Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Calcutta Tramways Co

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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.

1882 Steam locomotives were deployed experimentally to haul tram cars. By the end of the nineteenth century the company owned 166 tram cars, 1,000 horses, seven steam locomotives and 19 miles of tram tracks.

1900 Electrification of the tramway, and reconstruction of tracks to 4 ft 8.5 in (standard gauge) was begun

1943 The Calcutta system was well connected with the Howrah section through the new Howrah Bridge in February. With this extension, the total track length reached 42.0 miles.

1951 The government of West Bengal entered into an agreement with the Calcutta Tramways Company, and the Calcutta Tramways Act of 1951 was enacted. The government assumed all rights regarding the Tramways, and reserved the right to purchase the system (with two years' notice) on 1 January 1972 or any time thereafter.

1967 The Government of West Bengal passed the Calcutta Tramways Company (Taking Over of Management) Act and assumed management on 19 July.

On 8 November 1976 the Calcutta Tramways (Acquisition of Undertaking) ordinance was promulgated, under which the company (and its assets) united with the government.

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