Wirral Transport Museum • Home of the Only 2 Exported Hong Kong Trams

Wirral Transport Museum

Wirral Transport Museum is a volunteer-run transport museum in Birkenhead, across the River Mersey from Liverpool. The volunteers of the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society restore and preserve transport of the past for the delight and benefit of the present and the future.

While Wirral Transport Museum has a collection of trams, buses, cars, and a heritage tram line running out of the museum, the main attraction for me was the exported Hong Kong Trams or “Ding Ding” specifically manufactured for Birkenhead.

On this visit to Liverpool, I made a point to visit the Wirral Transport Museum to find the only 2 exported Hong Kong Trams.

The Wirral Transport Museum seems to be now closed till further notice, check their website and Facebook page for updates.

Wirral Transport Museum

The façade of Wirral Transport Museum.

Tram tracks are found just outside Wirral Transport Museum for the heritage tram line.

I got to Wirral Transport Museum in good time for their opening, as they operate with very limited hours.

The Wirral Transport Museum is only open on 1pm to 4.30pm on selected days. Check times here.

At 1pm, the shutters to the Wirral Transport Museum opened.

Heading into Wirral Transport Museum.

The ticket office of Wirral Transport Museum is a former Victorian Mersey Ferry booth.

Do note that entrance to the Wirral Transport Museum is free of charge.

The ticket office is used to sell tickets for the Wirral Heritage Tramway, which was definitely what I was aiming for.

The schedule of the Wirral Heritage Tramway is posted on the ticket office window. Trams depart every 30 minutes with 6 trips a day if operating.

Wirral Transport Museum Collection

Meanwhile, I had a look around Wirral Transport Museum which was also the point of my visit.

A vast collection of trams, buses, cars, motorcycles, and cycles are preserved in Wirral Transport Museum. The Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society describes the collection in great detail.

There is also a model railway layout to enjoy looking at.

Birkenhead Trams 69 & 70 manufactured by Hong Kong Tramways

The pièce de résistance for me in the Wirral Transport Museum is definitely Birkenhead Trams 69 and 70 manufactured by Hong Kong Tramways. Birkenhead Tram 69 now bears a blue livery, while Birkenhead Tram 70 bears a brown livery.

Information signs for Birkenhead Trams 69 and 70 are placed in front of the trams. These export models are based on the refurbished postwar tramcars which were retired in 1991, but are made brand-new for Birkenhead in 1992.

Notably, Birkenhead Trams 69 and 70 runs on Standard Gauge (1,435 mm), as compared with Cape Gauge (1,067 mm) with all other Hong Kong Tramways sister trams in Hong Kong.

Birkenhead Trams 69 and 70 side by side in the Wirral Transport Museum.

Birkenhead Tram 69 bore a destination sign of “TRANSPORT MUSEUM”, while Birkenhead Tram 70 had a bilingual sign of “HAPPY NEW YEAR 新年快樂” in English and Traditional Chinese read from right to left, reminiscent of the bilingual signs found on the actual Hong Kong Tramways trams.

The permanent destination sign of the Wirral Heritage Tramway is in place on the Birkenhead Trams 69 and 70.

Birkenhead Tram 70 (Hong Kong)

While Birkenhead Trams 69 and 70 were not in operation on the during my visit, I was kindly allowed into Birkenhead Tram 70 by a friendly volunteer.

Information on Birkenhead Tram 70 is also posted on board, on the lower deck.

While the original control equipment was made by Dick, Kerr and Company in Preston for export to Hong Kong, this is now exported back to the UK from Hong Kong for Birkenhead Trams 69 and 70.

As the Wirral Heritage Tramway operates bi-directionally on a single track as compared with turning around on balloon loops in Hong Kong, a second rear cab is installed for Birkenhead Trams 69 and 70 for bi-directional operation.

The familiar Hong Kong Tramways “PLEASE MIND YOUR HEAD” sign remains on the Birkenhead Tram with no translation needed.

Heading up to the upper deck on the spiral staircase.

Key differences are quite clear on the upper deck of Birkenhead Tram 70 with seats facing both directions in a fixed position, owing to its bi-directional operation. In Hong Kong, seats mostly face forward on the upper deck, since the tram in Hong Kong only moves forward in regular service. Also, windows are fully enclosed, with only hopper windows for ventilation, owing to different weathers.

The seat layout at the “rear” end follow Hong Kong’s style of longitudinal seats.

Seats are positioned in transverse style in a 2+1 configuration, mixing between fixed forward and reverse facing.

The small hopper windows at the top for ventilation. This will remain closed if it’s too cold.

The “front” end has 2 single seats facing out the window, and 4 seats on a bench facing the interior of the tram.

Looking out to Birkenhead Tram 69 from Birkenhead Tram 70.

Heading back down the spiral staircase.

Heading out of the tram, there is notably no “front” exit door or any Octopus reader. This has been removed from the export model to form a flushed bulkhead, with only the “rear” door for passenger access.

Heading down the rear door to exit from the Birkenhead Tram, an illegal move in Hong Kong.

Wirral Transport Museum Souvenirs

Back at the ticket office, Wirral Transport Museum also sells gifts and souvenirs to support the upkeep of the museum.

A selection of the gifts and souvenirs available at Wirral Transport Museum.

There were also “Hong Kong Tram” models available for sale which I had hoped it was of Birkenhead Trams 69 or 70, but it turned out to be an actual 7th Generation Hong Kong Tramways tram (2009) instead.

Here, I headed out of the turnstiles to catch the Wirral Heritage Tramway ride. Tickets for the Wirral Heritage Tramway are available for purchase at this same ticket office.


The Wirral Transport Museum is a must-visit for transport fans if you are in Liverpool. Aside from a vast collection of public transport vehicles, being in Birkenhead gives a very good excuse to joyride across the River Mersey either by ferry or Merseyrail, in addition to an afternoon out in Wirral Transport Museum. The staff at Wirral Transport Museum are all very friendly, being volunteer-run also means it’s operated by transport fans for transport fans, which made me feel very welcome.

Unfortunately, the Wirral Transport Museum seems to be now closed till further notice, but check their website and Facebook page for updates.

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