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Old June 26th, 2008, 10:25 AM   #1
Johnchan
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Penang Tram to replace Monorail system.

As the Monorail system for Penang have been cancelled, we at penang will be waiting for the Penang state government to come out with Tram system which they are interested.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 12:21 PM   #2
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Old transport system in George Town
From ssquah
It's an electric tram car at the Penang Road/Gladstone Road/Magazine Road/Brick Kiln Road/Dato Kramat Road/MacAlister Road junction (Goh Pah Teng) at the start of the 20th century. If I'm not mistaken, that tower was part of the old Fire Brigade building.



A little bit more modern now, the electric trolleybuses. Funny how those old buses didn't have registration number plates. It made the bus look incomplete. In this picture, the bus was probably turning out from Prangin Road into Penang Road. The bus must have slowed down or stopped to allow the cyclist and trishawman to pass first!

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Old June 26th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #3
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Bring back trams
Thursday, 9 November 2006
by Emmeline Tan
The Star




COLONIAL TRANSPORT SYSTEM:Francis showing his book on Penang trams.

Keep the monorail out of George Town and bring back the trams for the sake of the environment and heritage.

Engineer Ric Francis, who has been in the tram industry for 38 years, said there were many pitfalls to the proposed RM1.2bil monorail system that would connect the entire Penang island.

“Once the huge monorail structures are built in George Town, the heritage buildings will be totally eclipsed.

“Trams on the other hand, provide a nice, quiet, scenic journey,” said Francis, co-author of Penang Trams, Trolleybuses and Railways – Municipal Transport History 1880s-1963.

Giving a lecture at the Penang Heritage Trust at Church Street recently, Francis said George Town Municipal electrical trams used from 1905 to 1936 reaped high profits until World War I when the supply of replacement parts was hampered.

He estimated that less than RM3.8mil (US$1mil) was needed to get an electrical tram system up and running in George Town.

“Old tramlines such as from Prangin Mall to Weld Quay still exists underneath the bitumen road and can be restored for use,” he said.

A 50m tramline was unearthed at the Chulia Street-Penang Road junction in 2004 during road works and was preserved by the Penang Municipal Council.

“There are many second- hand trams in other countries that are for purchase.”

Existing street poles could be used to support the one-cable electrical wiring for trams, he added.

“Trams are pollution-free and are being used in cities with narrow roads such as Amsterdam and Lisbon.

“There would not be the high cost of diesel to pay, and very little maintenance of parts compared to buses.”
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Old June 26th, 2008, 12:25 PM   #4
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Old June 26th, 2008, 12:28 PM   #5
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Reviews & Press : : Penang Trams, Trolleybuses & Railways: Municipal Transport History 1880s-1963
New Sunday Times
22 January 2006
by Marina Emmanuel




Those were the days


They had it over the years, a transport system that served the people. MARINA EMMANUEL takes a nostalgic peek into a book on Penang's public transport system in which the island took great pride.

OH, those days of steam trams, horse trams, electric trams and trolley buses. No, this is not a fairy tale about Malaysian public transport. These modes of public transport existed in Penang from the 1880s till, sadly, 1963 when the last trolley bus ceased to run. The early Penang planners were mindful of the fact that efficient transport for people and goods was essential for developing the economy.


And over two centuries, the island developed from a trading post to a seaport, and later an offshore manufacturing base for some of the world's technology giants.

"We had a public transport system any city would have been proud of," recalls Datuk Dr Anwar Fazal, a former assistant city secretary for the City Council of George Town.

"Penang had a highly impressive people-friendly and eco-friendly transport system, with the municipal tram and trolley bus services, the funicular railway, and trishaw and pedal power."

The story of Penang's tramways, trolley buses and railways is described by Anwar as a "great one" in his foreward of the book Penang Trams, Trolley buses and Railways: Municipal Transport History 1880s-1963 by Ric Francis and Colin Ganley.

"As an outstanding example of people-oriented, ecologically sustainable and economically viable public transport, Penang met all the highest standards of the three 'E's that are the hallmark of good, sustainable development - equity, ecology and economics." Francis, an Australian transport historian, is no stranger to Penang's public transport system.

He has authored books on the subject, including one on the Penang Hill funicular railway system. Ganley took an interest in George Town's transport when he visited Penang between 1960 and 1963 during his school holidays. His father worked for the British Government in Singapore at that time.
Ganley, who is a registration executive for the British Land Registry in Telford, developed a keen interest in the local transport systems, notably the trolley buses of George Town and Singapore.


