Birkenhead Street Railway



Owner Birkenhead Street Railway Company Ltd
Opened 30th August 1860 (horse)
Operator Birkenhead Street Railway Company Ltd
Taken over (lease) 1862 to 1876 (operated by a series of lessees, as well as the BSRCL itself)
Taken over (track and operation) 1877 (Birkenhead Tramways Company [horse])
Length 2.5 miles
Gauge 5ft 2ins from 1861; 4ft 8½ from 1864

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.