1897 Liverpool Overhead Railway Footage to be Screened

Liverpool Overhead Railway motor coach number 3, 1892


Lumière Brothers’ film showcased to public at FACT

Members of the public are invited to attend a free lecture and screening showcasing new findings on the famous Lumière Brothers’ Liverpool Overhead Railway films, as part of the public programme for the new Museum of Liverpool, due to open in Spring 2011.

The screening will take place at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) on Friday 29 January from 1 – 4pm, featuring highlights of the film shot by Alexandre Promio in 1897, introduced by Dr Richard Koeck from the University of Liverpool.

Dr Koeck will share insights into his research and ongoing production of the film animations that will contextualise and reference the original Lumière archive footage with historical maps of the time, and retrace the precise route of the films.

Sharon Brown, curator of land transport and industry for National Museums Liverpool will also provide an insight into the history of the Liverpool Overhead Railway itself.

Sharon said: “An original Liverpool Overhead Railway motor coach will be a key feature in the new Museum of Liverpool’s Overhead Railway gallery. It will be displayed in an elevated position as part of a re-construction of Pier Head station.

“Dr Koeck’s completed work on the Lumière archive footage will also be shown in the gallery, allowing visitors to get a real taste of what it was like to travel on the world’s first elevated electrified railway line, and what they would have been able to see in 1897 four years after it first opened.”

To reserve your place for free, please call Sam Turner at National Museums Liverpool on 0151 478 4543 or email sam.turner@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

When the Liverpool Overhead Railway opened in 1893, it ran the length of the Liverpool docks, which was around seven and a half miles. It was built to ease congestion along the docks but also served as a tourist attraction as it provided amazing views, both of the docks themselves and the shipping and transatlantic liners on the River Mersey.
The only surviving motor coach was presented to National Museums Liverpool after the Liverpool Overhead Railway closed in 1956, and is currently being conserved before being moved to the Liverpool Overhead Railway gallery in the new Museum of Liverpool.

The Port City gallery within the Museum of Liverpool will tell the wider story of how Liverpool transformed itself from a small tidal inlet to one of the world’s great ports, and discover the innovation which led to the city’s boom during the Industrial Revolution.

Liverpool led the world in developing early canals, the first timetabled passenger railway, new dock technologies and the Liverpool Overhead Railway – the world’s first elevated electrified railway line.
This project has been enabled by Northwest Vision and Media and the UK film Council’s Digital Film Archive Fund supported by the National Lottery.