Monday, 9 January 2012

The Trams Of Kolkata

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved (Click To Enlarge)
On the penultimate day of the Kolkata's Cult of Durga Photo Expedition/Workshop this past October, some of us rode one of the famous Kolkata trams on one of its routes. As far as I recall, we chose the Esplanade to Shyambazar route, which is about 5 kilometers. Kolkata is India's only city to have a tram network, which is operated by Calcutta Tramways Company.

These are slow-moving cars, battered from many years of hard service. There are 170 trams running on the streets of Kolkata on a daily basis. The cars are single-deck articulated cars and can carry 200 passengers. When we rode ours, it was off-peak and seats were readily available.

At the Shyambazar depot (end of the line), I photographed the conductors (who were amused by my presence) in their small restroom, while they were having tea and cigarettes. I explored the idle tram cars and photographed inside the cars. The engine was made in Japan by Fuji Electric. All my exploration and photographing was observed by one of the conductors seen in the photo above.

I haven't decided yet if I ought to produce a photo gallery of the Kolkata tram "project"...perhaps an audio slideshow since I managed to record some great audio of the traffic, the clang of the tram's bell, etc.