Air-con. car


HK Tramways resumed the possibiility for air-conditioning in summer 2014. A new metal car no.88 superseded the original ’88’ which soonest renumbered to 30. Car 30 has withdrawn few months ago.

Closer view of new 88

“New” 30 with roof no. remains 88

Withdrawal of old 30

Tramcars History



centenary stamp

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There is difficulty in deciding when the old trams were withdrawn.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

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 frame

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.

Looking Back



Something to consider on the day of Baroness Thatcher’s funeral. Margaret Thatcher, who died on 8th April, age 87 was well known for her dislike of public transport, but here we see her together with Chris Patten, the last Governor, during a visit to Hong Kong in 1993. She is on board tram 128 at Shau Kei Wan Road adjacent to Hoi An Street (where trams leave from Sai Wan Ho Depot today) on 14th May, possibly the only time she travelled by tram in the street after she became Britain’s first and so far only female Prime Minister. Baroness Thatcher signed the agreement in 1984 which covered the return of the colony to the Chinese in 1997, but incorporated the “One Country, Two Systems” principle which allows the capitalist system, including companies like the tramway, to continue to do business unchanged for 50 years. Still in service today, tour car 128 was rebuilt and renumbered in 1987 from car 59 of 1954, thus making it the oldest tram in service in the current fleet. (Photo courtesy Information Services Department, HKSAR Government)

John Prentice
Chairman, Tramway & Light Railway Society

New swap Old


Since 2011 HKT has been building the new all-metal trams, with outlines quite similar to the present wooden trams.  Following the new numbers 171, 173, 174 and 175 the subsequent newers are taking the numbers of those being withdrawn.  Up to September 2012 fourteen newers have been built.

A funny comparison showing the old 157 and new 157, same place (Western Market) and same neighbour car 171.

Remains of 157 after dismantling, whilst new 157 had been in service for three months.

Another interesting view showing two identical no.1″s”, the new-built green one is near completion whilst the old 1 being discarded.

All trams poster


The current wooden trams replaced by new-metal ones since 2011, a valuable all trams poster which is incapable to photograph altogether plus their service dates, enclosed in the book, definitely a worth collecting.

Tramway (HKT) Fleet List 香港電車車隊列表














During the history of the HKT tramcar fleet new bodies were often built onto old underframes. Today the regular fleet (excluding the special cars 28, 120, 128, 200, 300 and the three surviving millennium type bodies 169, 170, 171 – the latter now stored) comprises of cars with Full Arts or Leeway Engineering bodies on completely new underframes. The newest cars 168 and 172 are slightly more advanced and feature components also found on the millennium cars (mostly the side of the tram).

We have prepared a list of the current fleet.  Included are details like type of controllers & trolley poles, body and fleet number swaps, last overhaul date etc. and most importantly the type of truck used. Today, only the trucks are a reminder from the past.

Click the following link to open a pdf file containing details of the current fleet and those from the early days to today:


以下的車隊列表,載有包括電車用的控制器款式、集電弓(拖里)、已停用的號碼、大修日期等,更重要的還有底盤款式 — 這是唯一可以追溯過去的標記。


Truck types

Peckham truck – old history, majority of trams got this type




















M&T truck – Maley & Taunton

HKT truck – made by Hong Kong Tramways

Motion types

There are three types of motion on Hong Kong trams, of which 120, tour-28 & 128 are using Dick Kerr controllers. The remaining are with joysticks, 77 trams (a pair of speed reading) with “voltage divider” and 50 (single speed reading) with IGBT.



















Trolley types

Single spring trolley

     Double spring trolley

Double spring with a bit higher base, currently exist in #39 and #133

Peak Tram Fleet List


A relatively rare view of a new Peak Tram with old Peak Tower in the background, taken in 1989.  (Special thanks to T.V. Runnacles)

Current fleet:

  • “green” + “white” 2-car trains built by von Roll in 1989

Previous fleet:

  • 1950s: 3 cars of 1956 lightweight construction (only 2 cars used at any one time) – two cars now on display (one at the upper terminus and one outside a small depot near the lower terminus)
  • 1940s: 2 cars of all-metal construction (built 1948)
  • 1920s: 2 wooden cars (built 1926)
  • 1880s: 2 wooden cars (built 1888)


  • 1989年由瑞士von Roll中標建造, 初期為綠及白色車身, 後期才改為現在的紅色


  • 1950年款: 1956年製, 共3架 (其中2架分別放於山頂廣場外及山下總站前一角) 
  • 1940年款: 1948年製, 全金屬車廂, 共2 架
  • 1920年款: 1926年製, 木製車廂, 共2架
  • 1880年款: 1888年製, 木製車廂, 共2架