The Karachi Tramway of Yester-year
There was a time when citizens of Karachi were accustomed to seeing Trams running all over the City center. It was one of the most popular means of conveyance in the city. Today, only a handful of photos, a few landmarks and memories of Trams remain. Our elders will remember the following scenes from the city which was their abode before migrating to Mumbai.
In the following picture, notice Takandas H Kataria's advertisement on the tram:
The history of Karachi tramway spans 90 years (1885-1975). It owes it origin to the Municipal Secretary and Engineer, James Strachan who first conceived the idea for a Karachi Tramway. In 1881, Mr. Edward Mathews of London submitted the tender for building this tramway network. It took until 1883 to complete all the formalities and to get Government permission to use Steam as the locomotive power for the trams. Actual construction work started in October 1884. Track Gauge of Karachi Tramway was 4 feet.
On April 10, 1885 the first tram line in Karachi was opened for public traffic. The track extended from the present day Jinnah (then Napier Mole) bridge to Keamari.
The following picture shows a tram on Saddar route:
The Map below shows Karachi of 1893. The Red rectangle towards left shows the first tramway track that was inaugurated. Also note how Karachi landscape has changed since then. Keamari is now part of the mainland as sea has receded a lot as well as land reclamation that has happened in the last 100 years.
The following picture is circa 1900 and it shows a tram near Max Denso Hall on then Bandar (now M.A.Jinnah) Road:
Following photo is circa 1900 and shows a glimpse of Karachi trams near Max Denso Hall:
The following photo shows a tram on Bandar Road (now M.A.Jinnah Road) in 1933:
Following photo shows Saddar area circa 1950s. Towards left, one can see atleast two trams. The signboard towards top right corner of the photo reads Nishat Hotel: