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Old June 23rd, 2011, 11:16 PM   #1
Ashis Mitra
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KOLKATA | Public Transport

Kolkata, where I was born ‘n brought up, was the former capital of India. As a capital, British rulers planned for a good urban transportation. As a result, the starting of Kolkata tram happened.

After some early failure, first horse tram was opened in 1880 by Lord Ripon. The first route was mostly followed by later electric tram route 14, although some parts of that route is now closed.

Steam tram was opened in 1982, following by later electric tram route 29 up to Tollyganj. Almost entire route has now closed after opening the metro line, although route 29 is now diverged by a different way.

Finally, electric tram started in 1902, following current route 36.

Electric tram opened on other side of River Hugli in 1905 in Bandhaghat route. Both Kolkata & Haorha routes were connected much later by current Rabindra Nath Setu in 1941.

Anti tram world started shaking Kolkata some later in 1970. Till then some routes has closed, although 2 routes opened many years after independence in 1985 & 1986.



Struggling with many incidents, and supporting of many people, Kolkata’s tram is now Asia’s oldest operating electric tram. Currently it has 36 routes, although no any extensions are now planned.

At one time, CTC drivers were sent for psych evaluations to determine whether or not they were accident prone.



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But especially after independence, immigrants were too much in Kolkata from then East Pakistan, population jumped massively. The tram network was highly overused, which started often breakdown. To release this, transport authority finally planned for Kolkata metro.

Due to difficult tunneling conditions, the line, which opened in 1984, took more than two decades to build. The metro has the alleged dubious distinction of the only metro dug by hand. It is unknown if the construction people also used spoons. After much constructional & political delay, metro opened finally in 1984, when I was a student of class 1. Due to lack of improved technologies, further construction moved very slowly,, but finally this line completed in 1995, replacing a long tram route through central Kolkata.



More routes were planed, but only line 2 got maturities for construction in 2008, no serve the Haorha side, passing under river Hugli.

In 2010, as a transport boom, new extensions & 4 completely new lines were announced and construction started. Currently 5 new lines are u/c, and extension of line 1 is going on.

Calming music is played in the metro to avoid the 59 attempted suicides since the metro's opening.


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POST AS MANY AS PHOTOS, MAPS AND VIDEOS OF KOLKATA TRAM & METRO HERE.

Last edited by Ashis Mitra; July 1st, 2011 at 10:53 PM. Reason: updating & addition
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Old June 28th, 2011, 03:01 PM   #2
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GREAT EXTENSIONS OF THE KOLKATA SUBWAY

The Kolkata subway a.k.a Kolkata metro is the first subway of India. It is also the only metro network which is under IR. It changed its plans over and over again. Here is some details –

LINE 1 – Originally it was planned from Damdam to Mahanayak Uttamkumar. Construction started in 1978 and the full line was opened in 1995. The line is almost underground. Damdam is elevated, and Mahanayak Uttamkumar is on surface.
On 1990, it was planned to extend this line towards south to Kabi Subhash. Construction started in 2000 and the extension was opened in 2010. The extension is almost elevated. Mahanayak Uttamkumar and Kabi Subhash are on surface.
On 2005, it was planned to extend this line towards north to Dakshineshwar. Construction started in 2010 and the extension is planned to be opened in 2014. The extension will be almost elevated. Noaparha will be on surface.

LINE 2 – Originally it was planned from Bidhannagar Sector 5 to Ramrajatala via Bidhannagar Sector 2, Bidhannagar Sector 1, Kankurhgachhi, Phulbagan, Kadamtala & Dasnagar. Later the plan was changed to the current route (Bidhannagar Sector 5 to Haorha Maidan). Construction started in 2009 and the full line is planned to be opened in 2014. The line will be partly underground. From Bidhannagar Sector 5 to Yuba Bharati Krhirangan it will be elevated.
There is a plan to extend this line from Haorha Maidan to Bagnan via Dhulagarh, but not finalized.

