Hong Kong Tramways book

It’s my greatest pleasure collaborating with John Prentice on this first-class book of Hong Kong Tramways. Amazingly, John and I haven’t meet in person – we started contact via emails when I was impressed by his large size HK tram model. We worked on this book with the office of Mr. W. H. Tsang who has been acknowledged, just as the co-authors, Peter Atkinson and Alan Williams of the first edition had done with generous assistance from Mr. J H W Salmon.

John visited Hong Kong in 1981,  1990 and 2005 and supplied numerous valuable photos in the book. He is the Chairman of the Tramway & Light Railway Society, a registered educational charity that spreads knowledge about tramway history and tramway modelling, John also organizes the annual event, Festival of Model Tramways, a gathering of model tram enthusiasts.

Alan Williams served in the Royal Navy and worked with Atkinson on the first edition in 1965, published in 1970. Being a tram enthusiast and tram driver, Alan has enjoyed his time working with us for this book and is happy with our new edition. He set up the Tramalan kit of his beloved Hong Kong trams of 1950s style and regularly visits Hong Kong.

On 9 February afternoon, Alan visited the Whitty Street tram depot, accompanied by Antoine Sambin, Commercial & Corporate Affairs Manager. The workshop is unique – trams are built in-house, the individual parts are produced in-house too. It’s memorable for Alan holds the 1st edition book together with Antoine holds the new edition.

It’s generous of the co-authors, Alan and John, to sign their names in the book. A pity is Peter cannot be with us.

Steven Chan, senior engineering manager for Hong Kong Tramways, praised the outcome of the new edition. Chan was an aircraft mechanic before joining the company in 1996, drew up the plans for electrical upgrades on trams, keep using DIY equipment and homespun techniques.

I took a view of the book and tram 120 together before sending a copy to Wirral Transport Museum, where two HK trams of 1950s style are running. A great surprise received from the museum on 21 January when the volunteers showed the book with two HK trams parked ‘face to face’. It is definitely a special crossover for both trams in HK and UK, feeling like they are running together.

 

Yip Woon-cheong has worked for Hong Kong Tramways for over 40 years, introduced by his uncle. Yip’s parents and brother also worked on the trams. He joined the company in 1971 and became an inspector then promoted to senior inspector (副總稽查), training the drivers until his retirement. Yip is a ‘dictionary on trams’ and has a great collection of tram models. The photos in the book bring back his memories.

 

I have to also express gratitude to Tim Runnacles, who supplied fruitful pictures and descriptions for the post-1970 section. Tim was a Chief Transport Officer of the Transport Department, worked on the Tuen Mun LRT scheme from 1977 to 1985, and associated with Hong Kong Tramways and the Peak Tram from 1985 to 1993.  He also undertook a consultancy study of HKT for Transport Department from 1999 to 2001.

The management of HK Tramways is impressed on the fruitful book contents, and is scheduled for the official launch.

Detailed book reviews can be found from the below pdf and the link.

BookReviews-TF300

http://www.orientalmodelbuses.co.uk/Books/HKT-3.htm

120號


 

 120

120號的魅力,在其懷舊的外表。120號有什麼獨特的歷史意義呢?要從戰後說起。

這張舊照展現了50年代戰後不久的中環德輔道中電車恢復服務的景象,細看之下,原來隱藏了120號。

二戰結束後,車隊受戰火破壞需要重建。1949年最後一部「戰前式」電車119號出廠後,新任總經理兼總工程師莊士敦 (CS Johnston) 設計一款更為流線型的電車,這就是「戰後式」電車 (Post-war tram)。120號是第一部的樣版車 (prototype),1949年10月19日正式行走。

 

120號出廠初期,仍然保留「戰前式」電車使用的救生網,前門連接一條通往上層的直樓梯,左邊車身下層的路線牌置於較後位置,上層前後車窗未有安全圍欄 (safety bar),車頭前端亦未裝上遮陽板 (sun visor) (箭咀示)。

 

 

 

外觀方面,原裝120號有四大特點:

