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Old February 11th, 2006, 02:02 AM   #1
Tubeman
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World's Oldest Elevated Electric Metro

...Was in Liverpool... And has now completely disappeared

From Here:

By the 1880's, Liverpool's dock network was virtually complete. So too was the congestion along the Dock Road, as carriages, omnibuses, lorries, carts and drays all plied the route. Numerous railway crossings which connected goods stations and dockside lines only added to the confusion. With increasing trade, it became clear that passenger traffic had to be isolated from the cargo routes in the interest of efficiency.

An elevated railway had been proposed as early as 1852 but came to nothing. It emerged again, in 1877, when the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board sought permission for a single line with passing loops at stations.

This was rejected as being insufficient to meet the likely needs of the rapidly growing port but, five years later, an improved scheme did receive sanction. Unfortunately, at that time, the company had reviewed its policy towards transporting the public and again, nothing was done.

Finally, in 1888, a prominent group of businessmen formed the Liverpool Overhead Railway Company and obtained the Dock Board's powers by an Act of Transfer. Two leading engineers, Sir Douglas Fox and James Henry Greathead, were commissioned to design the railway and work commenced in October 1889.

Amongst the many problems encountered was the decision as to motive power. Steam was considered too dangerous to the many flammable cargoes within range of locomotive sparks.
This was one of the reasons electric traction was chosen, in 1891; other advantages being economy, speed, cleanliness and quiet running.

Work was completed in January, 1893 and the line was formally opened on February 4th that year by the Marquis of Salisbury with public transport commenced on the 6th of March.
The Overhead was the world's first electric elevated railway and the first to be protected by electric automatic signals. The line stretched from the Seaforth Carriage Shed to Herculaneum Dock, with public services beginning and terminating at Alexandra Dock in the north.

There were eleven intermediate stations at Brocklebank, Canada, Sandon, Clarence, Princes, Pier Head, James Street, Canning, Wapping, Brunswick and Toxteth. However, it was soon found that receipts outside working hours were poor and a decision was taken to extend the line and to tap residential areas. A short extension to Seaforth sands was opened on April 30th, 1894, followed by another to Dingle on 21st December 1896

Dingle (Park Road) was reached by spanning the Cheshire Lines goods yard with a 200 foot lattice girder bridge and by boring a half-mile tunnel through the sandstone high ground further inland. Thus the Overhead belied its name at the southern terminus, passengers new to Dingle no doubt wondering why they had to descend steps and a subway to gain the platforms of an elevated railway!

Extensive bomb damage was inflicted during the Blitz but it was quickly repaired to maintain the smooth running of the docks. Modernisation of some of the nineteen 3-car sets had begun as the War drew to a close and eight were in operation by 1955. In the same year, the curved deck plates which supported the track were reported as being in need of replacement at an approximate cost of two million pounds. This was beyond the financial resources of the company, who looked to the City Council and the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board for assistance. No adequate solution could be found and, despite rigorous public protests, the railway closed on December 30th, 1956. Rescue attempts continued until September, 1957, when the dismantlers moved in.










Some of these pics make me think more of Chicago or New York than Liverpool:



















All demolished with barely a trace
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Old February 11th, 2006, 02:33 AM   #2
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Yep, it fell into disrepair and it was decided that rather than fix it up, it would be more cost-effective to demolish it.

Stupid decisions made by stupid people!
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Old February 11th, 2006, 02:46 AM   #3
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It can't be the World's oldest then can it. It needs to be alive to be old.

World's first is a better way to describe it.

My dad's been on it by the way.
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Old February 11th, 2006, 03:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Newell
It can't be the World's oldest then can it. It needs to be alive to be old.

World's first is a better way to describe it.

My dad's been on it by the way.
Pah! First then...
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Old February 11th, 2006, 11:50 AM   #5
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Now doesn't Liverpool have any metro system?
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Old February 11th, 2006, 12:40 PM   #6
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Interesting! Didn't know about it. Nice old pics, it indeed looks more like Chicago...
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Old February 11th, 2006, 12:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabriFlorence
Now doesn't Liverpool have any metro system?
it has a small underground commuter rail loop under the city centre




http://www.merseyrail.org/



but its nothing compared to this extensive overhead railway system
sad that its gone
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Old February 11th, 2006, 12:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabriFlorence
Now doesn't Liverpool have any metro system?
It doesn't really have a metro, but more a hybrid of a metro and commuter rail: merseyrail....


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Old February 11th, 2006, 02:04 PM   #9
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Those Overhead Railway trains were rather wide, I see. Could you tell us some of the locations were the photos were taken?
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Old February 11th, 2006, 03:29 PM   #10
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looks like Paris
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Old February 11th, 2006, 05:16 PM   #11
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That's because it is Paris...
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Old February 13th, 2006, 10:32 AM   #12
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Yeah the elevated section of the Paris metro is cool, I stayed right near where that picture was taken when I was last in Paris during January. When I saw it I thought it looks like Skytrain if it had been built 80 years ago, and by the French .
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Old February 13th, 2006, 11:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alargule
That's because it is Paris...
i was referring to the Liverpool Overhead.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 12:08 PM   #14
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Double deck trams ?


Shame ...what a shame to see this unique railway dissapear
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Old February 13th, 2006, 05:25 PM   #15
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Oh wow! What a shame that was torn down! It was amazing!
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Old February 13th, 2006, 06:50 PM   #16
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I think it would be Barcelona to Sarrià line, since 1863. It was not elevated but at street level.
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Yo si la ciudad no tiene metro, como que no es gran ciudad y entonces ya paso de vivir allí. Norreport+12000
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Old February 13th, 2006, 07:27 PM   #17
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Beautiful. Why not rebuild it? :-)
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Old February 13th, 2006, 08:27 PM   #18
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Reminds me of the section from Landungsbrücken Station to Baumwall station in Hamburg's Metro-system, just far bigger. A shame that is is gone. In the decades after WW2 a lot of fatal decisions in terms of architecture and cityplanning were made. For example Hamburg's tram network was dismantled until the 70's. Is there still a tram network in Liverpool?
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Old February 13th, 2006, 09:18 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alargule
Those Overhead Railway trains were rather wide, I see. Could you tell us some of the locations were the photos were taken?
Follow the link at the top of the first post ('here')

That takes you to the Subterranea Brittanica site where the text and photos are from. Here you'll find out where the pics were taken from.
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Old February 13th, 2006, 09:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiggerD21
Is there still a tram network in Liverpool?
No... Nothing, nish, nada

Liverpool's public transportation was raped worse than any other British city after WW2, but the fact the population dropped from 1 million to 500,000 probably didn't help matters.

I think a supertram is / was proposed, I'm not too sure what the status is.
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