Suburban Electric Railway Association Support Your Local Train
Liverpool Overhead Railway 1st Class Trailer Car No. 7
The Liverpool Overhead railway (LOR) was a pioneering line opened in 1893 and ran on an elevated steel structure than followed
the route of the extensive commercial dock frontage that was one of the largest in the world at the time. The line used motorised
carriages that were initially two car sets but in 1895 the passenger demand was enough to justify the building of trailer cars to be
inserted between the original motor coaches to make some of the trains up to three coaches. The new trailers were all first class.
The line continued to operate until forced to close due to the steel structure it ran on being too expensive to maintain.
When the LOR closed for good in December 1956 the unique structure and all but two of it's carriages were broken up for scrap.
One of the carriages was a near original wooden body car which is now on display in the Liverpool City Museum. The other was the
body of 1st class trailer car no. 7, an example of the LORs modernised fleet, which comprised of bodies rebuilt with new aluminium
body skins on the original framework complete with air operated sliding door and new interior whilst still retaining the original
under frame and bogies.
Car 7 led a nomadic existence after the closure of the LOR being used as an office by a coal merchant and then a firm of car
breakers, at some time after its sale from the LOR scrapline it lost it's bogies and almost all of it's interior fittings. before
finally being sold to the Southport Railway Centre and housed in their shed, mounted on a pair of accommodation bogies. The
closure of that centre in 1998 and the relocation of most of their stock to a new site in Preston once again left car No. 7
with an uncertain future as it was regarded as surplus to the requirements of the Ribble Steam Railway and in need of a new home
and a new owner. The SERA submitted a bid to acquire this venerable survivor, which was accepted and thus LOR 7 was moved to Coventry
in August of 1998.
With the closure of the Electric Railway Museum in 2018 the carriage was moved to storage at Hope farm in Sellindge in Kent.
No restoration has ever been undertaken on the vehicle and it has always been considered a future project that would only be tackled
when a suitable level of resource is available. The preferred and more realistically achievable option for this vehicle is to restore
it not as a passenger coach but as a stand alone museum in its own right. In effect to become a museum of the Liverpool Overhead Railway
housed in an authentic Liverpool Overhead Railway carriage. But that project remains an ambition and not a live project.