◆上層前後車窗較大

◆上層前後車窗有安全圍欄

◆路線牌在中央

◆車身高15呎,比一般電車略高2.75吋

 

早期的120號和所有「戰後式」電車一樣,電車車身髹上深綠色 (Brunswick green), 窗框髹上啡色。兩邊旁板標有“HONGKONG TRAMWAYS LIMITED”字樣。

 

這張50年代初期的灣仔莊士敦道,120號載滿乘客,相信正在試車,不過上層乘客集中在沒有圍欄的車頭,尤其是站着的真是頗為驚險。其後為防止乘客跌出窗外,120號在上層前後車窗加裝了安全圍欄。

 

其後參照120號建造的「戰後式」電車 (1-119, 121-162),路線牌改低,上層前後車窗細4吋,沒有扶手。下圖可以見到兩款車身的分別。

車廂方面,120號座位總數為68,比「戰後式」電車的63為多。上層為2+1式籐椅,下層為直排對坐長櫈,頭等乘客在前門上落,三等乘客則在尾門上落。

 

 

電車在1972年取消等級,左邊車尾加設一條旋轉樓梯,由於跨過長櫈,因而形成了一個暗格位。1977年電車取消售票員,尾門安裝旋轉閘 (turnstiles),並在車頭安裝收費錢箱。自此乘客上落車付款的模式便定型為「後上前落,落車畀錢」,維持至今。

 

 

1979年7月29日,電車公司特意安排了120號用作私人派對專車,讓一眾公司同事在車上舉行派對慶祝成立75週年。車身掛有寫上“75 Years of Electric Tramways July 1904 – July 1979   七十五週年電車紀念日”的橫額。120號的車身亦換上淺綠色 (Tramways green),窗框髹上深綠色。這次相信是旅遊車出現前,首次有電車用作「電車派對」的服務。

 

1987年電車進行車身重建,120號和其他「戰後式」電車一樣,車身結構已出現老化耗損,初時電車公司有意將120號原車保留,亦嘗試將救生網閘 (life-guard gate) 和救生網盤 (life-guard tray) 拆除换上泵把 (bumper)。

 

 

1987年至1991年期間,120號由散件式廣告換成一個手錶全車身廣告,直到退役。

為了延續120號的歷史,1991年10月,電車公司決定將原車120號退役拆毀,由Leeway建造新車身,以砌車的方式將同期退役的86號的部分車件,如下層長櫈和散件廣告舊物再用,令120號重生。下層櫈底的「86」字樣,可以證明是源自退役的舊86號。車廂下層亦特別裝有一塊水牌,說明是仿照當時年代而建造。

水牌以中英文刻上題字:

「此電車由香港電車公司製成   仿一九四九年時之款式藉以保留香港該年代作為存念」

“Hong Kong Tramways Ltd This tram has been restored to the 1949 style to preserve Hong Kong’s heritage”

這是1991年退役前的120號 (左) 和復刻版120號的上層照片對照。值得留意的是上層座椅的排位。舊120號是1+2模式,不過原來復刻版120號初期是2+1模式,其後才改回和舊120號一樣。

1992年建造予英國西北的Wirral電車博物館的69和70號,2012年建造予海洋公園“香港老大街”的201號,同樣按照現時120號的車身設計。不同的是兩部在英國的電車是行走標準軌距 (1,435mm)。

2001年,復刻版120號基於安全緣故,將車尾的電阻箱移到車頂。2017年,120號進行車身內外大修,包括翻髹專屬的水牌。

因此,復刻版120號是取代了1949年的120號,結合了原裝120號 (上層前後大窗) 和戰後式 (路線牌較低) 的特點,同時保留了車底的救生網 (lifeguards)和英式控制器 (干多拿, controller)。而車廂的圓形燈泡和籐椅,在其餘電車使用光管和塑膠椅的對比下,更顯特色。

 

 

 

事實上,當救生網閘受到撞擊時,連接的救生網盤會垂下,防止乘客被捲入車底受傷,具有安全的作用。

 

