Peak Tram System 

1888, Streetscapes, Landscapes & Infrastructural Facilities 街貌、景觀及基礎建設

Garden Road

Popular among tourists, the Peak Tram is the earliest form of public transport in Hong Kong and the first cable funicular in Asia. Nonetheless the Peak Tram was not built for the public in the first place. During the early years of colonisation, the Peak was exclusive to Europeans as summer retreats and off-limits to local Chinese under the rule of Peak District Reservation Ordinance. Before the construction of the Peak Tram, there were only about 30 to 40 residences on the Peak. Reaching the Peak was wholly dependent on the use of sedan chairs and coolies. In 1888, businessmen F. B. Johnson, Findlay Smith (the founder of the Peak Hotel), David Sassoon and W. Kerfoot Hughes brought forth the development of the Peak Tram for the upper class to travel between the Peak and urban areas. The intermediate stations sparked construction of western mansions along the route. Lists of residence were posted at every station for coolies to communicate with passengers of the Peak Tram, so as to take them to their destinations with sedan chairs. Today, western mansions were replaced by modern houses. Ho Tung Garden, the Chinese mansion uniquely built on the Peak was also demolished. Along with the century-old tram rail, mountain trails and dozens of historic buildings, the Peak Tram is now one of the few living witnesses of the development of the Peak.


文:洪彬芬 (香港註冊建築師)
攝影:郭永義 (香港註冊建築師)