Hongkong Tramways’ original main depot was situated at Russell Street, in the heart of Causeway Bay.
Russell Street Depot was an 11-lane depot, of which 4-lanes served the main workshop. As the tram fleet expanded, a smaller five-lane was opened in North Point in 1938. This depot’s entrance was in Tin Chiu Street. However, North Point Depot closed after Russell Street Depot was rebuilt (and renamed Sharp Street East Depot) in 1951.1
Although many tram depots are prohibited to public access, Sharp Street’s many gates were always open during operating hours, enabling curious onlookers to see and photograph the trams and the workshops.
羅素街電車廠共有11條車坑，其中4條連接維修工場。其後電車數目增多，便於北角電照街興建一個臨時車廠 (共5條車坑，1938年啟用) 。1951年羅素街電車廠進行擴建，改名霎東街電車廠，同時關閉北角車廠。
The depot offered the opportunity to observe various interesting vehicles. In the photograph above may be seen the water tank car 200 and standard cars 128 and 12. Interestingly car 128 was renumbered to 59 after the original 59 was rebuilt as Tour Car 128. Car 12 was the vehicle that was shipped to Vancouver for Expo 86. (John Prentice)
A day and night view of the depot surrounded by tenements (Special thanks to Overture and degahk)
A noisy market surrounded the largely silent tram depot; I used to like standing at some distance from the depot, viewing the trams inside but scared to walk too close.
Today’s Times Square is bustling, and it is easy to forget what had stood on the site until the end of the 1980s. Despite operational arguments in favour of the present depots, it was the Wharf Company’s anxiety to redevelop Sharp Street as a multi-storey shopping centre that really determined the old depot’s fate.…
Last and First
Tram 31 (above) was officially the last tram to leave Sharp Street on 20 March 1989, whilst car 80 had been the first to be berthed at the new Sai Wan Ho Depot three weeks earlier, on 28 February. (T.V. Runnacles)
1 P.75, R.L.P. Atkinson and A.K.Williams, Hongkong Tramways, The Light Railway Transport Leaque, 1970