Over the last few years we published a number of articles in the “Tramfare” magazine of the Tramway and Light Railway Society. You can find them here (click the preview image to open a pdf file).
HK Tramways entered its 110th annniversary by organising an Open day of Whitty Street Tram Depot, 30 July 2014.
Thanks to Gary Cat for providing most views
Exhibition on tram history is always fascinating, Above is a rare collection – internal sample of the Centenary Stamps that with 5 pics whilst 4 were released eventually with officials’ signatures.
Generally there is no specific/official “generation” categories on tramcars. As many of the tramcars in one generation were in fact just modifications of the previous, such as open top cars fitted with canvas roofs and then wooden roofs. This is not a true classification to tram types.
There is difficulty in deciding when the old trams were withdrawn. For example, the trucks on the old “Pre-war” trams were all transferred to the new “Post-war” bodies and a couple of old trams are still running during the transition.
We categorized in four stages/types:
1. Single deckers (1904) to modified double deckers (fitted with canvas roofs and later wooden roofs)
2. Enclosed double deckers (1925, “Pre-war” style) to new-style “Post-war” bodies (1949, “Post-war” style) – the wording “pre-war” and “post-war” are Chinese translations just to distinguish the period they built
For the history of Single deck Trailers (See our post https://hkgtrams.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/trailers-past-heritage/)
3. New-built 1987 fleet (replacement of the “Post-war” bodies, including no.120). In 1986 fifteen bodies (6, 36, 39, 41, 46, 80, 88, 89, 121, 127, 139, 141, 143, 144, 159) got rebuilt using original underframes and have their resistor boxes moved to the roof. The fleet are then replaced during 1987 to 1991 by new underframes. No.120 and those rebuilt in 1986 were lastly replaced by end-1991.
New underframe for 1987 fleet
For heritage 120, the current 120 was a new-built replica and NOT the original body. Hereby a compared view showing their differences. Somehow for security reason the resistors were moved to the roof, spoiling the appearance.
4. Millennium trams (2000) to all-metal rebodied tram (2011, VVVF motion and LED display, etc. replacing the current 1987 fleet.
141 put to scrap in summer 2012
New 141 in service
In 2014 HKT resumed the possibiliy of air-conditioning and the first body, 171, being discarded for 13 years, is under modification.
An official launch at Whitty Street Depot was held on 18 February 2014, celebrating the 110th anniversary of Hong Kong Tramways. Tram 110 masqueraded as a ‘mobile film library’ and featuring a special 110 logo. Three celebrities, Ms. Cecilia Yip (葉童), Mr. Anthony Wong (黃秋生) and Mr. Teddy Robin (泰迪羅賓) were invited and shared their stories of ‘Ding Ding’. With the compliments of the HKT management, two senior staff members were especially awarded for their long service. The senior inspector has been working for HKT for nearly half century, and the motorwoman had been the driver of 128 during the visit of Margaret Thatcher in May 1993. (See our another post “Looking Back” – https://hkgtrams.wordpress.com/2013/04/18/looking-back/)
Photos courtesy to Gary Cat
The issue of the Heartwarming Stamps is specially for celebrating the 110th anniversary of HK Trams.
First set with 20 pics consisting all generations of tramcars, surrounding the centred ‘all-trams line up’ in the Sharp Street depot.
Another set with 8 pics with the single deck tram crossing the Bowrington Canal at the top, plus several views of trams and earlier tram tickets.
Limited edition only, welcome for enquiry for interested parties.
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