Glasgow Corporation Transport 1274

No. 1258, sister tram to No. 1272, in Central Glasgow; STM collection.

Operating History:  The city-owned Glasgow Corporation Tramways was one of the largest urban tram systems in Europe.  As of 1922, Glasgow operated over 1000 trams on more than 100 miles of routes.  Glasgow trams used an unusual 4’ 7 ¾” track gauge, slightly narrower than the standard 4’ 8 ½” gauge commonly used in the U.S. and Britain.  To modernize its fleet, Glasgow built 150 streamlined trams between 1937 and 1941.  As part of this fleet, Glasgow built No. 1274 at its own Coplawhill works in 1940.  Constructed around the time of George VI’s coronation, this group of trams was called the “Coronation Class.”  The lower deck is quite comfortable and the controls are modern. The car is streamlined, with the ends tapered to a 30” panel.  The Coronation Class trams were the fastest trams to run in Britain.  Glasgow refurbished No. 1274 to run in a parade marking the end of Glasgow tram operation in 1962.  An estimated 250,000 people watched the final parade of 20 Glasgow trams.  Glasgow was the last large city in Britain to operate trams.  Only the smaller city of Blackpool continued tram operation until a modern light rail system opened in Manchester in 1992.


Museum Ownership: Through the efforts of Seashore member James Donald, a native of Scotland and resident in New Jersey, Glasgow Corporation donated No. 1274 to Seashore.  The tram came to the U.S. in 1963.  Members of the Order of Scottish Clans greeted No. 1274 when it was unloaded in Boston.  British Overseas Airways Corporation partly underwrote the cost of shipping No. 1274, and BOAC temporarily stored the car at its Logan Airport terminal before Seashore could truck No. 1274 to Kennebunkport.  In 1992, Seashore cleaned and repainted No. 1274.  No. 1274 is one of four British double deck trams at Seashore.  Of the four, it is the newest, being one year younger than Liverpool No. 293.  No. 1274 is the only Scottish tram in the U.S.


Current Condition: No. 1274’s slightly narrow gauge trucks make movement difficult. The tram is on public display in Highwood Carhouse.


No. 1273 unloading from ship in Boston, MA 1963; Jim Schantz photo.


No. 1274 unloading from ship; Jim Schantz photo.


No. 1274 at Boston Logan Airport in temporary storage; Jim Schantz photo.