LINE 3 – Originally it was planned from Dakshineshwar to Thakurpukur via Palparha, Sinthi Morh, Chirhia Morh, Shyambazar, Maniktala, Rajabazar, Shialdaha, Entally, Nonapukur, Maddox Square, Deshapriya Park, Kalighat, Chetla & New Alipur. Later the plan was changed to the current route (Binay Badal Dinesh Bag to Joka). Construction started in 2010 and the full line is planned to be opened in 2016. The line will be partly underground. From Majherhat to Joka it will be elevated.

LINE 4 –This is a newly planned line (actually a branch line of Line 1). It will run from Noaparha to Barasat. Construction started in 2011and the full line is planned to be opened in 2016. The line will be fully elevated. Noaparha will be on surface.

LINE 5 –This is a newly planned line (actually a branch line of Line 1). It will run from Baranagar to Barrackpur. Construction started in 2011 and the full line is planned to be opened in 2016. The line will be fully elevated.

LINE 6 –This is a newly planned line. It will run from Kolkata Airport to Kabi Subhash. Construction started in 2011 and the full line is planned to be opened in 2016. The line will be fully elevated. Kabi Subhash is on surface.

That day is not far away, when Kolkata metro will compete with Delhi metro.

Why Kolkata metro lines are not marked by line numbers & colors like Delhi metro? It must be added.

Side by side, there is no bright plan to extend the Kolkata tram. Once there were some plans of new lines. Those are Galiff Street to Dakshineshwar, Ultadingi to Airport, Moula Ali to Park Circus via Sundari Mohan Avanue, Maniktala to Simulia, & Kalighat to Taralata, but nothing matured. How pity Kolkata tram!!
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Old June 28th, 2011, 03:38 PM   #3
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why did u create a new thread, there is already a thread for Kolkata metro
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Old July 1st, 2011, 10:49 PM   #4
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I created this thread in international division, because I want to know our great metro & tram to all the world.

The existing thread is in national division, hence not much visited by global forumers.
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Old July 1st, 2011, 10:52 PM   #5
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By 2014, metro will run from Dakshineshwar to Kabi Subhash, and from Bidhannagar Sector 5 to Haorha Maidan.
By 2015, metro will run on remaining 4 lines.
All 6 lines will be complete on 2016.

Haorha Maidan was served by tram until 1970 (Shibpur route) and NG train until 1971 (Amta line, has now converted to BG line).

Joka was served by tram until 2006 and NG train until 1960 (Falta line, has now completely closed).

There was tram track from Shialdaha Station to Bank of India Bowbazar following metro line 2, and from Esplanade to Jatin Das Park following line 1, and from Mominpur to Joka following line 3.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 06:43 PM   #6
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The first phase is Ma Sarada to Jayhind, which is targeted to complete before 31/12/13. Completion target upto Barasat is 31/12/16.

This line is currently depends on line 1 extension upto Swami Bibekananda. Swami Bibekananda extension will be completed before 31/12/12. It will reach Shriramkrishna before 31/12/14.

So by 2014, we can travel from Kabi Subhash to Shriramkrishna, and Kabi Subhash to Airport via Damdam. The line from Information Technology Centre to Haorha Maidan will also be ready on 31/12/14. Information Technology Centre to Central will be ready before 31/12/13.

Proposed time-line –

2012 – Damdam – Swami Bibekananda.
2013 – Information Technology Centre – Central,
Ma Sarada – Jayhind,
Joka – Majherhat.
2014 – Central – Haorha Maidan,
Swami Bibekananda – Shriramkrishna
2015 - Majherhat – Mother Teresa Sarani,
Jayhind – Priya Thakur,
Swami Bibekananda – Gandhi Ashram.
2016 – Mother Teresa Sarani – Binay Badal Dinesh Bag,
Priya Thakur – Barasat,
Gandhi Ashram – Mangal Pande.

Line 4, 5 & 6 will be no clash with tram network. Line 3 has been solved after changing of ruling party. Line 2 will used bored tunneling under tram-line.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 08:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashis Mitra View Post
The first phase is Ma Sarada to Jayhind, which is targeted to complete before 31/12/13. Completion target upto Barasat is 31/12/16.

