Tram Transport in Calcutta – The only city in India which has a public tram service still in continuance.
Tram Transport in India was established by the British in the 19th century.
Discontinued in most Indian cities between 1930 and 1960, as of now Calcutta has the only public tram service in the country.
Horse-drawn trams were introduced in India in the early 19th century. The first electric tram service was started in *Madras in 1895. Electric trams were subsequently introduced in *Calcutta (1873), *Bombay (1907), *Cawnpore (1907) and *Delhi (1908).
The Formation and Registration of The Calcutta Tramways Company Limited:
The prime reason was that during those days, only 1% of the population of Calcutta could afford to travel in their private cars. There were less or say no other modes of transport available during those days. So these tram cars were very popular among the people for transit and also the fare was also low (its low even now).See below the timeline of the tram development from past in a nutshell:
1882 :- Steam locomotives were deployed experimentally to haul tramcars. By the end of the nineteenth century the Company owned 186 tramcars, 1000 horses, 7 steam locomotives and 19 miles of tram tracks.
1900 :- Electrification of Tramways and simultaneous reconstruction of tracks to the standard gauge (4′-8½ ”) was taken up. By the end of 1905 the entire system was converted to an electric traction.
1905 :- Howrah station to Bandhaghat section for tramways was opened in June. Lines to Sibpur via G.T. Road was made ready in 1908.
1943 :- The Calcutta system was connected with Howrah section through the new Howrah bridge in Feb with this extension , the total track length reached 42.09 miles (67.73Kms).
1951 :-The Govt. of West Bengal entered into an agreement with the Calcutta Tramways Co and the Calcutta Tramways Act, 1951 was enacted . The Govt took over all rights with regard to Tramways and reserved the right to purchase the system on 1st Jan, 1972 or any time thereafter giving two years notice.
1967 :- The Govt of West Bengal passed the Calcutta Tramways Company (Taking Over of Management ) Act, 1967 and took over the management on 19th July 1967. On November 8th, 1976 the Calcutta Tramways (Acquisition of Undertaking) Ordinance , 1976 was promulgated under which the Company with all its assets vested with the government.
1970 :-The Howrah sections were closed down in Oct 1970 and Dec 1971/1973 Nimtala Ghat route was closed down in May 1973. The total track length was reduced to 38.58 miles (62.08kms).
1985 :-On April 17, extension of track was completed connecting Maniktala to Ultadanga Station via Maniktala Main road (3.7 kms) This is the first Tramways extension since 1947.
1986 :- On Dec 31 further extension of tram track from Behala to Joka was completed.