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#632820 - 4th Dec 2011 9:50pm The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5
yoller Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 455
Loc: Cheshire
There's a programme called The Golden Age of Trams on BBC4 at 9pm tomorrow (Monday, December 5). It might be worth a look for anyone interested in the Birkenhead connection with tram History, as I think it mentions George Francis Train, the founder of the Birkenhead street railway in 1860.

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#632832 - 4th Dec 2011 10:24pm Re: The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5 [Re: yoller]
PaulWirral
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Look forward to watching it. Thanks for the heads up.

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#632943 - 5th Dec 2011 6:49am Re: The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5 [Re: yoller]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


Thanks yoller. A quick look at the blurb for BBC4 shows Wirral Tramway Museum and Liverpool trams in service. Should be interesting.

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#632948 - 5th Dec 2011 7:57am Re: The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5 [Re: ]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
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Loc: tranmere
A little taster for you Pinz

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00m7qkn
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#632951 - 5th Dec 2011 8:17am Re: The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5 [Re: yoller]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


Bliss ! Thanks Bert.

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#632992 - 5th Dec 2011 11:40am Re: The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5 [Re: yoller]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


As a kid in the last days of the L'pool trams, you could go miles for a 1d return. Used to love the howl of the motors as it went up Brownlow Hill. There was a stop at the foot of the hill on Mt.Vernon (by the Lybro factory). If the rails were damp, the driver had a hell of a job with a loaded car to get away. As an impressionable young lad,I learnt a few naughty words from those drivers !!

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#633036 - 5th Dec 2011 2:22pm Re: The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5 [Re: yoller]
yoller Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 455
Loc: Cheshire
I don't remember trams in Birkenhead, but as a kid in the Fifties I used to see them when my Dad took us over to Liverpool on the ferry. I seem to recall them going under the old overhead railway. However, I'm sure we called them trolley buses, not trams. Were trams and trolley buses two different vehicles?

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#633044 - 5th Dec 2011 2:53pm Re: The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5 [Re: yoller]
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Yes, different. Both trams and trolley buses picked up current from overhead wires, but trams ran on tracks while trolley buses didn't. I don't think Liverpool ever had trolley buses.
Trolley buses had twin overhead wires, for supply and return current. Trams only needed one, as the track was used as the return.
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#633048 - 5th Dec 2011 3:05pm Re: The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5 [Re: chriskay]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
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Loc: tranmere
Google Images


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trolley.jpg

ltram.jpg


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#633076 - 5th Dec 2011 4:19pm Re: The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5 [Re: yoller]
yoller Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 455
Loc: Cheshire
Thanks chriskay and bert1 for the info and pictures on trams / trolleybuses. I never knew there was a difference - I thought it was just an alternative name.

I can see now that the obvious advantage with a trolleybus was that you didn't have to lay tramlines.

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#633106 - 5th Dec 2011 5:12pm Re: The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5 [Re: yoller]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


A lot of undertakings changed to trolleybuses after scrapping the trams. They already had existing power supplies, feeders, substations etc. All that was required was to erect an additional wire for the negative return instead of the rails. Trolleybuses of course were much more flexible than trams and could overtake slower traffic and avoid obstructions. They had tremendous acceleration too. Could bat up hills as if they didn't exist. Could draw (almost) limitless amounts of current to keep the speed up.

Liverpool and Birkenhead just went straight over to motor buses. Petrol and fuel oil was dirt cheap then! A lot of tramways suffered from lack of maintenance thanks to the war. Cheaper to buy shiny new comfy buses !


Edited by Pinzgauer (5th Dec 2011 5:13pm)

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#633351 - 5th Dec 2011 11:33pm Re: The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5 [Re: yoller]
philmch Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 27th Dec 2007
Posts: 325
Loc: Wirral
Brilliant programme. Really enjoyed it.

I finally realised why my mum always called the lower deck of a bus "inside". It's because the upper deck of a tram was uncovered.

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#633416 - 6th Dec 2011 10:41am Re: The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5 [Re: philmch]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: philmch
Brilliant programme. Really enjoyed it.

I finally realised why my mum always called the lower deck of a bus "inside". It's because the upper deck of a tram was uncovered.


Yes, I remember it being either "inside" or "on top" even when the open top trams had long gone.
_________________________
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#633421 - 6th Dec 2011 10:55am Re: The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5 [Re: chriskay]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7852
Loc: tranmere
There must have been no smoking inside on a tram, a tradition carried on to buses.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#633612 - 6th Dec 2011 7:08pm Re: The Golden Age of Trams, BBC 4, Monday December 5 [Re: yoller]
yoller Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 7th Dec 2008
Posts: 455
Loc: Cheshire
If anyone wants to read more about the inimitable George Francis Train – featured on Monday’s BBC4 trams documentary – there’s an interesting biography called Around the World With Citizen Train, by Allen Foster (available on Amazon).

There is also a reprint of a small book with the snappy title of The First Street Railway Banquet in the Old World, Birkenhead, 1860: A Report of the Banquet Given by George Francis Train, of Boston, USA, to Inaugurate the Opening of the First Street Railway in Europe, at Birkenhead, August 30, 1860, with Opinions of the Press on the Subject of Street Railways / Report by Lee and Nightingale.

I’ve got a copy of this somewhere, but can’t remember where I bought it. However, it doesn’t seem to be readily available from Amazon or elsewhere these days.

Train invited 1,200 of the great and the good to his super-luncheon (I think it was held in a warehouse on Birkenhead docks), including peers, MPs, most of the crowned heads of Europe, and the Pope. About 350 people turned up for the meal, but not the Pope.

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