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
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.