Trailers – A Heritage Discarded 電車奇葩 – 拖卡


Trailer jam in old Hong Kong (Special thanks to John Prentice)

The first trailer was introduced in 1964, and was effectively the lower deck of a conventional tram (which eventually it became, as tram 163 in 1979).  

In total there were 22 single-deck trailers.  Twenty of the trailers were built from Metal Sections kits and were outwardly of ‘modern’ design.  Trailer 1 (see above) had been built by Taikoo Dockyard & Engineering, whilst the final trailer, 22, was very much ‘home made’ by HKT.  Trailer 22 was never particularly satisfactory and was the first to go, in 1978.

The trailers were hauled by a dedicated fleet of double-deck trams.  It had been intended that these trams would be re-equipped with more powerful motors, but this was not done and trailers were never allowed east of North Point.  Even on the flat track west of North Point the trailers impeded progress because their extra weight slowed down any convoy of trams of which they formed a part.  Latterly, the trailers were the last refuge of HKT’s conductors.  Their extra cost and contribution to poor performance led to a decision to withdraw the remaining twenty trailers in May 1982.  All had been broken up at Sharp Street depot by July 1982.




HKT 62: degahk Photo (7-NOV-1981, Bank Street/Central)

Trailer-hauler 62 in normal service, showing its modified rear lifeguard and hose connections for brakes and lights.


T7: degahk Photo (MAY-1980, Statue Square/Central)

In this picture trailer-hauler 29 is hauling T7 westbound, showing the decorative livery on the trailer’s body and the roof.


HKT 79 &  T8: Lars F. Richter Photo (MAR-1971, King’s Road/Fortress Hill)

The diagonal stripes at the upper deck’s top right-corner and a (briefly applied) rectangular panel (above the headlamp) bearing the legend ’trailer at the back‘, indicated this tram was hauling a trailer.



T2: John Prentice Photo (c.1981, Bank Street/Central)

The appearance of trailers results in an increase in passenger flows and appeared in distinguishing feature with coloured livery. The front trailer-hauler which hauls T2 is believed to be no.160.


A close shot of trailer 11 on a rainy day, painted in jade green with individual advertisements.


Another (unidentified) jade-green trailer was being hauled by 161 when it was passing Admiralty en route to Wan Chai.


HKT 161: Tom Jackson Photo (c.1979, Admiralty MTR)

Another trailer-hauling tram (125) pulls an unidentified trailer past the erstwhile Hilton Hotel.


The last of the trailers, awaiting their fate at Sharp Street. (T.V. Runnacles)