The Best Tram in the World

As the tram lurched past the dried seafood shops of Des Voeux Road, a cool breeze passing through its open windows, passengers were served a round of cocktails. “Do you reckon this is the best tram in the world at the moment?” asked one woman sipping an Old Fashioned. “I think so,” replied another. Needless […]

Rethinking Hong Kong’s Trams

Photo by Jens Schott Knudsen In an unassuming shed next to an elevated highway, Hong Kong’s wood-framed trams are being rebuilt one by one. “They’re icons of the city,” says Emmanuel Vivant, the man overseeing the renewal. Four years ago, Vivant was part of the team that acquired Hong Kong Tramways for Veolia Transport, a […]

Passing Trams

Trams along Johnston Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

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Elevador da Bica


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Close Company

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Only the Trams Remain

Lee Chi-man, Hong Kong’s answer to Guillaume St-Jean, finds old photos of Hong Kong streetscapes and heads to the spot where they were taken to replicate them. So far, he has compiled around 400 scenes, showing just how drastically Hong Kong has changed over the course of the twentieth century. The photos above illustrate how […]

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End of the Line

At the southeastern corner of Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood — the cape that put the Hoek in the area’s original Dutch name, Roode Hoek — almost nothing is used according to its original purpose. A rail barge has been repurposed as a waterfront museum, a warehouse has become a massive Fairway supermarket, some streetcar tracks […]

The Multinational Ding-Ding

The ding-ding, Hong Kong’s 105-year-old tramway is now a multinational asset. Yesterday, local conglomerate Whalf Holdings sold 50 percent of its shares in Hongkong Tramways to the French transportation company Veolia, which retains the option to buy the remaining half. “Operating the light rail system in Hong Kong will give us the knowledge and expertise […]

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Tram Line to the Past

One of my favourite Hong Kong experiences is the tram ride along the north shore of Hong Kong Island. Although I’ve only done the full trip once — it’s a long way from Kennedy Town to Shau Kei Wan — I often take the tram for shorter journeys. There’s something about the wind in my […]

Hong Kong New Year

Last year’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. Photo by sunday driver New Year’s Eve has always been a bit underwhelming for me, never quite living up to the big-screen romance of fireworks exploding above jubilant crowds. Maybe that’s because, until now, the warmest place I’ve spent New Year was Vancouver, where it was a relatively balmy […]

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Paul Tomkowicz, Switchman

I always wonder about the street cleaners I see around Hong Kong, small and weathered by sun and age, who sweep the pavement with coarse straw brooms. Their wide-rimmed hats, like the kind traditionally seen on Tanka “boat people,” seem oddly anachronistic next to their reflective safety vests and surgical masks. Who are they? Where […]

Ding Ding

Double-decker trams have crossed Hong Kong Island for more than a century. In Cantonese, people playfully refer to them as ding-ding, which is of course the sound they make as they rattle down the middle of congested streets.

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On the Green Line

The Green Line is Boston’s streetcar-subway combo, running above ground on Commonwealth Ave., Beacon St. and Huntington Ave. west of Massachusetts Ave. and below ground in the city centre.

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Riding the Rocket

Scenes from the 510-Spadina and 506-Carlton streetcars in Toronto

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