30 May 1888

The Peak Tram of Hong Kong officially launched

In 1881, Scottish businessman Alexander Findlay Smith (A.F. Smith), the owner of the Peak Hotel, proposed to the British Hong Kong Government the construction of a cable car to connect The Peak and the city centre.

This led to the launch of the Peak Tram service on May 30, 1888, becoming the earliest cable car pulley system in all of Asia.

After Hong Kong was forcibly ceded to the British, the British began to settle on Hong Kong Island gradually.

However, the Peak, which was the centre of the Island, did not have any cable car connecting with Central. The public had to rely on sedan chairs for transportation.

In the early days of the opening of the port, The Peak was a summer retreat for the British with only a small number of high-ranking officials and nobles residing.

The initial generation of the Peak Tram, with a total length of about 1.4 kilometres, was driven by a coal-fired steam train and could only carry 30 people at a time.

The tram tickets were divided into three classes: the first class only for colonial officials and white residents of the Peak, the second class for police and military seats, while a few third-class standing spaces for servants and cargo.

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