This line is currently depends on line 1 extension upto Swami Bibekananda. Swami Bibekananda extension will be completed before 31/12/12. It will reach Shriramkrishna before 31/12/14.

So by 2014, we can travel from Kabi Subhash to Shriramkrishna, and Kabi Subhash to Airport via Damdam. The line from Information Technology Centre to Haorha Maidan will also be ready on 31/12/14. Information Technology Centre to Central will be ready before 31/12/13.

Proposed time-line –

2012 – Damdam – Swami Bibekananda.
2013 – Information Technology Centre – Central,
Ma Sarada – Jayhind,
Joka – Majherhat.
2014 – Central – Haorha Maidan,
Swami Bibekananda – Shriramkrishna
2015 - Majherhat – Mother Teresa Sarani,
Jayhind – Priya Thakur,
Swami Bibekananda – Gandhi Ashram.
2016 – Mother Teresa Sarani – Binay Badal Dinesh Bag,
Priya Thakur – Barasat,
Gandhi Ashram – Mangal Pande.

Line 4, 5 & 6 will be no clash with tram network. Line 3 has been solved after changing of ruling party. Line 2 will used bored tunneling under tram-line.
Continue this superb effort !!!
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Old July 10th, 2011, 11:45 PM   #8
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Kolkata tram has some interesting facts & figures -
1) The only surviving tram system of India.
2) Asia’s oldest operating electric tramway network. (The next is Tokyo from 1903).
3) Largest network was in India also in past comparison with trams of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai & Kanpur.
4) One of the very few systems of world which is still using trolley pole.
5) Writing posts might be strengthening our demands for improving the tram network of Kolkata. Tram is running in many countries, and returning in many countries.
6) Many foreigners are interested about Kolkata tram, especially Melbourne.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 06:12 PM   #9
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AT LAST –

Tokens replaced tickets in Kolkata metro from last Wednesday. Tokens are more eco-friendly, cheaper & stronger.



Here is the latest map, drawn & submitted by me. It is not to scale & not geographically accurate, but almost same. The colours are the official colours. I got this details information from some reliable sources. This is 99% correct. Future plans has not included because they are still not sure. Only the current line & constructing lines are included.

IGNORE LINE 1 WRITTEN NEAR JAYHIND METRO STATION, THIS IS SIMPLY DRAWING MISTAKE. LINE 1 IS GREEN, LINE 6 IS BLUE.

i've used here actual Bangla names. We got independece in 1947, and we don't use Mitter, but Mitra. I proud to be a Bangali with Kabir Suman & Anjan Datta.

All lines are planned to complete before 2017.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 08:32 PM   #10
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Extending existing lines and construction new lines are very good. But I see new lines are going towards outer area. The inner city and city centre transport is getting many problems day by day. Traffic jams, massive increase of buses & cars is causing chaotic situation.

So I suggest metro must be introduced in city centre area as much as possible. No doubt it will be costly because of underground tunnels, but we would be benefited for long time. Many Chinese cities like Shanghai & Hong Kong are making a dense subway network in core city area, and side by side in outer areas. Kolkata metro also must be balanced.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 06:52 PM   #11
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A significant difference is clearly visible. When line 1 opened in two phases between 1984 & 1989 from Esplanade to Mahanayak Uttamkumar. Except the last station & park Street, each station was decorated usding local theme & history of each station. Example – Esplanade by old white town, Maidan by sporst, Rabindra Sadan by Bishwakabi’s writings, Kalighat by old Kolkata etc. But when the northern extension opned up to Damdam between 1994 & 1995, no stations were decorated following such trend except Girish Park, which was decorated basing old Kolkata’s theatre. But we can easily decorate Chandni Chak by electronics market, Mahatma Gandhi Road by business area, Shobhabazar by old Kolkata etc. Why metro company did not that? We saw some ugly commercial ideas like Chandni Chak by Anandabazar Patrika, Shyambazar by Old Tavern!! How foolish!!

