ELECTRIC CAR TYPES
The last type of tram car to run on Liverpool's streets was the "Baby Grand". This was a four wheel, single truck "economy version" of the first "streamliner" cars that came into service from 1936 as bogie trams. One hundred of the baby grands were built and came into operation during 1937 to 1939 with the exception of the last three in 1940 and 1942.
The "Bogie Streamliner" was built with three basic types of bogies:- (1) EMB Heavy Weights, (2) EMB Light Weights (the most common variation) and (3) Maley & Taunton. The bogie streamliners were all withdrawn during the period 1953 to 1956 and only car 869, an EMB Heavy Weight example which was built in 1936, was saved and restored, thanks to the efforts of the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society. A total of 163 "Bogie Streamliner Cars" were built in Liverpool.
Car 975 shown on the right here is another example of an "EMB Heavy Weight Bogie Streamliner". Below left is shown car 900 which is an example of an "EMB Light Weight Bogie Streamliner".
Liverpool's first electric trams were very different. They were imported from Germany and built to the "Altona" design, a car similar to those already in use in Hamburg at the time. Sixteen cars of this type arrived in 1898 (8 powered cars and 8 trailers) and took the numbers 400 to 415. The second type of car also came from Germany and they were known as "Ringbahn" cars. These trams took the numbers 416 to 429 inclusive. Liverpool's early trams also included bogie cars built by Brill of Philadelphia, USA. They were introduced in 1898 and were numbered 432 to 446. Three of the "Philadelphia Cars" were later rebuilt as double deck cars at Liverpool's "Lambeth Road Works".
Many different designs of tram were introduced in the early 20th century as the system steadily grew. Most of these were "double deck" trams and included the "Bellamy Cars" from 1900 and "Priestly Bogie Cars". In 1913 "double staircase cars" were introduced. The idea was that passenger flow to and from the upper deck could be speeded-up by having a total of four staircases (two per end) on the car. However, these were later converted back to single staircase cars. The "English Electric Bogie Cars" took the numbers 758 to 769. Car number 762 of 1931 has recently been fully restored by the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society and is now in operating condition at a museum on Merseyside
By the early 1930s, the first "modern looking" cars appeared in the form of the "Robinson Cabin Cars". This design had domed roof ends and was introduced in 1933 taking the number range 782 to 817. The "Marks Bogie Car" (numbers 818 to 867) which came in service between 1935 and 1936 was a variation of the same design. From a distance, the two designs look very similar, the most noticeable external difference being the layout of the route number and destination boxes on each end of the cars. An example of one of the "Cabin Cars" is shown below.
From 1937 the numbering of Liverpool trams got complicated by the practice of renumbering trams. Forty "Priestly Cars" from the range 151 to 300 were then given the earlier numbers of scrapped "Bellamy Cars".
Liverpool also had "illuminated cars" built from old passenger cars, the last one surviving until 1947.