In the 111-page book, which is supported by the Municipal Council of Penang Island, readers are given a pictorial history of the various forms of public transport used in George Town through the more than 100
photographs, maps and illustrations.

The pivotal role played by the transport network in the growth of the island's economy, social and cultural life is showcased by the authors with great detail and painstaking research. They tell the tale of when the Municipal Commission established its own electrical supply, took over the tram service and started the electric trams in 1906.


This service was said to be an excellent public transport around George Town, with one line going up to Ayer Itam town in the centre of the island.


The late 1920s saw the municipality replacing trams with trolley buses, and even experimenting with reconditioned double-decker buses from London Transport. The municipality also operated two railways: the Penang Hill Railway, which was considered an engineering marvel when it was built, and the
electric railway which transported supplies and tin ingots for Penang's foremost smelting plant, the Eastern Smelting Company. Located at the Datuk Keramat Road commercial area in the heart of
George Town, the company was the country's largest and longest-running smelting plant.
Eastern Smelting used the municipality's electric railway to bring tin ore for its smelting works and transport tin ingots to the harbour for export. (The smelting plant closed down in 1998 due to a shortage of tin ore, high labour costs and the factory's location in the city centre.)


Novices to public transport issues and its evolution will find the book highly informative, notably the chapter on the Penang Hill funicular railway, the only one of its kind in Southeast Asia. An account of World War II from a public transport perspective, along with a chapter of the three local bus companies - Lim Seng Seng Bus Company Limited, Hin Company Limited and the Yellow Bus Service - are
also interesting.

The book makes reference to the Penang Information Guide 1951 which singled out the Lim Seng Seng bus service for offering "every comfort to passengers".

"Every bus is installed with a radio receiver and the seats upholstered with Dunlopillo cushions," the guide notes. "The company also employs a team of young, educated and polite conductresses." For authorities on the subject, like Anwar, who was senior regional adviser to the United Nations Development Programme's Urban Governance Initiative, the book serves as a reminder of sorts.


"Sadly, Penang's lead in exemplary transport was lost over time, in a frenzy of hasty modernisation and misplaced priorities," he says.

"We lost a vital system, and with that, have increased our costs in human and ecology terms via traffic jams, endless road-building and road widening, loss of greenery, worsening air quality, noise pollution and heavy petrol subsidies.

"As social inequities in terms of access and mobility increase, urban growth ironically translates into the decline of urban environment and community life." - marinae@nst.com.my



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Penang Trams, Trolleybuses and Railways: Municipal Transport History:1880s to 1963 will be launched by Municipal Council president Datuk Ahmad Phesal Talib on Monday in Penang).

Copyright © The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad
Balai Berita 31, Jalan Riong, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 12:56 PM   #6
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sounds interesting
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:01 PM   #7
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I have voiced my concern in other post and I will do so again.

Although I am not entirely supportive of monorail, I am even more sceptical of trams in George Town. Living in Melbourne currently, here's what I feel about tram:

Noisy. Ugly (overhead cables). Do not really blend with the surrounding, even more so with George Town - c'mon newish trams with old cities? Some even suggested getting old trams so it will blend with the environment. What's the logic behind that?

In narrow roads (like the most of George Town), trams are actually bottleneck and a cause of congestion. With Penangites' attitude of using more private vehicles, I don't see how tram will currently be able to work in Penang. I have no idea why so many people are supportive of it.

Surely trams will cost more than buses. Improve the current bus system first. Exploit and capitalise all available opportunity before moving to a another mass transit. We need public transportation at the moment - not mass transit.

I don't want another tourist gimmick in the city. I want something viable. So, let's see what are the proposal submitted and we shall decide.

I personally do think the bus system, if seriously well planned and implemented, is much better and suited for Penangites. RapidPenang is not too bad actually, they just do not have enough buses to guarantee frequency (and they are a little too expensive). Couple this with the fact that traffic congestions are a norm in Penang, the way to start is to educate people first about using public transport.

One way I see how the other bus companies in Penang can survive, and help make Penang better, is to form a joint-venture, and ply routes that RapidPenang do not ply, or complement RapidPenang's routes so the bus frequency is increased. It's a win-win situation. It's good in theory, but sadly in practice there is bound to be problem.