Many cities around the world decorate their subway system by more & more decorating, even sometimes at huge cost for a surface like feeling & liking to metro commuters. Some good example you can see in Rio de Janeiro, Cairo, Tashkent, Mexico City, and Stockholm etc….. Even Delhi metro’s underground stations are very decorative. I’m not saying for very high decoration, but at least we can follow south Kolkata’s metro stations to north Kolkata’s stations.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 07:53 PM   #12
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look terrible..... sorry to say that...
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Old July 24th, 2011, 10:36 PM   #13
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What do you mean by that? Please clear to me.

Unfortunately in Kolkata, there is an enmity between tram & metro. It is not uncommon in countries like India. Brazil, China & Japan have also done the same thing. But this is less common in North American & European countries.

Line 1 has many interchange stations with tram. We can change from metro to tram from Belgachhia to Shobhabazar, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Central, Esplanade and from Jatin Das Park to Mahanayak Uttam Kumar. There are 3 depots – Belgachhia, Kalighat & Tollyganj, and 2 termini – Shyambazar & Esplanade. Due to congested road, rail yard & canal, metro line was constructed under tube tunnel, so didn’t interface with tramline between Belgachhia & Shyambazar. Tram tracks temporarily changed its place at Shobhabazar, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Central, Esplanade and then realigned. But the south portion was changed very much for cut & cover technique. There was direct tramline from Esplanade to Tollyganj following the current metro line between those places straight. Around eighties, tram line closed from Jatin Das Park to Birla Planetarium for giving promise that it will be reopened after completing the metro line (that was when I was 3 years old). Tram survived between the planetarium & esplanade, after some minor alignment change. But after opening the metro service, the closed portion wasn’t opened, and that important link was diverged via Wattganj & Mominpur. Untill 1991; we could still change from metro to tram from Espanade to Maidan. After that, this portion was also closed. Former Planetarium tram terminus is still present, with masts converted from tram posts to light posts. Some masts are still standing at J.L. Nehru Road. Even a mast and a tram stop sign is still present in near Manohar Das Tarhag & Purna cinema. Due to 2 depots, tramline between Jatin Das Park & Tollyganj was not closed.

Line 2 will have tram interchange between Shialdaha station & Binay Badal Dinesh Bag. Until 1980, there was a tram terminus at Shialdaha Station, and direct tram link between Shialdaha & Lebutala via B. B. Gangopadhyay Street. That portion was closed for Shialdaha flyover (I was then 3 years old). There was also tramline between Haorha station & Haorha Maidan for Shibpur route. That route closed in 1970 before my birth. Haorha station tram terminus survived after major redesigning, but finally closed in 1992, which was I think a great loss.

Line 3 will have tram interchange between Binay Badal Dinesh Bag & Esplanade, and from Hastings to Mominpur. There was formerly tram track at Mother Teresa Sarani, which was closed in 1991 (see line 1). A very long tram route was between Mominpur & Joka. The Mominpur – Behala section was closed in 2006 for Taratala flyover. I last rode on that route at November 2003, who knew that was my last ride? There was the longest tram route between Belgachhia & Joka. Although there was plan to close the line temporarily, and tram tracks would be re-laid on that flyover, it like Shialdaha flyover. But after the construction, the entire Diamond Harbour road from Majherhat over Joka was transferred to NHAI. According their rule, there will be no tram track on an NH. So tram was not returned between Mominpur & Joka. Many masts still existed, notably on Majherhat Bridge. The reserved track between Mominpur & Majherhat was converted to Bus lane. Reserved track between Taralata & Behala was closed & converted to road. But tram is still running between Behala & Joka on newest reserved track (opened in December 1986, also the last extension of Kolkata tram, and then I was 9 years old). There are only 2 stocks, and this line is fully isolated from the main network. This loss making section has recently closed for full swing of subway construction.
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Old July 24th, 2011, 10:37 PM   #14
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Binay Badal Dinesh Bag is the busiest tram terminus, which is also served by suburban train, and will also served by metro in future.
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Old July 31st, 2011, 03:02 PM   #15
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Kolkata metro has 3 types of platforms, of which only one station has both side platform that is Central. It was so planned because in future, line 2 will cross here. So it will be much crowded than now. Line 2 will pass under line 1. But it is still under construction, so this station is till now uses only right side platforms. I never saw Central uses left side platform, where as both side using is nothing but a dream.

