HK’s century-old trams revamped



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Friday 25 January 2013

Last update 24 January 2013 9:10 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

Trundling along slowly against a backdrop of glittering skyscrapers, Hong Kong’s trams are entering a new phase of their life but their well-loved retro look is here to stay.
Since 2011 a handful of vehicles have had their wooden seats replaced and some now have air conditioning, but the network’s operator says that the small steps toward modernization will remain subtle.
The 109-year-old trams, fondly referred to as “ding ding” from the sound of their bells, retain a special place in the hearts of Hong Kongers, despite their sharp contrast to the rest of the fast-paced Asian metropolis.
“We ensure that the facelift maintains the iconic image of the trams,” Hong Kong Tramways managing director Tsang Wing-hang told AFP.
“The newly renovated tram is a combination of modern interior design with traditional tram body exterior.”
Every day the city’s 163 trams carry 230,000 passengers, from office workers and students to tourists, all traveling on what is the largest double-deck tram system in the world.
The city’s network has lived through Japanese occupation, Hong Kong’s transformation into one of the world’s biggest financial hubs and the handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.
It has also survived the development of modern public transport, including a vast subway system, making it a rare symbol of the city’s rich history while much of Hong Kong’s colonial heritage has been demolished.
The double decker streetcars, with their facades in red, green and blue, are nowadays emblazoned with advertising, but most still operate without air conditioning and rattle along at the speed of a bicycle.
They also go against the tide of rising prices in the city, with a flat fare of just HK dollars 2.30 (30 US cents) for a ride anywhere on the 120-stop system.
A leisurely tram trip is one of the best ways to see the many faces of the former British colony, from its bustling financial district, traditional markets and colorful nightlife hotspots.
“It has become a Hong Kong symbol. Hong Kong would not be the same without the sound of the ‘ding ding’,” 61-year-old retiree Kuok Yee-tung said as he took his daily tram ride across the city, his favorite pastime.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

TAIF: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal inaugurated state-of-the-art Radf public park in Taif which has an interactive fountain — the biggest of its kind in the Kingdom and spread over 13,000 sq meters. The fountain has colored lighting and a displ...
JEDDAH: The Special Criminal Court has issued a preliminary order in a case related to a Saudi national who fought with militant organizations in Syria. The court, functioning at its summer headquarters in Jeddah, sentenced him to a seven-year jail t...
RI YADH: The Kingdom has decided to increase the financial aid to Palestine by raising its monthly aid to the Palestinian Authority’s budget from $14 million to $20 million. The substantial increase brings Saudi Arabia’s yearly aid for Palestine to $...
JEDDAH: The Saudi Ambassador to Jordan has rejected terror charges against Saudis incarcerated in Iraqi jails and slammed the government of that country for concealing information on the inmates."The file of Saudi prisoners in Iraq has grabbed the at...
JEDDAH: Six female members of the Shoura Council participated in a training program to raise awareness among citizens on the municipal elections in which women will participate. The program was organized by Al-Nahda Philanthropic Society for Women un...
RIYADH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has issued an order appointing and promoting 96 members at the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIPP) at various ranks.Sheikh Mohammed bin Fahd Al Abdullah, BIPP president, expresse...
DAMMAM: After the recent increase in verbal and physical harassment of women and girls in the Kingdom, they have turned to martial arts in order to protect themselves. Amani Yassin, a coach at Taekwondo Training Institute, said: “Saudi women are inte...
RIYADH: A youth has been arrested for allegedly killing a Saudi man near the Madinah airport recently. The police apprehended the alleged killer without incident. The suspect, a 24-year-old Saudi, is alleged to have stabbed the victim several times...
RIYADH: A total of 4,326 male and female students started their local and regional summer program for 2015 under the sponsorship of the King Abdul Aziz and his Companions Foundation for the Gifted and Creativity (Mawhiba) throughout the Kingdom on Su...
BURAIDAH: The security patrolling team in Qassim detained a woman for driving a car on the streets of Buraidah.Her case was referred to the higher-ups for necessary action.According to Maj. Badar Al-Sahibani, spokesman Qassim police, the woman is ide...
RIYADH: Recent statistics announced by the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, which coincided with consensus surveys in the Kingdom for the year 2014, revealed that there is only one doctor for each 800 people, and one nurse for every 285 peopl...
Indian expats have paid glowing tributes to one of its most beloved presidents and iconic leaders on Tuesday, as condolences poured in from various parts of the Kingdom for A.P.J. Abdul Kalam following his sudden death on Monday.Hemant Kotalwar, char...
RIYADH: The National Center for Assessment in Higher Education (Qiyas) has announced the dates of tests for male and female students for the new academic year.Ibrahim Rasheed, director for public relations and communications, said the center has com...
RIYADH: The Ministries of Health and Education in cooperation with the Kingdom’s universities launched a program dubbed, “Education and Work,” in Riyadh on Tuesday to help Saudi youth find employment in the public and private sectors. A memorandum of...
JEDDAH: A senior Health Ministry official said butchers and cooks are more likely to be infected with the coronavirus because they handle and process camel meat.Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Saeed, undersecretary at the Ministry of Health for Public Health, sai...

Stay Connected

Facebook