Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Penang Trams, Trolleybuses & Railways: Municipal Transport History 1880s-1963 by Ric Francis & Colin Ganley (RM 50.00)

Penang tramsWith over 100 old photographs, maps and illustrations, this book gives an overview of the various forms of public transport used in George Town from 1880s to 1963, and the role this transport played in the development of the growth of George Town and Penang.

Penang was one of the first urban centres in Southeast Asia to operate steam trams, horse trams, electric trams and trolleybuses. When the Municipal Commission established its own electric supply, it took over the tram service and started the electric trams in George Town in 1906. This gave the local population excellent public transport around George Town, with one line going up to Ayer Itam. In the late 1920s, the Municipality replaced trams with trolley-buses, experimenting for a while with re-conditioned double-deckers from London Transport!

The Municipality also operated two railways -- firstly, the Penang Hill Railway which was considered an engineering marvel when it was first built, and secondly, the electric railway which transported supplies and tin ingots for Penang's foremost smelting works.

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