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Hong Kong's century-old trams revamped but retro look to stay

Published on Jan 24, 2013 12:11 PM
 
In this picture taken on Jan 14, 2013 a tram driver waits for departure at a tram terminus in Hong Kong. Trundling along slowly against a backdrop of glittering skyscrapers, Hong Kong's trams are entering a new phase of their life but their well-loved retro look is here to stay. -- PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (AFP) - Trundling along slowly against a backdrop of glittering skyscrapers, Hong Kong's trams are entering a new phase of their life but their well-loved retro look is here to stay.

Since 2011 a handful of vehicles have had their wooden seats replaced and some now have air conditioning, but the network's operator says that the small steps towards modernisation will remain subtle.

The 109-year-old trams, fondly referred to as "ding ding" from the sound of their bells, retain a special place in the hearts of Hong Kongers, despite their sharp contrast to the rest of the fast-paced Asian metropolis.

"We ensure that the facelift maintains the iconic image of the trams," Hong Kong Tramways managing director Tsang Wing Hang said.

 
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