Museum of Transport Showcases Glasgow on the Go

Reed Travel Features

GLASGOW -- Gallery-hopping clients can shift from high art to low gear at the Museum of Transport, a place designed to satisfy the Ralph Kramden in all of us.

The mythic bus driver from Brooklyn -- "I brive a dus," he once stammered during an episode of "The Honeymooners" TV show -- would have felt right at home among the vehicles on display here.

Surely, handling a Leyland Atlantean double-decker or a Scottish-built Albion B92 would have been a piece of cake for Ralphie boy, although he might have wondered why they put the steering wheel in the wrong place.

Of course, a client does not have to "brive a dus" to enjoy a visit to the Museum of Transport, whose cavernous, shedlike interior is chock full of the vintage trolleys, lorries, taxis, fire engines, cycles (both bi- and motor-), locomotives and subway cars that have kept Glaswegians on the go since the turn of the century.

For example, a restored tram (trolley to us) such as old No. 779, one of nearly 700 built between 1898 and 1910, shares the spotlight with an Albion A3 wood-sided van, ca. 1910, that carried the marquee of J.P.&W., Family Butcher.

Not surprisingly, the most imposing exhibits are six locomotives whose sheer immensity and implied power are enough to turn a frequent flyer into a railroad buff.

Polished, repainted and carrying their original livery, these behemoths are typical of the workhorse locomotives put in service by the Scottish railway companies.

Perhaps the museum's most engaging exhibit is a simulated Glasgow street of 1938, with its cobbled roadway, period street signs, vintage vehicles and mock storefronts.

A walk down this memory lane ultimately leads visitors to the re-created Merkland Street subway station, where two coaches -- one from the mid-1930s and the other from the 1950s -- wait patiently at the platform.

As is only fitting, the museum is easily accessible by buses running on Sauchiehall Street, a main drag, and Argyle Street.

Also, it is a short walk from the Kelvinhall Station of the Underground, affectionately known as the Clockwork Orange after its brightly colored cars and circular route.

The museum is open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is free.

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