110th Anniversary

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HK Tramways entered its 110th annniversary by organising an Open day of Whitty Street Tram Depot, 30 July 2014.

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Here we saw the visitors enjoyed the free ride on millennium car 169.

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Entrance. Let’s go!

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Change liveries in progress

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Advanced positioning system in operation control room

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workers changing new tyres

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scraplines seen here

Thanks to Gary Cat for providing most views

Tramcars History

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There is difficulty in deciding when the old trams were withdrawn.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

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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

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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.

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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.

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4. Millennium trams (2000) to all-metal rebodied tram (2011, VVVF motion and LED display, etc. replacing the current 1987 fleet.

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141 put to scrap in summer 2012

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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.

110th anniversary of HKT

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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/)

 

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Photos courtesy to Gary Cat

Special Stamps issue – HKT 110 years

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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.

You may visit our Facebook page:

www.facebook.com/amazingdingding

 

stamp 20 pcs

stamp 8 pcs

Ding Ding II

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As a continuation of Amazing Ding Ding, Amazing Ding Ding II relies heavily on diagrammatic illustrations and couple of extraordinary pictures. 

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a renowned transport expert with the authors, at the Western Market terminus

Looking Back

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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