The Coming and Going of Penang’s Trams


Once the pride of the state’s public transport, the story of the Penang tramway is worth a revisit.

From Steam to Horse

The first tramway introduced in Penang was the steam tram operated by one Mr.Gardiner with concessions from the government. Commencing operations in the 1880s, barely nine months after Singapore,1 the Penang tramway was one of its kind. Being a light railway, a Kerr-Stuart steam locomotive was used to draw the double-decker passenger trailers and a few wagons for freight purposes.

Its single-metre gauge route began operating from Weld Quay to Ayer Itam Road. Later, a branch line was added to Waterfall Gardens and was used mainly for the transportation of stones from the Western Quarries.

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