Glasgow Standard Tram

Preserving Glasgow Tram No.488

It's history and restoration progress in the UK

Horse tram services started 19 August 1872
Electric traction from 13 October 1898 until 4 September 1962
Tramway abandonment's started in 1926, with major route closures from 1956 onwards
Trolleybuses introduced 3 April 1949 - Abandoned 27 May 1967

Tour Guide
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Boarding 488 on Route 18A

Glasgow 488 in service

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Seeing Glasgow by Tram & Bus

Empire Exhibition, Scotland 1938 was an international exposition held at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, from 3rd May to 29th October 1938.

New tram routes
, 30 and 31, were introduced to serve the exhibition site.

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About this Web Site

488 in St. Mande Museum, August 1984 Glasgow Tram No.488 is arguably one of the UK's most historic double-decker trams in that it was the last ever traditional four-wheeler to carry ordinary fare-paying passengers on British streets. Surely worthy of preservation in the UK? But apparently not as the tram system headed towards total abandonment. Instead, in 1961 Glasgow Corporation Transport donated tram No.488 to the Paris Transport Museum where it became a static exhibit in several museum locations in France.

An 'if only' thought of repatriation back to the UK as a working exhibit became a possibility through a bequest by Peter Mitchell in 2011. After lengthy negotiations with the owners of the tramcar, an initial loan agreement allowed the tram to return back to the UK in 2013 for total restoration into a working exhibit.

To view the pages on this site, work your way down the Destination Board or use the 'Next Page' hyperlink at the top of each web page. We also have a 'Tour Guide', waiting in the top right hand corner, that will take you through all the pages on this web site sequentially.

This site was launched on 9th March 2013 and simply follows the progress on the restoration of 488.

History of Glasgow Tram 488 when owned by GCT

Following a request from the Museum of Urban Transport in France, Glasgow Corporation Transport donated standard tram 488 to this museum. It was thoroughly overhauled in 1960 but, following a serious fire at Dalmarnock depot, when fifty trams were destroyed in March 1961, it was returned to service and in fact was the last tram from Burnside on route 18. At the controls, for part of this historic journey on 3rd June 1961 was tram enthusiast Martin Jenkins.

Lower deck of Glasgow Tram 488 swinging onto the ship For its outward journey to France, 488 was split into two parts; our picture shows the lower deck swinging onto the ship which sailed via the River Clyde. When the Paris Museum took delivery of this precious vehicle, it was reassembled and displayed at their Malakoff premises. The Paris Transport Museum [AMTUIR] has amassed a large number of historical vehicles all of which cannot be displayed at the same time. Some vehicles were relocated out of sight and this included London trolleybus 796, but 488 was found to be too high for its new home and was split in two again!

An approach was made by the London Trolleybus Preservation Society to repatriate 796 and it returned to England on the 6th October 2010 and following restoration, now operates at the East Anglia Transport Museum. A rationalisation of AMTUIR's vehicles led to them offering 488 to the EATMS. This was accepted, but inquiries as to who might be able to restore it fell on stony ground as access to the warehouse where 488 was then stored could not be obtained and therefore quotes could not be given.

A few weeks before 488 was offered to the EATMS, Peter Mitchell of Cheam, Surrey, made a will which stated that money from his estate could be used for the restoration and preservation of trams and trolleybuses that had their origins in the British Isles. Peter quoted various possibilities, with 488 being one of them; before he passed away, he was told that his generosity would provide for the full restoration of this tramcar. Hugh Taylor remains the executor of the estate providing funds for the full restoration of 'caur' 488.

The Ffestiniog Railway was only too willing to take on the restoration of the tram; they were approached because they had performed such a very professional job on a London Transport Metropolitan Railway Coach which has been used on the One Hundred and Fiftieth anniversary of the London Underground. ALTEAD, were assigned the task of moving the tram from France to the Ffestiniog Railway's premises, and the lower deck of 488 arrived at Minffordd on the morning of Wednesday 6th March 2013. The top deck was unexpectedly delivered on the afternoon of Tuesday, 23rd April 2013.

Glasgow 'Caur' 488 will be restored to full working order and then moved to the East Anglia Transport Museum, who are the current owner of this tram. Enthusiasts are asked not to attempt to view restoration progress or seek information on this project either from the Ffestiniog Railway or the East Anglia Transport Museum, but to use this website for progress reports and other associated information.

Copyright Notice

All images, photographs and video contained in this site are © Hugh Taylor, unless otherwise stated. If we have failed to credit any material on this site, please let us know and will we add your feedback as soon as possible. To request permission to re-post or publish material seen here, then you must me first. No request is unreasonably withheld and seldom is payment required.

This website was designed and is maintained by . Hopefully your tour will be beneficial and informative. If you want to comment about anything seen on this site, please email .

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Hugh Taylor, Edgware, Middlesex.

Stamp of Approval

Glasgow trams have occassionally appeared on stamps, or on the cover of a book of stamps, of which the images shown below are representative examples. If you know of any others, do get in touch and they will be added here.

Part of this original sketch was used on the cover of a book of 10 stamps costing £1.30
Decimalisation of the UK currency was on 15th February 1971 and it is thought that the 13p postage rate was used in 1988
Why a tram sketch should have been used at that time, is a bit of a mystery.

Glasgow Tram 22 appearing on a Bulgari Stamp
Issued 16th May 1988 showing Glasgow tram #1173
One of a set of four transport related subjects
The image is thought to be that of Glasgow tram #22
Preserved and operating at the National Tramway Museum

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