Published: 19-11-2008 photo #5019 0 comments 0 votes
Hongkong Tramways Ltd now owns 163 double-decker trams, including two open-balcony trams (28, 128) for tourists and private hire and one special maintenance tram (200). The tram itself is commonly called the â€œDingDingâ€ by Hong Kong people, after the double bell ring trams use to warn pedestrians of their approach. It is the only fully double-decker tram fleet in the world. Most of the trams in operation were rebodied in the late 1980s or early 1990s. They are equipped with sliding windows. Since the early 2000s these trams have been upgraded to provide better operating performance and safety.
Tram 120 is the only tram still maintaining its original 1950s' double-deck design. The cabin is varnished with its original light-green color, teak-lined windows and rattan seats.
In 2000, 3 new aluminium alloy metal bodied trams (officially called "Millennium trams"), 168 - 170, started operation. These trams have proven somewhat unpopular due to poor ventilation in the summer. A prototype air-conditioned tram, 171, is now in testing.
The tram fleet first consisted of 26 single-deck trams, with bodies 29 ft (8.8 m) long and 6 ft 1 in (1.9 m) wide, imported from England. However, they were quickly removed because of the rapid modernisation programmes. These tramcars were replaced by open-top double-deck tramcars from 1912 onwards. The introduction of permanent roofs for trams in 1923 was a big improvement to the system. In 1960s, adding trailers was proposed due to the increasing population and demands. In December 1964, after testing a prototype built by Taikoo Dockyard in Hong Kong, 10 trailers were ordered from England and were added to the trams in Hong Kong in early 1965. Ten additional trailers were ordered from England in 1967, bringing the total number of trailers to 22. The trailers served as the first class of the trams. Trailers were withdrawn at the end of 1982 since they produced too much noise when moving.
In 2007, a new work car which is used to move broken trams in the depot was built. Beside electricity, it can also use diesel as energy to work.
In 2008, air-conditioner was installed on antique tram 128.