重溫復刻版120號報導:

http://hk.on.cc/hk/bkn/cnt/news/20170704/bkn-20170704060016032-0704_00822_001.html

 

香港電車車款列表 | Fleet breakdown of HK Tramways

【香港電車車款列表】

一直以來,電車沒有明確分代。雙層電車由開篷式改良至帆布上蓋到木頂,其實只是上一代電車的改良版。將電車以七代區分,並不全面。

由款式、年份和號碼著手,可以將電車分成以下六款:

1. 單層:1904年 (頭等 ∕三等)
2. 雙層 (開篷無頂)
3. 全密封雙層:1925年
4. 戰後式
5. 1987年系列
6. 鋁合金電車:2011年

我們認為,以六個款式加上年份的分法,有助區分所有電車。

不過要從舊照片考究上世紀的電車號碼,難度極高,能清晰顯示車號的很少。

以12號為例,有加裝木頂上層的12號,60年代的拖卡亦有12號,和戰後式12號同時行走。若按照分七代,那拖卡是第幾代? 在欠缺年份的前提下,這種劃分明顯不夠全面。

按照六個款式的分法,12號可以分為:

1. 單層:1904年 (三等)
2. 雙層 (開篷無頂) :無
3. 全密封雙層:1925年
4. 戰後式:1952年
5. 1987年系列
6. 鋁合金電車:2016年

* 12號是第一部1987年系列電車

 

附件的列表,在六個款式的基礎上,進一步結合了年份、號碼、款式和製造商來說明電車歷年的演變。

例如68號的始祖是帆布上蓋、88號的始祖是戰前式、現時的120號是仿1949年款式、171號前身是冷氣電車…等等。除英國外,太古和黃埔船塢,過往是建造電車的合作企業。

HKT-C

[Fleet breakdown of HK Tramways]

Generally there is no specific/official “generation” categories on tramcars. As many of the cars 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 clear classification to tram types.

Trams can be categorized in six types based on numbers, dates and styles. See below:

1. Single-deck: 1904 (1st class/3rd class)
2. Double-deck (open-top)
3. Double-deck fully enclosed: 1925
4. Post-war
5. 1987 series
6. 2011 Signature

We believe using ‘six-types and dates’ is able to categorize all the trams.

However, it’s difficult in researching precedent tram numbers from old photos due to rare clear views.

Wooden roof and trailers applied on no.12, of which trailer 12 run together with postwar 12 in 1960s. What “generation” belong to if according to “seven generations”? Obviously, it’s incomplete category without dates.

By using six types, tram 12 can be categorized:

1. Single-deck: 1904 (3rd class)
2. Double-deck (open-top): nil
3. Double-deck fully enclosed: 1925
4. Post-war: 1952
5. 1987 series
6. 2011 Signature: 2016

* 12 was the 1st tram of 1987 series

Based on six types of trams, we created a detailed database by dates, numbers, types and builders, to indicate the changes on fleet.

For instance, the ancestors of 68 and 88 were canvas top and prewar style, respectively, current 120 is replica of 1949 style, 171 was the 1st aircon tram, etc.. Worth noting that Taikoo and Whampoa dockyards were the former co-builders of HK Tramways.

HKT-E

History of Hong Kong Trams Renumbering

History of Hong Kong Trams Renumbering  

There are a total of 164 trams operating in Hong Kong, numbered 1 to 175, 60 of which are “Signature trams” (with aluminum bodies, alternating current motors and stops reporting). Over the decades there have been a few changes to the tram numbers, the reasons are varied and often difficult to trace. The earliest renumbering can be dated back to the post-war period.

Works car 150

Trams became fully double decked in 1925, but single-deck works tram 150 had drawn attention in an off-track accident in 1950, and might be the only proof that single-deckers existed in post-war times. It was probably the former 15 of third-class and was renumbered to avoid the confusion with the double decker 15. On 10 March 1950, works car 150 jumped off the track when passing the scissors crossover near Statue Square, luckily there were no injuries, and eventually another tram assisted to move it back to the track.

