Repost from @dominickalipersad
140 years ago —on May 29, 1883— the Port-of-Spain Tramways began carrying passengers. The Blue Tram went up Frederick Street. The Red Tram went via South Quay, St. Vincent Street and Cipriani Boulevard. Belmont Tramway inaugurated an electric streetcar service in Port-of-Spain on June 26, 1895. The line ran from the railroad station up Frederick St. and along Queen’s Park East. Trinidad Electric Company inaugurated the city’s second electric tramway system in July 1902. It opened a line to Laventille in 1918.
One of the unusual features of the Port-of-Spain tramway was its track around the inside of Queen’s Park Savannah. St. Clair cars ran along the east and north sides, and after 4 pm each day trams marked “Savannah” ran in both directions around the entire 2.2-mile loop. The World Survey of Foreign Railways, published in Washington in 1933, reported 30 cars in Port-of-Spain.
Port-of-Spain had the only trolleybuses in the western hemisphere that had doors on the left side and ran on the left side of two-way streets. The T&T government expropriated Trinidad Electric in 1937 and thereafter the tramway system was operated by the local Trinidad Electricity Board.
TEB opened a trolleybus line along Mucurapo Road and Ariapita Avenue on October 1, 1941 It eliminated the tramway loop in Queen’s Park Savannah and closed the Four Roads line beyond Cocorite. TEB also closed the St. Clair and St. Ann’s tram lines on March 31, 1950, eliminating all tram operation in the city.
All local transport was taken over in 1955 by City Transport Services, which closed the trolleybus system on the last day of 1956. The Port-of-Spain tramway may have been the last to operate on a Caribbean island.
- Dominic Kalipersad.