Special Stamps issue – HKT 110 years


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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stamp 20 pcs

stamp 8 pcs

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

Special Signs for HK trams


There are a few special signs designated for Hong Kong trams.  Some are still exist today.  Take a shot when you notice them.

The left one is “Go” (“去”in Chinese), generally can be seen at the termini. The pictured one is at North Point. What amazing is the right one, “Stop” (“停”in Chinese), which depends on the traffic condition.go-stop


This one was temporary used during the tracks re-alignment at Shek Tong Tsui, where the former coastline encircled by the barges nearby.


In some spots trams follow the “T” traffic lights (pictured on the left), probably indicates the short-term of “Tram”.  Here we see tram 300 transporting a truck which mainly can be seen in the depot.


Clarifying myths


Owing to “Ding Ding” well-known to foreigners and tram lovers, we have to clarify and expose some myths spread by a tram club in Hong Kong.

1. Prior to enclosed top tram there were canvas roof fitted in 1913 and wooden roof, pictured, fitted in 1923. Instead, the date for enclosed top tram should be year 1925. The current wooden trams were new-built in 1987-1991.

2. Myths in company dates – “Electric Traction Co.” had once renamed “Hongkong Tramway Company Limited” prior to “Hongkong Tramways Limited”, which incorporated in 1922.

3. The current 120 dates back 1949 is ridiculous. It’s a replica new-built in 1991 preserving the heritage 1949s style.

4. In annotating the public transport’s name, KCR being wrongly edited as “Kowloon-Cantaon Railway Limited”.

5. In an exhibition of tram stuffs, comparing with the real one “Kennedy Town” we don’t understand why that one was in blue background.

In a media interview, the club chairman emphasized the danger of heritage preservation, and said he can’t accept no tram books being found in HK, in fact “Amazing Ding Ding” has published in June prior to his.
Heritage is important. Those who ignore or mislead could not last for long.
其次,該會出版的《香港電車百年情》“A Centenary Date with Hong Kong Tramways”錯誤內容如下。
書中「1910年電車公司正式更名Hong Kong Tramways Limited」是錯誤。這個名稱在1922年才正式確立,而早期的「香港電車局」及1910年的Hongkong Tramway Company Limited該書全略。
3.引述其他交通機構名稱中,KCR全名寫成Kowloon-canton Railway Limited,不是Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation嗎?

Tram Secrets 電車謎


Life-guard Sets

When the life-guard gate (broom like) react, the life-guard tray glide instantly for preventing people getting injured.

However the removal on either old or rebuilt trams began during the refurbishment in the mid-1980s, a hearsay is due to some incidents on trams that the life-guard tray will have jammed by cartons and friction causes fire.



Tolling Car

Tram 300 often manages for positioning the trams/trucks undergo overhaul. Pictured above is tram 300 “connects” a truckless tram 53 stood on the accommodation truck by using a crowbar link up the medium “hole” of the bulkhead of each other.


Diesel Fuel Tram?

Smoke release like diesel fuel train when tram 300 runs in diesel fuel, with trolley hooked on the roof.


“Top” Secret

The secret inside the roof-box!! The black wires are likely the electric resistance use as “voltage divider”, transferring the electric current to the motors.  This is not applicable for IGBT trams, their roof-boxes only for consistencies to those non-IGBT trams.

電阻箱內的黑色物體相信就是電阻。電車行駛時,電流會經過電阻通往兩組摩打。度字車用來作voltage divider,斬波車就不需要電阻箱,只是為了統一車身外型而被保留。

There can always be flashing on trolley when it passes the traction (section insulator) of the wire with electric currents if the tram did not reduce the speed while cross the “double-white line” on the track. The trolleywheel is thus damaged and the graphite is burnt away and it has to be replaced.
This is a funny signage showing the man-operating procedure of changing the traction and the direction of the trolley (using a bamboo stick), both have to be consistent.

All Photos: Joseph Tse

Banners, Signs & More


In this column we show you signs, banners and advertising, most are visible to the public…


The old tram stop signs are gradually phased out – important stops now have these new big signs to help with passenger information (Lars F. Richter Photo)


Whitty Street Depot (Lars F. Richter Photo)

Work Safely & Silence! Whitty Street Depot (Lars F. Richter Photo)

An old spot (should be the only one) inside the depot


(Photo: Joseph Tse)

Destinations display board at Happy Valley Terminus


(Joseph Tse Photos)

as seen on many crossing in Tuen Mun (Lars F. Richter Photo)

Back to Front Operation 「倒叮」-倒轉行的電車


Under emergency matters, trams run in reverse for limited service. The workers are busy in this operation at Sheung Wan and Admiralty due to an emergency track repairing at the eastbound loop of Sheung Wan.


3 Photos: Joseph Tse (14-NOV-2010, Queensway & Western Market)

Sometimes the tram charter would be slightly influenced. A small matter to them !


3 Photos: Joseph Tse (14-NOV-2010, Western Market Terminus)