Picture in Time: Glasgow 585

In this edition of Picture in Time we feature a tram which is the last tram to remain in the ownership of the Science Museum – Glasgow 585.

585 has been in the ownership of the Science Museum since the end of 1962 and for nearly 40 years was on public display in Kensington. Built in 1901, 585 was one of the Standard class of tram originally being an open topper before firstly receiving a short top cover and then in 1930 it became a fully enclosed tram (the condition it is in today). It was withdrawn from service in October 1961 and was restored to 1930s condition which included a repaint into the Blue route livery. Initially the plan was that it would be part of the scheme at the Middleton Railway in Leeds but plans changed and instead it joined the Science Museum collection. On display until the end of the 1990s a revamp at the museum meant it was moved to the Science Museum’s storage facility in Wiltshire where it remains to today.

This photo shows 585 at the Science Museum on 23rd July 1979 with an Underground vehicle also visible.

Photograph by Ken Jones

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5 Responses to Picture in Time: Glasgow 585

  1. Geoffrey W Ryder says:

    I have seen a photo of it locked away from public gaze in a Science Museum Store. Surely with some imaginative thinking from the Science Museum trustees, Glasgow 585 could be sent to somewhere it can be seen by the public and even restored to operate at sometime in the future. The Lanarkshire museum at Coatbridge is one thought, or even the National Railway Museum at York. Left where it is it will just gather dust and deteriorate, a forgotten Museum piece. Conservation at its best?

  2. Micky says:

    It will never run as the question was asked of them and they said it would destroy the original vehicle if it was restored!

  3. DAVE MITCHELL says:

    Sounds a bit like the Leeds trams and TMS but if you dont see it what good is it and like big brother railway stock more or less a new loco etc.
    Because of gauging issues definite major works and even if runable in its 61 condition its electricals a ticking fire risk, so that also rings true.

    How many other UK and other trams are there just never to run?.

    Mind you the wife’s wrinkle cream does a great job at a price but can be simply

  4. Jim Adlam says:

    Even if it never runs again, it would be nice to have it available to see on static display. I well remember the old Land Transport Gallery on the ground floor of the Science Museum, which besides 585 had a fine selection of historic cars, motorcycles and railway vehicles. Now the same area largely consists of empty space, colourful but pointless electronic displays and extra cafes. As with the redesign of the London Transport Museum, many of the actual vehicle exhibits were removed from the museum and put away in storage where they are difficult or impossible to see.

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