Smaranika Tram Museum is one of the bold efforts to showcase the history of Tram and its heritage in Kolkata. Tram is no doubt an eco-friendly commute. More than 200 developed cities adopted this mode of transportation lately. Kolkata was one of the first cities to have tram service since the British era, 1873.
Now in the daily busy schedule, many people want to travel fast. Hence the tram service started to lose its charm day by day. Not only that poor maintenance, insufficient funding, and extensive work of Kolkata Metro services are also a few of the prominent reasons.
I still remember from my childhood days, there used to be a separate path for the tram. But as the population, vehicles, as well as traffic increase, many tramways started to disappear. Nowadays, near the Fort William area only has a separate tramway in the entire city. Correct me if I am wrong.
Coming to the Smaranika Tram Museum, it was inaugurated in 2014. The vintage Tram from 1938, CTC 142, completely converted to the current Smaranika Tram Museum at Nonapukur Workshop, Kolkata. Till then, it started to attract many visitors especially youngsters.
If you ever took a tram ride in Kolkata, you must know that the coaches used to divide into First class and Second class. The difference was, First class used to have fans and Second class not, hence the fare was different too. But later on 15th August 2013, CTC (Calcutta Tram Corporation) decided to match the fare and facilities of both the classes.
Before I discuss the Smaranika Tram Museum, you should look into the history of Tram services in Kolkata.
History of Tram in Kolkata
Tram was an integral part of Kolkata transportation since 1873 from its first public inaugurations. Staring from Horse-drawn Tram to steam engine tram to AC Tram, Tram evolved a lot in the last 147 years.
- 1873: First Trams run in Kolkata on 24th February 1873 (Discontinued on 20th November).
- 1880: Tram service restarts.
- 1882: Steam Engine-driven Tram introduce.
- 1902: Electricity power tram was introduced in Calcutta.
- 1905: Electricity power tram was introduced in Howrah.
- 1920: Bus service was introduced and later discontinued in 1925.
- 1927: Own power station at Nonapukur was closed and started to power from CESC (Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation).
- 1943: Howrah Kolkata tram routes linked.
- 1967: The government takes over CTC management.
- 1978: CTC, becomes a government company through enactment.
- 1982: Steel body tram introduced.
- 1992: Bus services re-introduced.
- 2008: Polycarbonate sheet covered tram introduced.
- 2013: 19th June Air Conditioned trams introduced. The same year, on 15th August Trams were made classless.
Smaranika Tram Museum Timing & Ticket
This Tram museum remains open from 1 PM to 8 PM every day except Thursday.
There is a ticket for INR 10 per person. You can spend a maximum of 45 minutes inside the Museum.
What to see at Smaranika Tram Museum
Once you enter the Tram Museum you will see the brief history of Tram in Kolkata. Afterward, all types of miniature Tram models are showcased along with short descriptions.
Then, various tickets & special tickets, special coupons, passes, and tram training school badges are also displayed.
Facilities inside Tram Museum
There are two coaches in the Tram Museum, as Cafe and Museum. This complete air-conditioned museum can accommodate approximately 15 people at once. While the Museum section hardly takes 15 minutes’ time. You can spend some time in the cafe section with a cup of tea/coffee and watch the documentaries (clips from movies featuring Tram) playing on television.
Generally, you can expect a long queue as almost 150 to 200 people visit this museum everyday.
You can also purchase postcards of Kolkata Tram at a very nominal cost.
Rules to Follow
Generally, photography and videography are not allowed inside the Tram museum to maintain the crowd properly. But you can always ask at the ticket counter for permission.
How to Reach Smaranika Tram Museum
Being located at the heart of the city, Esplanade, this Museum is easily accessible from different corners. The nearest Metro station and Bus stoppage are less than 100 meters away. Also, railway stations like Howrah and Sealdah are within 4 kilometers.
Places to visit nearby
There are many interesting places nearby. You can visit like the Indian Museum, Birla Planetarium, Victoria Memorial, Jawaharlal Nehru Children Museum, Metcalfe Hall, Princep Ghat, Howrah Bridge, RBI Museum, etc.
I personally want Tram services to grow further as it is the most eco-friendly way of travel in this over-polluted world. Yes, I understand that it is comparatively slower than other transports. But does that really matter? Because if it gets its own separate track it can easily run faster like early days.
There are few downsides too like electrical failure and outline problems. I believe concerned authorities can tackle these issues very easily.
As a Citizen of Kolkata, I believe everyone including the government should keep this Tram service alive not only as a heritage but also as an eco-friendly transportation option.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Smaranika Tram Museum?
Smaranika Tram Museum is in Esplanade, near CTC Tram Depo and Bus Terminus.
Address – 6, Sido Kanhu Dahar, Maidan, Esplanade, Kolkata, West Bengal 700069.
What are the nearby attractions of Smaranika Tram Museum?
You can visit the Indian Museum, M P Birla Planetarium, Victoria Memorial, Metcalfe Hall, Eden Garden, Princep Ghat, Millenium Park, and Howrah Bridge.
What is Smaranika Tram Museum?
Smaranika Tram Museum is a bold effort by West Bengal Transport Corporation to showcase the history and heritage of Kolkata Tram.
What facilities are available at Smaranika Tram Museum?
Postcard souvenir shop.