The former 168 in Whitty Street Depot (T.V. Runnacles)
HKT 168: Joseph Tse Photo (3-AUG-2008, Des Voeux Road West/Shek Tong Tsui)
HKT 168: Joseph Tse Photo (HONG KONG WINTERFEST, 15-DEC-2007, Des Voeux Road West/Water Street)
Tram 168 was the first of the Millennium cars, with their distinctive single-piece windscreens upstairs and down. Tram 168 retained its original green and white livery for several years until it acquired an overall-advertisement for the Hong Kong WinterFest in 2007.
In 2000 the appearance of car 168 had been expected to presage fleet-wide modernisation in a similar style. However, passengers and drivers alike disliked the stuffiness of the new trams, whilst an air-conditioned version (car 171) never entered service. It was therefore not entirely surprising when HKT’s new owner Veolia selected tram 168 to act as the precursor for another generation of trams. The rebuilt 168 was introduced to the media on 5 October 2010.
Tram 168 fully occupied by the media on the first day of launch.
HKT 168: Joseph Tse Photo (12-JUN-2010, Johnston Road/Wanchai)
HKT 168: Joseph Tse Photo (Est.1904, 5-APR-2011, Des Voeux Road West/Western Street)
Apart from new seats inside, the main difference between the original 168 and the rebuilt version was the substitution of 1986-style opening triple end windows for the single piece screens. Intriguingly, HKT’s end window design was itself inspired by a Birmingham Corporation (UK) prototype tram of 1929.
For more details on the differences amongst the Millennium trams, please refer to other post “Ex-Millennium Car and Millennium Car”.