04. Intriguing Bombay – Tramways of Bombay
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04. Intriguing Bombay – Tramways of Bombay

September 6, 2019


By the mid 19th century Bombay was emerging as a major port and still it was a pedestrian city following the growth of cotton trade and textile mills and with the introduction of railways in 1853 Bombay was slowly becoming a metropolis Now Bombay was connected with the rest of the nation but local commute still remained a problem especially due to the heavy fares and… the relative inconvenience of train schedules In 1859 what could be called as the first local… transport was introduced in the form of Horse drawn Omnibus modeled after the one in London however there are very few records that would suggest that this was of any convenience to the locals In 1864 an American firm proposed to construct and operate horse driven trams in Bombay but since they were American it took a little while from the British to accept them it was in 1873 that Bombay Tramway company was founded and on 9 May 1874, the first tram was opened to public The first Tram ran between Colaba and Pydhonie And within the first week of its run more than 3000 passengers had travelled on 294 trips Pulled by Arabian horses these trams were an immediate success By 1905 the tramlines were covering length and breadth of Bombay between Colaba and Lalbaug it was also in 1905 that Bombay Tramway Company had to hand over its operations to Bombay Electric Supply and Transport company or Bombay Electric Supply and Tramways company as it was known back then and we know it popularly from its acronym B.E.S.T. In 1907, with the advancement in technology the electric tram was introduced The welcome to this new mode of transport was incredible there was so much excitement in the crowd that on the first day itself a man fell from the tram and lost his leg over the years, the crowd kept increasing to the extent, where in 1920 BEST had to introduce a double-decker Tram By 1935, the tramlines had reached till King’s Circle With the growing population of commuters BEST thought of introducing a simultaneous mode of transport in the form of motor buses in 1926 Slowly the popularity of trams began to diminish In the 1950s when the trams started incurring losses BEST decided to close certain non-viable routes As the years passed by, the routes continued to be closed till there was only one left between Dadar and Bori Bunder On 31st March 1964 a tram pack to its capacity ran for the last time hence ending the era of tramways in Bombay ok so we are in the BEST museum and these are the benches from the Trams that used to run across Bombay now there’s something interesting about these trams, so if… the tram is travelling in that direction as you can see all the backrests are in this direction so that you can sit this way What if, the tram is going in the opposite direction all you have to do… is turn this around… and enjoy the ride

7 Comments

  • Reply Akhilesh Rawat February 24, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Interesting stuff… first time got to know what does the BEST means.. 🙂

  • Reply MANOJ PALAN June 26, 2017 at 10:54 am

    thanks for the info… amazing..

  • Reply Pritam Yadav July 6, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    make a video on Mumbai metro phase 2 status

  • Reply Abhijeet Sawant July 23, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Where is this Tram Museum?

  • Reply camera all friends January 23, 2018 at 1:40 am

    7396462758 7396462758

  • Reply Aditya Hibare June 27, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Nice piece of information.

  • Reply Vijay Gautam June 8, 2019 at 4:31 am

    Superb series. So much informative and insightful on our beloved Bombay. The city has rich history, and no denying that British colonial rule did contribute to the architecture and design of Bombay. They were creating all the infrastructure for their own benefit, but the buildings and infrastructure that they built have greatly outlasted them. I visited the Central Railways headquarters on the side of the CST station, and I was amazed at the quality of material Britishers used to erect that. Other point is, that India was able to overhaul everything that Britishers built for their own benefit, including Indian railways and the buildings, infrastructure in New Delhi, Bombay, Madras etc, and renewed and utilized them effectively. There are so many sites of the colonial era in these cities that Indians beautifully preserved and enhanced such that these sites become the highlight of these cities themselves. May this beautiful architecture lasts for as long as possible and keep making us proud of our heritage.

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