Why other bus companies aren't exploring this idea, instead of arguing like children about unfair competition, threatening Rapidpenang drivers and acting like street thugs (samseng) , I have no idea.

All that being said, I still want to look at their suggestions. Do they seriously want to bring the "old tram" feel to George Town, or are they going to get new modern trams and start modernising the city itself? The question still remains.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:05 PM   #8
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PENANG MONORAIL PROJECT CANCELLED????????
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:16 PM   #9
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image hosted on flickr


this tram should suit Penang!
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:23 PM   #10
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I wonder if the old tram line was single track, obviously to make it viable to transport the masses, it has to be double track, then wouldn't that make streets that has tram tracks become pedestrian street?
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #11
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many countries have this tram system and they are very effective running it, hopefully government will send team to see and study on how the do.

of coz if government ask its people, they will never get a concrete and a firm opinions as many of them are just love mentioning about the negative side rather than positive. i'm afraid at the end, everything will never get done if government keep entertain these 'people's voices'.

be strong!
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Old June 26th, 2008, 01:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by proud_penangite View Post
this tram should suit Penang!
Sadly I think those proposing and advocating the system are saying that we should use the old tram track (i.e. single track most of the way), and we should use old trams to save cost to complement with the old city feel of George Town.

And sadly I think those proposing the system is only advocating a system which covers George Town only, not Penang. Well, at least the only proposal (presentation) I have seen so far talks about that, and the current proposal to the Penang Government is based on this presentation.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:39 PM   #13
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send a team to holland to learn how the dutch do it. they are very good with transportations. especially in a small city like Amsterdam with a narrow street...
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Old June 27th, 2008, 05:42 AM   #14
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it seems for me that, public transportation system back in the old days was wayyyy better than today ... anyone concur?
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Old June 27th, 2008, 07:09 AM   #15
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How about we using tram in George town area only. then the rest of location using monorial??
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Old June 27th, 2008, 10:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Tan View Post
How about we using tram in George town area only. then the rest of location using monorial??
Pal , since Monorail project have been deferred , it not going to built anywhere in Penang Tram in George Town ?! u must be kidding ...
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Old June 28th, 2008, 07:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khensthoth View Post
I have voiced my concern in other post and I will do so again.

Although I am not entirely supportive of monorail, I am even more sceptical of trams in George Town. Living in Melbourne currently, here's what I feel about tram:

Noisy. Ugly (overhead cables). Do not really blend with the surrounding, even more so with George Town - c'mon newish trams with old cities? Some even suggested getting old trams so it will blend with the environment. What's the logic behind that?

In narrow roads (like the most of George Town), trams are actually bottleneck and a cause of congestion. With Penangites' attitude of using more private vehicles, I don't see how tram will currently be able to work in Penang. I have no idea why so many people are supportive of it.

Surely trams will cost more than buses. Improve the current bus system first. Exploit and capitalise all available opportunity before moving to a another mass transit. We need public transportation at the moment - not mass transit.

I don't want another tourist gimmick in the city. I want something viable. So, let's see what are the proposal submitted and we shall decide.

I personally do think the bus system, if seriously well planned and implemented, is much better and suited for Penangites. RapidPenang is not too bad actually, they just do not have enough buses to guarantee frequency (and they are a little too expensive). Couple this with the fact that traffic congestions are a norm in Penang, the way to start is to educate people first about using public transport.

One way I see how the other bus companies in Penang can survive, and help make Penang better, is to form a joint-venture, and ply routes that RapidPenang do not ply, or complement RapidPenang's routes so the bus frequency is increased. It's a win-win situation. It's good in theory, but sadly in practice there is bound to be problem.

Why other bus companies aren't exploring this idea, instead of arguing like children about unfair competition, threatening Rapidpenang drivers and acting like street thugs (samseng) , I have no idea.

All that being said, I still want to look at their suggestions. Do they seriously want to bring the "old tram" feel to George Town, or are they going to get new modern trams and start modernising the city itself? The question still remains.
i agree with you, khensthoth!!

i have no idea why people are supporting the tram. i mean, i like the tram as it is part of the history of Penang but it is unsuitable today.

i'm posting this for the 3rd time already and still no one supporting the tram idea cares to enlighten me who do they going to solve these problems:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TYW View Post
wow!! that's the "best" of all the ideas i've mentioned above!! they have certainly made the right choice!!

let's look at the viability and suitability of the tram system:

1) Adding a tram track by the narrow Penang roads will make them even narrower for other vehicles, clogging up every single road.

