of some 250 ship models,[6] representing the contribution of the River Clyde and its shipbuilders and engineers to maritime trade and the Royal Navy, including the Comet of 1812, the Hood, the Howe, the Queen Mary, and the Queen Elizabeth and the QE2.

Railway and municipal transport exhibits[edit]

Locomotive manufacture was also an important Glasgow industry and the museum celebrated the city's railway heritage, including locomotives such as:

Model of the old St Enoch station at the Transport Museum (Kelvin Hall)

Other main exhibits displayed the evolution of Glasgow's public transport system and included seven Glasgow Corporation Tramways tramcars from different eras, Glasgow Corporation trolleybuses, and the reconstruction of "Kelvin Street", which aimed to recapture the atmosphere of 1930s Glasgow, including full-scale replicas of a pre-1977 Glasgow Subway station and the Regal Cinema, which played Scottish transport documentaries such as Seawards the Great Ships.

The current Glasgow Museum of Transport (Riverside Museum)

Current Museum of Transport[edit]

The museum at Kelvin Hall closed on 18 April 2010, with most of its collections moved to the purpose-built Riverside Museum in Glasgow Harbour on the Clyde, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and engineers Buro Happold.[7] The current museum opened on Tuesday 21 June 2011.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Transport Museum Scene Trolley Wire issue 100 October 1965 page 9
  2. ^ Glasgow Museum Extended The Railway Magazine issue 791 March 1967 pages 124-127
  3. ^ "Glasgow, 522 Pollokshaws Road, Coplaw Horse-tram Depot | Canmore".
  4. ^ "MEMORIES: Tram fine day at Transport Museum".
  5. ^ Transport museum closes before replacement opens BBC News 18 February 2010
  6. ^ "A look back at the old Scottish Transport Museum at Kelvin Hall". 28 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Museum of Transport Glasgow, Glasgow Transport Museum, Zaha Hadid". Archived from the original on 22 December 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2007.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°52′07″N 4°17′42″W / 55.8687°N 4.2950°W / 55.8687; -4.2950