Shanghai 22

Tram 139 masqueraded as ‘Shanghai Tramways 22’ in the Shaw Brothers film “Shanghai Surprise” (上海驚奇), starring Madonna and Sean Penn. The filming took place on Catchick Street in the morning of 12 February 1986, being the fourth day in the Chinese Year of the Tiger, surrounded by hundreds of passers-by.

 Photo: T. V. Runnacles

201

In September 1989 tram 100, pending for scrapping, was temporarily renumbered 201 and fitted with five 45 gallon water drums as a sprinkler car, maintaining its Chubb advertising with its gates removed. Car 201 was withdrawn at Whitty Street Depot the next year. Interestingly, the new car 100 entered service whilst 201 was still operating as a sprinkler car. The new 100 also bore the overall blue Chubb livery.

202-204

For filming purposes, three cars were renumbered 202, 203 and 204 in the early 1990s. Car 202 was renumbered from 56 (temporarily chalked on the fender), and was repainted in a 1950s style, with a small fleet number above the headlamp. However, it is not known which cars masqueraded as 203 and 204; neither is it known in which film (or TV programme) they appeared.

Photo: T. V. Runnacles

44, 144

In Chinese tradition the sound of ‘four’ (sei) in Cantonese, is almost a homophone with the word for ‘death’. Apparently advertisers did not want such connotations upon trams where their products would be promoted. Hong Kong Tramways hence decided in 1992 and 1993 to renumber trams 44 and 144 to 165 and 166, respectively.

When 165 was pending scrapping in December 2016, a chalked ‘44’ was found at the bottom of the bulkhead, indicating its identity. There were never trams numbered 164 and 167, as ‘164’ sounds like “continuously die”. Some advertisers even dislike number 164 as it seems to echo the date of the 1989 massacre of Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989. 167 sounds like “continuously jump-off the tracks”.

63, 71, 85 and 134

Since about the year 2000 car numbers 63, 71, 85 and 134 have been missing. One possible explanation is that Hong Kong Tramways regarded these trams as ‘unlucky’ due to their accident records. Car 63 jumped off the track and collided with a bus along Kennedy Town Praya, near Sai Cheong Street on 24 April 2001; 20 passengers were injured. A fatal accident occurred with car 85 on 22 April 2002 and another fatal one at Whitty Street Depot in summer 2005, accelerated its “disappearance”.

There are no details about the accidents involving 71 and 134, which apparently prompted their vacancies. Car 71 was scrapped in early 2002 and probably rebuilt as works car 300 in 2007, whilst 63 was renumbered as 5, car 85 was renumbered to 61 and 134 was renumbered 124. Hence, the original bodies of 5, 61 and 124 were scrapped. New numbers 171, 173, 174 and 175 seem to have replaced the aforementioned vacant numbers.

Photo: Jonathan McDonnell

The mystery of trams 12 and 30

In June 1987 tram 12 was the first car to receive a new body and new underframe from local industry. This replaced the ‘post-war’ body built in 1952 that had gone to Vancouver in November 1985 for the Expo there. Meanwhile, tram 30 of 1988 had been used experimentally with full-height gates instead of the traditional half-height gates. For some reason tram 30 was reported as ‘scrapped’ in 2002 and the vacancy has lasted for a few years. In fact, the original 1987-body of tram 12 was scrapped in 2002 (see the black written ’12’ on the right hand corner of the dash). While tracing the identity of tram 12 a hidden ‘30’ was found under the bench, as well as a chalked ‘30’ on the bulkhead of 12 prior to its scrapping in 2016, indicating this should be the original 30.

Trams 29 and 88

Around Millennium Year it was noticed that the body of 29 was discarded at Whitty Street Depot whilst a ‘new’ 29 had replaced it in public service from an unknown identity. In October 2006 the discarded body of 29 was stripped down and rebuilt as the ‘new’ 30. In other words, ‘new’ 29, presently running, is possibly the former 888, a dummy car built in 1996 used for fire evacuation exercise.

