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Ding Ding

This book was published in Hong Kong in June 2012. It is written in Chinese although the two prefaces have an English translation. The cover features an old photograph, finished in matt, with trams 28 and 128, and the text, finished in gloss.

Clearly as I am unable to read Chinese I am unable to give full details of the books contents, other than to say it appears to provide plenty of information. Photographs are numerous and the vast majority are in colour. Whilst unable to provide full details of the various chapters, it begins with an introduction of the two authors followed by prefaces by John R Prentice and Lars F Richter, which have an English translation. The chapters appear to cover the various types of tram, the routes, tickets, technical details and advertising liveries. Photographs of some sample pages are shown below.

Included is a colour photograph of tram 31, taken on 20 March 1989, the last official tram from Sharp Street Depot together with a poster of thumbnail photographs of 162 trams - 156 x wooden, 1 x 1949 style (Tram 120), 3 x Millennium (Trams 168-170) and 2 x open-top (Trams 28 & 128). They were taken before the new trams were
unveiled. On the reverse being information for each. The inclusion of these two items is a nice touch.

Overall the book appears to provide a wealth of information (the photographs certainly do!) and for HK$118 (just under UKŁ10) it is a bargain.

Since publishing the above, I have received the following detailed overview from the author :-

Amazing Ding Ding offers its readers both knowledge and delight.  Hong Kongers, especially tourists, are familiar with our unique double-deckers. In addition to the history of tramways, clarifications on some errors and myths are highlighted.  We also treat those often ignored matters such as tramway development, the various types of tramcars, engineering, depots and advertising.

Perceiving the contrast between old and new views, plus fruitful images, is a joy for any real tram lover and provides food for thought about the future of our tramways.  The new trams have taken place of the old wooden ones.  Interestingly, an ‘all trams’ photograph which can never be captured again, is enclosed in the back of the book and is definitely worth collecting in its own right.

Chapter 1 Development of Hong Kong Tramways

P.18-22 introducing the proposal of tramway construction, the Tramways Ordinance and the first official tram in 1904, changes from single-deck to double-deck design, the ‘Post-war’ style and further modifications

P.23-26 material events on trams: the tramway strike in the 1950s and colonial celebrations.

P.27-31 Abortive proposals for tramways in Kowloon and the New Territories, a proposed extension to Chai Wan, overturning accidents and a controller fire.

Chapter 2 Operation of Hong Kong Tramways

P.34-36 Changes in the name and management of HK Tramways; recent changes following Veolia’s acquisition in 2009 and its modification programmes; and a list of managers.

P.37-40 The change of company names can be seen from the old tickets and changes in the logos.

Chapter 3 Fleet types

P.42-45 Tram 120’s story compared with its predecessor, the prototype car of 1949

P.46-50 Modifications in the 1980s

P.51-52 Partly open-top tour trams

P.53-56 The ‘Millennium’ trams

P.57-59 New all-metal trams in 2011

P.60-72 Special trams

P.60 Air-conditioned tram 171

P.61-62 Tram 172, a mixture of old and new

P.63-64 Tram 201’s story: a water tanker and a replica at Ocean Park

P.65-66 Trams in feature films: Shanghai ‘22’ for ‘Shanghai Surprise’

P.66-68 Shipment of 12 to the Vancouver Expo and the retention of tram 50

P.69-72 Single-deck trailers

P.73-77 Fleet summary

Chapter 4 Tram Routes

P.80-83 History of tramway construction and progress and a brief interlude of bus operation

P.84-88 Route map with changes

P.89-92 Various route maps

P.93-96 Tram depots’ history

P.97-99 Tram service schedule

P.100-102 Various tram stop designs

P.103-109 various destination screens and their changes from colours to LED

P.110-117 A tram ride guide from west to east

Chapter 5 Tram Tickets

From pre-war (including Japanese Occupation) to post-war, changes in designs and a fare summary

Chapter 6 Engineering

The motion on trams, truck types, controllers, maintenance works on bodies and tracks junction switching procedures , modifications for drivers and passengers’ safety, new alternating current motors and a new GPS device settings, etc.

Chapter 7 Maintenance trams and staff training trams

Chapter 8 Trams Line-up

Old to new changes, abortive experiments (pantograph, noise reduction, etc.), side-by-side views showing the changes on trams.  Also, some lines on Birkenhead trams 69 and 70, vanished tram numbers and other stories.

Chapter 9 Tram Advertisements

P.210-211 Colonial celebrations

P.212-217 Airlines

P.218-219 Department stores

P.220-221 Banks

P.222-223 Cigarettes and watches

P.224-228 Camera and video products, films and electrical appliances

Rear cover: a panoramic view of all tram types that were operating in the late 1980s lined-up at the former Sharp Street Depot

 Title :  Amazing Ding Ding
 Author :  Joseph Tse and Ricky Lau
 Published by :  Cosmos Books
 Year of publication :  2012
 ISBN :  978-988-219-819-7
 Size :   200mm x 180mm
 Pages :   239
 Availability :  Published June 2012 
 Price :   HK$118

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