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Century old Kolkata tram gets a single car chic look this Christmas

26 December, 2019 21:29:17
Century old Kolkata tram gets a single car chic look this Christmas

Century-old Kolkata Trams get a chic 21st-century transformation. A refurbished tramcar fitted with air-conditioners, has emerged as a beacon of hope for the tram cars facing extinction. The oldest operating electric tram system in Asia, Kolkata Tramways has been running since 1902 and is a part of the city’s heritage. However, the slow-moving trams meandering on narrow and crowded streets was often blamed for hampering vehicular movement. The number of commuters also dwindled over the years, compelling the transport department to wind up services from different routes and at present, a skeletal service is operational on truncated routes.  In 2012, tram services were available in 25 routes but in 2019, this has come down to only seven routes. 

The idea of introducing a single compartment tram was to combine old-world charm (trams in late 19th and early 20th century Kolkata sported only one coach) with modern-day comfort. The coach was put into service on the Shyambazar-Esplanade route in May this year. Interestingly, the service has been drawing passengers in hordes since it was introduced. Making six round trips a day, this single-coach tram has been clocking thrice the revenue of a usual twin-coach tram.

The state transport department now plans to launch 25 single compartment tram cars by March 2020, and with this mission in view, it will initiate the project and launch 10 trams on various routes during Christmas and New Year this year and then the number will be increased in phases. So, this will be a treat not only for Calcuttans, but also

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