? Tramway Exotica: Trams of Indian Subcontinent – Documentary | Kolkata | Part 3
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? Tramway Exotica: Trams of Indian Subcontinent – Documentary | Kolkata | Part 3

September 12, 2019

Although the Calcutta tramways company did remain british-owned for many years following independence It was managed by the state of West Bengal after August 1967 Now the state-owned CTC operates India’s last surviving tramway the Calcutta story begins with a short-lived meter gauge horse line opened in 1873 This was followed by a larger network of lines probably built to the four foot eight and a half inch gauge these were open progressively by the Calcutta tramways Company between 1880 and 1884 At times Steam trams were also used Electric trams first appeared in 1902 and for the next 30 years of variety of two-axle first-class single-decker motorcars were built together with matching second-class trailers Starting in 1948 and continuing well into the 60s many were rebuilt and permanently coupled together Known as streamlined trains or utility cars M-class numbers 1 to 179 would have special interest to visiting British Enthusiasts as some had trucks acquired from systems such as Leeds Leicester Oldham and Stockport Eventually their collection of inherited motors would be replaced by imports from Hungary These M’s feature prominently in the following film sequences taken between 1960 and 1978 by Messrs Cunningham Healy Matthews Santorelli and Todd The CTC never operated double deckers and only a handful of conventional bogie cars These were J class numbers 301 to 306 built by English Electric in 1931 on maximum traction bogies Somewhat rebuilt this view shows one later in life coupled to a 4-wheel trailer English electric also provided the first three examples of the much more successful que class Like the J’s 307 2 309 were delivered in 1931 referred to by the CTC as the articulated or English cars a further 180 KS numbers 3 10 2 4 8 9 were built locally between 1932 and 1939 Conceived and first tested in England each end has a powered maximum traction truck with an unpowered Equal wheel truck under the articulation all the trucks motors and controllers coming from English Electric Like the Jake laughs they were fitted with air brakes as where all subsequent new cars The caves had two entirely separate body sections each with its own drop center entrance There being no physical connection between the first and second class saloons The official overall capacity of about a hundred and twenty was often exceeded During the early sixties when these Sequences were filmed most case still looked relatively smart in their gray and cream a color scheme Which had displaced the original chocolate and cream with delivery of the J’s and KS in 1931 After the case came the streamline L class articulated 492 five five nine built between 1942 and 1951 When first delivered these cars supported a top-heavy cowling on the roof of the first class saloon Which had concealed the resistances as on these post-war ELLs this cowling was later reduced in size Like the case each car carried a crew of three supplemented in P cars on the busiest sections by extra conductors known as line conductors Although all their equipment was from English electric the elves differed from the earlier case in riding on three equal wheel trucks During the 50s several caves have been rebuilt with lengthened bodies and slightly different rear ends to the ELLs in This view the rebuilt K is on the left This shows the more rounded front end Nonno polka works handled everything from building new bodies to keeping older veterans on the road When the state took over the company in 1967 it had envisaged phasing out the trams by the early seventies but oil prices Pollution and a change of heart by planners led to the decision to retain the system Using some of the second-hand equipment purchased from Bombay 201 – 206 entered service in the mid sixties these were experimental first-class, PA. Ye cars Several older vehicles were also adapted for PA. Ye and painted in this striking cream and blue livery However the PA. Ye concept proved impractical and was dropped about 1970 There was no doubt the trams played a major part in moving Calcutta’s Millions For example in 1959 there were some twenty six services Operating from eight depots over the 42 mile system and they carried a staggering 400 million passengers Prior to the introduction of route numbers in 1958 coloured symbols and lights have been used You You

1 Comment

  • Reply RoyInternational September 8, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    My whole family is are ardent supporters of trams!

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