Electric Trams of Madras / Chennai, 2 Old Photos 1911

Two old photographs (1911 & 1930) of the electric trams in Madras, now Chennai. By the early 17th century Madras became a little bit more peaceful. After facing potential threats of further conflicts from the Portuguese, French, and Dutch. The city began to rapidly spread out of the folds of Fort St George. As a result, Britishers who were residing inside Fort St George began to take up residences outside. Shifting out, up to Nungambakkam and Adyar.

As the town grew, evidently transportation would also become of paramount importance for mobility. Since bullock carts and horse carts were not always reliable. And automobiles did not come into the scene entirely until 1910. That is when the Madras electric tramway came into the picture. It commenced its service in 1895, ferrying the public quite cheaply and efficiently. Originally operating from harbour to the closer inland areas of the city. Despite its slow speed of 7 km/hr it progressively gained popularity with the citizens.

By the 1920s the Madras Electric Tramway expanded greatly. It covered many routes in Chennai, such as Mylapore, Egmore, Parry’s Corner, and Royapuram; Parry’s Corner and Mount Road; then Purasawalkam and Madras Central Station via Walltax Road, and so on. Unfortunately, as it rose like the morning sun in the city, likewise, it diminished like the setting sun. By 1953 it was all over for the charm of the city, the Madras Electric Tramway, ceased its operations once and for all, sadly.

All because of financial loss, mismanagement, and political interference. The tram cars display the letter “MET”, apparently it stood for “Madras Electric Tramway”. The MET tram cars are from two different periods. One of them also displays an advertisement of “Indo-Balm”. Click on the photo for better view.

Read more- Madras Tramways.

Did you know- trams were introduced in the U.K. six years after they were introduced into India, and 10 years later in the U.S.

From the collection- 1964 M. Suriyamoorthy Charcoal Art Abstract (#17)., Bowring Institute Club In Bengaluru – Old Postcard 1907., Inauguration Of Parliament Building Delhi – Old Photograph 1929., Bandra Near Bombay – Old Print 1882., Vintage Cars Mumbai Mahabaleshwar Car Rally – Old Print 1906

The images are of the actual items from my collection. And Not a photocopy, pirated, reproduced, or stock photos or taken from other sources.

Photo Details

Year -


Photograph Size -

5½ x 3½ inch

Photographer -

British photographer