History of Kolkata Tram System
In 1873, Kolkata tram line began its journey with an attempt to run a 2.4-mile (3.9 km) tramway service between Sealdah and Armenian Ghat Street on 24th February. The service was not adequately patronised, and was discontinued on 20th November 1873. In 1880, the Calcutta Tramway Company Ltd was formed and registered in London on 22nd December. The Metre-gauge horse-drawn tram tracks were laid from Sealdah Station to Armenian Ghat via Bowbazar Street, Dalhousie Square and Strand Road. The route was inaugurated by the Viceroy of Bengal at that time, Lord Ripon, on 1st November. The Steam locomotives were deployed experimentally in 1882 to haul tram cars. By the end of the nineteenth century Calcutta Tramway Company Ltd owned 166 tram cars, 1000 horses, seven steam locomotives and 19 miles of tram tracks. During 1900, the electrification of the tramway, and reconstruction of tracks to 4 ft 8 1/2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge) began to happen. The first electric tramcar in Asia ran in the year 1902 from Esplanade to Kidderpore on 27th March, and on 14th June from Esplanade to Kalighat. In the year 1951, with the help of Government of West Bengal, Calcutta Tramways Company came into an agreement under Calcutta Tramways Act of 1951. From that time onwards, the Government of West Bengal began to maintain the Kolkata Tram ways till now on.
Modern Tram Route in Kolkata
After independence of India, the modern tram routes spider the whole Kolkata with its glory. From North to South Kolkata and from Central to East Kolkata, Kolkata Tram System is giving the service to the people of Kolkata. The tram routes in Kolkata are
Ownership of Kolkata Tram System
Calcutta Tramways Company or CTC owns 257 trams, of which 125 trams are running on the streets of Kolkata on a daily basis. The cars are single-deck articulated cars and can carry 200 passengers (60 seated). The early horse-drawn trams were imported from England, as were the steel tram cars manufactured before 1952. Until then, most Kolkata tram cars were bought from the English Electric Company and Dick, Kerr and Company. After 1952, the tram cars were built in India in Khidderpore and Tollygaunge Areas.
Tram Terminals in Kolkata
There are seven tram depots. Some of them are Belgachhia, Rajabazar, Park Circus, Gariahat, Tollygunge, Kalighat and Kidderpur. Other than this there are nine terminals like Shyambazar, Galiff Street, Bidhannagar, Ballygunge, Esplanade, B. B. D. Bag, and Howrah Bridge; and one workshop at Nonapukur. Rajabazar and Tollygunge depots are the largest in terms of tracks and area, respectively. Kidderpur depot is the oldest tram terminal, and Kalighat the smallest tram depot. The Esplanade terminus has the most tram routes dissecting North, Central and South Kolkata.
Tourism with Tram
Tram System in Kolkata now comes with the tourism sectors and also the trams are used as a shooting spots of various Bengali, Hindi and English films. During the time of Durga Puja, Kolkata Tram system has established special tourist packages for both national and international tourists. Now, the AC tram cars with comfortable chairs are made out to give tourist a comfort, while the journey in the midst of vista of Kolkata Maidan is a paradise for nostalgic photography.