In many countries, metros use both side platforms, where one side for get down, another for get up. It is healthier for emptying the train first, then getting up. But we can’t expect that type of culture in India. They are the hurriest citizen!!!

Line 1 chose island style platform mostly, i.e. tracks are both side of the platform. It is cheaper, but makes crowds higher, especially in office time, because both side’s passengers clashes often especially at the time of getting down. Formerly the first & last station, and Park Street station used side style platform, i.e. platforms are both side of the tracks. It is costlier, but avoids aforesaid clashes, because there are separate platforms for up & down.

I think despite of high cost, southern extension chose side style. It is also clear that side platforms are more easy building on surface/elevated than underground.

Who knows what style will be chosen for northern extensions, and for the 5 future lines?
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 03:11 PM   #16
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On the original master plan, the line 3 was planned from Shriramkrishna to Thakurpukur via Shyambazar, Shialdaha & Kalighat. That plan is now changed, that is know to all (B.B.D Bag to Joka).

Keeping that in mind, 3 stations were chosen for handling high capacity of passengers. At last, Kalighat was replaced by Esplanade (Dharmatala). For quick interchange between lines, high volume of commuters, important geographical situation, and interchange with tram, 3 stations were chosen for constructing large mezzanine walkway. Those were Shyambazar, Central & Esplanade.

Shyambazar has a five road crossing – four of which had tram lines (although one has now closed), tram terminus, many bus routes, bus terminus, and Kolkata rail station is not so far.
Central is nearest with Binay Badal Dinesh Bag, Medical College, University and also interchange with one of the busy tram road.
Esplanade is the heart of Kolkata, five road crossing – four of which had tram lines (although two has now closed), tram terminus, many bus routes, intra-state bus terminus, and many hotels and cinema halls, shops etc.

So these stations always are very busy. Mezzanine walk ways helps passengers to emptying platforms quicker and easier.

I suggest in future, Shialdaha, Binay Badal Dinesh Bag, Kyderpur & Haorha metro stations should also have that type of walk way,
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Old August 15th, 2011, 09:51 AM   #17
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Kolkata has only 6.5% road, and heavily populated city. As a result transportation is creating many problems. Rapidly increasing number of automobiles is increasing pollution rapidly.

The only solution is electric rail transport including (metro, monorail, light-rail & tram). It is followed worldwide. They are completely eco-friendly, long-term profitable, disciplined & passenger friendly.

We don’t know why light rail & monorail projects have canceled, despite their laying of foundation stone. We have metro, but it is only in one route through 3.5 decades, which serves only a single part of our city. After many decades, this line is extending with five other routes, but only two of them will solve the city centre’s traffic problem (Line 2 & 3). Other lines will serve far areas like Barrackpur, Barasat, Jyotinagar, so main traffic problems of main city will not solve so much.

We have tram, which once blanketed our city. Bandhaghat, Shibpur, Nimtala, High court, Joka routes has closed for some fake reasons. Due to KMRC work, KMC work, many routes like Bagbazar, Park circus, Baliganj, Tollyganj are halted, and at last the most profitable route is now stopped from B.B.D Bag to Purabi Cinema, which will increase more air-pollution of Kolkata.

In Kolkata, private bus authorities often calls strikes for various reasons, and due to lack of sufficient govt. buses, we passengers get strange condition. We haven’t city wide metro like Hong Kong, Shanghai etc., and closure of tram lines creates very dangerous situation. Those who close tram-lines are not thinking the problems of common-people, because they are uncommon. Just think, if we have a dense network of tram & metro, who cares about the frequent bus strikes?

