The Riverside Museum replaces the former Museum of Transport that was housed in the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow from 1987, and from 1964 in a tram depot at Pollokshields. The collection has been displayed since 2011 in a striking new building designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, which stands on the site of the ship yard of A & J Inglis on the north bank of the River Clyde, near its confluence with the River Kelvin. The displays follow a range of themes, including the streets of Glasgow, the River Clyde, trains and leisure, and goods made in Scotland.
Maritime history is fully covered, with a collection of makers’ models of 250 ships built on the Clyde, and the Glenlee, a three-masted, steel-hulled barque built at Port Glasgow in 1896 is moored outside. The collection includes what is reputedly the world’s oldest pedal cycle. There is a range of motor cars and commercial vehicles made in Scotland in the first half of the twentieth century, including the Argyll, Arrol-Johnston and Albion marques, as well as Hillman Imps and Chrysler Avengers, manufactured in more recent times. Most of the steam railway locomotives have characteristics that are characteristically Scottish. They include the 4-2-2 No 123, built by Neilson & Co for the Caledonian Railway in 1886, the ‘Jones Goods’, one of the first class of 4-6-0s to be built in the United Kingdom, designed by David Jones (1834-1906) and built by Sharp Stewart & Co of Glasgow for the Highland Railway in 1894, and No 49 Gordon Highlander, a 4-4-0 supplied by Neilson Reid & Co to the Great North of Scotland Railway in 1920. There is also a 115-tonne 4-8-2 of 1.067m. gauge, supplied by the North British Locomotive Co of Glasgow to South African Railways in 1945. Another display illustrates at full-scale Glasgow’s subway (underground railway) of 1896 before it was modernised in 1977.