Now kolkata is the only place in India , where tram service is available. But not only in Kolkata, tram was plying in a number of cities in the country.Initially horse-drawn trams were introduced in India in the early 19th century. Later electric trams were subsequently introduced in the nation. Tram transport in India was established by the British in the 19th century. But it is discontinued in most Indian cities between 1930 and 1960.
An attempt was made in 1873 to run a 2.4-mile (3.9 km) tramway service between Sealdah and Armenian Ghat Street on 24 February. The service was not adequately patronised, and was discontinued on 20 Nov. In 1880, the Calcutta Tramway Co. Ltd was formed and registered in London on 22 December. Metre-gauge horse-drawn tram tracks were laid from Sealdah to Armenian Ghat via Bowbazar Street, Dalhousie Square and Strand Road. The route was inaugurated by the Viceroy, Lord Ripon, on 1 November. Steam locomotives were deployed experimentally in 1882 to haul tram cars. By the end of the nineteenth century the company owned 166 tram cars, 1000 horses, seven steam locomotives and 19 miles of tram tracks. During 1900, 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 1902 from Esplanade to Kidderpore on 27 March, and on 14 June from Esplanade to Kalighat The Kolkata tram is a tram system in Kolkata, India, run by the Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC). It is currently the only operating tram network in India and the oldest operating electric tram in Asia, running since 1902.
Let us look back those cities where tram was the mode of transport and when it was stopped plying.
Delhi’s tram system opened on 6 March 1908. At its zenith in 1921 there were 24 open cars utilising 15 km of track. The system was in operation until about 1963.The suburbs linked were Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazaar, Katra Badiyan, Lal Kuan and Fatehpuri with Sabzi Mandi, Sadar Bazar, Paharganj, Ajmeri Gate, Bara Hindu Rao and Tis Hazari.
The British proposed the introduction of trams in Mumbai (then known as Bombay) in 1864, and the contract was awarded to Stearns and Kitteredge in 1873. The first tram, begun between Parel and Colaba on 9 May 1874, were drawn by six to eight horses. (Stearns and Kitteredge reportedly had a stable of 900 horses when tram service began). Electrified tram service began on 7 May 1907. Double-deck tram service began in September 1920; at the peak of service in 1935, 433 trams ran on 47 kilometres (29 mi) of track. The trams met travellers’ needs until the betterment of the train network in the city; the service closed on 31 March 1964.
Trams in Madras (now Chennai) were operated between the docks and the inland areas, carrying goods and passengers. When the system began on 7 May 1895, it was the first electric tram system in India. The trams could carry heavy loads and were popular, with thousands of riders daily. The route encompassed Mount Road, Parry’s Corner, Poonamallee Road and the Ripon Building. At its height in 1921, there were 97 cars running on 24 km of track. However, the tram company went bankrupt about 1950 and the system closed on 12 April 1953. The contract to remove the tracks and overhead cables was given to Narainsingh Ghanshamsingh.
This tramway was constructed in 1889 to a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge. The consulting engineer was Everard Calthrop, who later achieved renown with the Barsi Light Railway. Originally, the tramway used two carriages pulled by four horses; It originated from what is now the Old Municipal Corporation building located on Main Road, and terminated at the Nashik Road railway station (a distance of around 8–10 km). The stretch between Nashik and Nashik Road was covered with dense jungle; the only mode of transport from the station to the city was by horse-drawn carriage or one of two taxis. The tramway closed down between 1931 and 1933.
Trams were introduced in Kanpur (Cawnpore) in June 1907. The tram system opened in June 1907 and closed on May 16, 1933. There were 4 miles of track and 20 single-deck open trams. The single line connected the railway station with Sirsaya Ghat on the banks of the Ganges. Photographs of Cawnpore trams are very rare.The introductory stock was electric traction-type single-coach; single-coach trams were also used in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. There was one line – a four-mile stretch between the train station and Sirsaya Ghat, on the Ganges – and 20 open cars. Service was discontinued on 16 May 1933.
Patna was among the few cities in India having horse-drawn trams as urban transport The horse-drawn tram in Patna ran in the populated stretch of Ashok Rajpath, from Patna City to Bankipore, with its western terminus at Sabzibagh (opposite Pirbahore Police Station) under the direction of the Patna City Municipality. The tram was discontinued in 1903 due to lack of ridership; plans to extend it further west never materialised.