We can’t stop price rising of petroleum, and as a result bus/taxi fare, but price rise of electricity is much lower, so tram & metro fare will be cheaper than bus.

Transport Minister is saying that govt. will stop helping CTC & others in future, and they should increase earning, but how it will be possible? Closure of such profitable route will decrease earning, so increasing loss, so CTC will be poorer, and at last the loss of KOLKATANs.

Kolkata has much less empty & green space. So if air-pollution will increase on such pace, where will we go? How will be our future generation?

New government is trying to make Kolkata like London, but do they know that London has a dense 420 Km. metro network with a feeder tram network? Most European & other cities has returned or are returning tram, like BUENOS AIRES, MADRID, WASHINGTON, PARIS, TUNIS, ALGIERS, SYDNEY, ISTANBUL, SHANGHAI, TIANJIN, LONDON are few of them. They are returning them as a massive error correction, but why we will do the same error as they do 50 years before?

My proposal is, at first create a dense metro network like London etc. then do these eccentric decisions like closures 7 curtailing of tram routes.

I know most forumers will tease me. I don’t care. IF IT IS WRONG TO SEE DREAM OF A CLEAN, GREAN, and HEALTHY KOLKATA AS A 34 YEAR OLD KOLKATAN, I WILL DO THIS WRONG THINGS OVER AND OVER.

I hope all reader will realize the danger. Please, please start protesting from now. I’ve already conversed with CTC today.
Here is the link - http://www.calcuttatramways.com/comments.htm#9
Their e-mail address:- E-mail : tramways@cal3.vsnl.net.in

I’ll send this protest letter to all newspapers and all TV channels, I’ll also send paper-letter & fax to them. I’ll phone them.
If the solution will not be solved, I’ll write to Kolkata Police, to Transport Minister, to Chief Minister. I’ll talk with Mayor & KMC. I’ll go to the last as far as I can. I expect many forumers will agree with me, it will get best result if we protest jointly. I’m not afraid if I’ll be in jail.

Friends, please think our past. How Kolkata was clean & green. Don’t you want to be proud as a Kolkatan? So why you’re getting late? Go down to FACEBOOK, ORKUT, and TWITTER etc. Make aware as much as you can to your neighbors and others. I’VE NO ACCOUNTS ON THOSE SITES.

Best of luck to all. Hope you’ll support me.

Ashis Mitra, age 34, location – Rajabazar / Krishnapur.
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Old August 28th, 2011, 02:42 PM   #18
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2 PHOTOS OF KOLKATA TRAM





One of the biggest problem of Kolkata tram in certain routes is that the trams run in a direction opposite to that of normal traffic , thus creating traffic woes . Neither the tram can move smoothly nor normal traffic.

Currently automobiles has increase and increasing very high. We must control it to save our city. MORE METRO routes & SOME TRAM routes as feeder is the only solution.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 02:30 PM   #19
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Despite I’m a tram fan than a metro fan; it is true that some congested tram roads of Kolkata should be replaced by metro. I’m suggesting 3 routes:-
1) Swami Bibekananda to Kabi Subhash via Shyambazar, Rajabazar, Shialdaha, Nonapukur, Sharat Basu Road, Garhiahat & Jadabpur
2) Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue (Haldiram) to Shobhabazar via Krishnapur & Ultodingi.
3) Shialdaha to Nicco Park via Beleghata, (and an extension to Barhabazar via Mahatma Gandhi Road if possible to connect with line 2).

At last one of my dreams came true. From 29th August, line 2 has handed over from urban development to rail. By transferring this, construction will go smoother. There will be much smooth technological symmetric with other lines. The problem of the place of future Haorha & Shialdaha metro station will also be cleared. The target of completing this line is November 2014, only 3.25 years from now. At last ONE CITY ONE METRO, my slogan fulfilled.
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Old August 31st, 2011, 05:32 PM   #20
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Yeah, that's about time to construct second metro line in such huge city like Kolkata. Dehli metro is growing like crazy and Kolkata is in stagnation.
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