In March 2014, car 30 suffered a serious crash with lower front panels torn off. It was soon repaired and returned to service but then withdrew and stripped down in the depot. A few months later a ‘new’ 30 was seen in the street and the only proof given that it was renumbered from 88 was the painted number on the flat top of the roof at the rear end. The repaired 30 was later withdrawn, and from the bulkhead a chalked ‘29’ was found. It was eventually rebuilt as tour tram 68. To make way for the tour car, former 68 renumbered to 81, in replacement of 81 that was scrapped in November 2015. A new air-conditioned 88 with hopper vents was built in the summer of 2014 and put into formal service on 6 June 2016, and probably replaced the former 171 of 2002, the prototype air-conditioned tram having full enclosed windows. The air-conditioner added 505kg to car 88, compared to 836kg for the prototype.

Further number changes

Here are some exceptions to the renumbering that are not related to tram accidents. In 2015 new tram 43 was rebuilt in line with tram 15 ending an adverts promotion. Tram 15 was discarded and the former 43 renumbered to 15. In addition, to make way for a new truck set no. 100, the original truck 100 was renumbered ‘184’ and the new tram 43 was soon renumbered to 100, thus former tram 100 was renumbered to tram 43. At the rear end of the roof the marked ‘100’ you still can see beneath the new painted ‘43’. New Signature trams are without fleet numbers on the roof. Afterwards, a new 106 in place of the one scrapped, was in fact renumbered from former new 101 built in 2013.

As the renumbered trams occurred without notice and mostly from personal observations, it becomes difficult to trace since last year. Tram 48, the only tram re-panelled in 2010, is discarded and a ‘new’ 48, renumbered from 21, resumed service.

As of early 2018, trams 21, 39 and 117 are temporarily not in service, 39 was scrapped in March 2017 and 117’s body discarded. We also learnt that 46 was swapped with 110 a few days ago.

Summary of scrapped cars

Trams with 1987-bodies commenced scrapping in 2011. Tram 99 being the first one with parts being used in heritage car 201, currently displayed at the Ocean Park, which is painted dark green and features a 1950s style tram with two-classes and a single front staircase. The updeck windows at both ends should be 4″ less deep at the bottom but follow the current 120, and the number was assigned to avoid the confusion with tram 120.

 

A total of 54 cars have been scrapped from 2011 to 2017, representing around 30% of the total fleet. They are:

 

 

 

Year                 Trams scrapped

2011                 99

2012                1, 36, 56, 58, 66, 108, 109, 116, 132, 141, 157

2013                11, 32, 49, 52, 60, 64, 70, 95, 101, 118, 129, 137, 146, 148, 155, 158

2014                13, 19, 23, 42, 69, 74, 79, 122, 133, 143

2015                15, 35, 40, 77, 81, 94, 162

2016                12, 54, 98, 106, 153, 154, 165

2017                39, 115

Herewith a summary of the fleet breakdown of 2017:

hkt fleet-2017-12

2017 Annual News

【2017年 Hong Kong Tramways 香港電車 大事回顧】

1.28 • 港版”戰後式”電車69, 70號於Wirral電車博物館越洋賀歲
4.6 • 123號翻車意外,12月中復出
5.26 • 更換新標誌,車隊以”微笑電車”亮相
6.14 • 120號久休復出
6.26 • 電車與九巴首次合作提供轉乘優惠
8.25 • 城規會成功否決取消電車
11.29 • 香港總商會第7年免費乘搭日

【2017 HK Tramways annual news】

1.28 • Postwar HK 69 & 70 celebrated Chinese New Year at Wirral Transport Museum & Heritage Tramway

4.6 • Tram 123 overturned and resumed service in mid-Dec

5.26 • Launch of new logo with “dingdingsmile” fleet

6.14 • Tram 120 resumed service after refurbishment

6.26 • KMB x Tram 1st joint interchange discount

8.25 • Town Planning Board rejected the tramway cancellation

11.29 • seventh Free Ride Day organized by HKGCC

120號久休復出

【120號久休復出】
是日下午,120號電車以新面孔重新載客。車頂的電阻箱、車廂內外都髹上新油,而一般人不易留意到的一塊銅牌更特別磨光,道出這部仿古電車的身世 (取代了1949年10月製造,1991年底退役的原裝120號)。熱愛叮叮的您,別忘了拍下這史前文物!