2) Trams are better than busses in Penang's case. This is because the roads are narrow in Penang. So, if any accident that causes the tram tracks to get blocked, the trams can just wait there in the tracks for the what ever object to be removed, rather than the more maneuverable bus that can just avoid the obstacle.

3) To complement the situation mentioned above, we might have even more one way streets in Penang, especially George Town. that will introduce more convenience to drivers.

4) A tram system have many stops. Cool!! we can get onto a tram without having to walk too far a distance. and because of the many stops and long network, it will have an average slower speed than monorails, subways or other rail networks. thus, i can get to far places in a very short time.

5) Since, the trams are at street level, the melody of the wheels grinding on the tracks can be heard by everyone nearby. nice way to relieve stress after a hard days work. hey, and no need to use iPod!!

6) We'll see power lines dangling above the streets. that'll be very beautiful and interesting because it will look like spiderman has just visited town. well, we can use self powered trams, but why do so?? the beauty of the dangling wires will be lost and it will look no different than buses.

waiting for them to finalize the alignment and start construction of the tracks might take more than 10 years. by that time, i think the system will be even more viable!! way to go!!!
well, it's sarcasm, really...
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THE CITY OF GEORGE TOWN, PENANG (1ST JANUARY 1957)

"the said Municipality of George Town shall on the First Day of January in the Year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fifty seven and forever thereafter be a city and shall be called and styled the CITY OF GEORGE TOWN instead of the Municipality of George Town and shall thenceforth have all such rank, liberties, privileges and immunities as are incident to a city." - Queen Elizabeth II
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Old June 28th, 2008, 07:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oshkoshbgood View Post
many countries have this tram system and they are very effective running it, hopefully government will send team to see and study on how the do.

of coz if government ask its people, they will never get a concrete and a firm opinions as many of them are just love mentioning about the negative side rather than positive. i'm afraid at the end, everything will never get done if government keep entertain these 'people's voices'.

be strong!
so what happens when the negative outweighs the positive?? the government should ignore them??

well, i guess that's the way things are done in Malaysia
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THE CITY OF GEORGE TOWN, PENANG (1ST JANUARY 1957)

"the said Municipality of George Town shall on the First Day of January in the Year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fifty seven and forever thereafter be a city and shall be called and styled the CITY OF GEORGE TOWN instead of the Municipality of George Town and shall thenceforth have all such rank, liberties, privileges and immunities as are incident to a city." - Queen Elizabeth II
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Old June 28th, 2008, 07:35 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWK90 View Post
I wonder if the old tram line was single track, obviously to make it viable to transport the masses, it has to be double track, then wouldn't that make streets that has tram tracks become pedestrian street?
i think the weather here is too hot to convert the streets to pedestrian streets. and, let's say all the roads that the trams uses are turned into pedestrian streets, then there will be lots of other roads that have to be changed to one way or two ways or 10 ways or whatever, causing confusion. considering the volume of vehicles in Penang and the narrow roads, i don't think this is even possible to be done to more than 3 roads. i know that some of you will say that when the trams are there, people are supposed to abandon their car and take the trams. the problem is Penangites are already used to the "car" culture. they will not use the trams unless it is a very good mode of mass transit. which it is not!!

in my opinion, i think the tram can be revived as a tourist attraction only, not as a mass transit. maybe they can create a historical street mall or something with covered walkways, and the trams can run in there
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THE CITY OF GEORGE TOWN, PENANG (1ST JANUARY 1957)

"the said Municipality of George Town shall on the First Day of January in the Year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fifty seven and forever thereafter be a city and shall be called and styled the CITY OF GEORGE TOWN instead of the Municipality of George Town and shall thenceforth have all such rank, liberties, privileges and immunities as are incident to a city." - Queen Elizabeth II
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Old June 29th, 2008, 04:12 AM   #20
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Why can't we just focus on improving the already existing Rapid Penang bus lines?
I think surely it would be less costly to buy additional busses and have a "smart" bus system. I read somewhere that advanced bus systems have sensors that communicates with bus stops, where passengers could see in real time when is the next available bus.

We won't need additional expenses to build tram/monorail lines and congest the already choked traffic.

More busses would be a good solution; when the locals see that they could get to anywhere they want, whenever they want, they would eventually stop driving.
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