Madras Electric Trams, 2 Old Photo Negatives 1902

These are two rare old photo negatives of the Madras Electric Trams. The two negatives show contrasting tramcars, one is from 1902 and the other is from 1930. The older one (1902) is seemingly resting at a tram depot somewhere in Madras (Chennai), and the other (1930) is taking in passengers and is probably operating in Mylapore. Out of India’s five electric tramways (Mumbai, Calcutta, Kanpur, Delhi, Madras) are now reduced to one survivor. The tramway of Calcutta (Kolkata).

Horse trams came to Madras, then the capital of the Madras Presidency, in 1874. With around 18 km of laid-up track, by 1888 the line was a dismal failure, and narrowly missed being scrapped. By 1891, a company was promoted, the Madras Electric Tramways Co Ltd (MET). A trial run was undertaken on the opening day of the tram in 1895.

Many prominent people were already seated in the two cars for the trial. By the 1920s the city’s tram progressed greatly and covered many routes 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. Since the maximum speed of the tram was 7 km/hr, it was convenient for the passengers to hop on and hop off the tram. But by 1953 this iconic transport system shut down for ever.  Click on the photo for better view.

Did you know – the car bodies were built at the Perambur Railway Workshop, near the city. 

From the collection – Raja Ravi Varma’s Portrait Photo – Old Postcard 1904.,  Great City of Kolkata, Old Postcard 1918.,  Last Effort And Fall of Tipu Sultan, Old Print 1877.,  Bombay to Calcutta Train & Tiger Hunting – Old Postcard 1900.

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


Photo Details

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4 x 3 inch

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