Tram 120 has resumed to service in a new outlook: resistance box, inner and outer parts of the body have repainted. Worth noting the plaque indicating the story of ‘this’ 120 (in place with the original of 1949 and scrapped in end-1991) has been refurbished. Don’t miss it when you onboard!

電車廠的搬遷

1989年3月20日,霎東街電車廠 (Sharp Street Depot) 關閉後,部分電車仍然停泊於此;同時屈地街電車廠 (Whitty Street Depot) 亦接近落成,故此進行中的車隊重建工程亦由舊車廠轉移到新車廠。

這個佔地超過10萬平方呎的電車廠,位處石塘咀干諾道西,不過為何名為屈地街電車廠,相信是因為鄰近屈地街電車總站 (現已改稱石塘咀總站) 而得名。

昔日的電車廠

今日位於銅鑼灣的時代廣場 (Times Square),其實前身是電車廠。早期的車廠入口在羅素街,所以叫羅素街車廠 (Russell Street Depot)。不過電車出廠時需要由車廠倒後駛出來,造成擠塞;因此電車公司1932年在北角英皇道(今健威花園)興建另一個車廠。

隨著電車數目增加到超過120部,電車公司最後決定擴建原有的羅素街車廠,因為寫字樓靠近霎東街,所以叫霎東街車廠 (Sharp Street Depot)。現今堅拿道東及摩理臣山道一段,仍然可以見到昔日出廠用的舊路軌痕跡。

 

第一部拖卡電車

1964年8月6日,第一部由太古船塢 (Taikoo Dockyard) 建造的拖卡電車 (1號拖卡) 以試驗形式投入服務。車身沒有塗色 (unpainted),內籠是籘椅 (rattan seats),外型猶如半架雙層電車。由於前後都可以上車,初期乘客不習慣,同時為了防止逃票,後來前門停用並在外面掛有「Please Use Rear Gate 請在尾門上車」的鐵牌。

1979年11月,1號拖卡改建成163號雙層電車,直到1991年2月退役。

電車標誌圖解

【電車標誌圖解】

Hong Kong Tramways 香港電車 標誌的歷史,相關資料不多。現根據所知資料作介紹。

【非官式標誌】
上世紀的官方文件,大部分只有中英文公司名稱。不過從早期的單層電車,以至後來的雙層電車,車身前後和兩側,都標有一個襪帶 (Garter) 圖案,公司名稱圍繞著電車號碼。這可說是非官式的電車標誌。

【官式標誌】
1974年九龍倉接管電車業務,正式出現官式標誌。公司標誌參照了最後一款車票上的路軌圖案,路軌標誌採用紅藍兩色,配合九龍倉的標誌顏色。這標誌直至2009年威立雅收購後仍然採用。

【特別版標誌】1986年慶祝九龍倉百週年,適逢第一部旅遊電車28號面世,車身特別髹上了富殖民地色彩的雙龍圖案。中間HTLTD縮寫的圓形標誌在早期的股票出現過,雙龍應是特別加上去。這款雙龍標誌在第二部旅遊電車128號同樣採用。其後電車公司分別在慶祝90週年,100週年,2009年收購及110週年期間,特別設計了不同的標誌。

2017年5月26日,電車公司宣布更換標誌,是自法國威立雅入主後,首次更換標誌。

【電車圖案】以往電車站站牌並無電車圖樣,只有中英文字眼。1983年起電車站牌統一款式,標有50年代的電車圖案,方便乘客識別。1994年,電車公司在車站裝上目的地預計到達時間顯示牌,其中標有1987年款的電車圖案。

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「香港電車文化保育學會」是新成立的非牟利團體,宗旨為向大眾灌輸正確全面的電車歷史,推廣保育電車的文化。未來長遠目標是推動香港成立電車博物館,令熱愛電車的朋友以至全球認識獨一無二的雙層電車:叮叮。