6 December 2012: “Penang Trams, Trolleybuses and Railways

“The impressive and comprehensive documentation of that glorious period of public transport in Penang will hopefully serve to restore our legacy and lead to a regeneration of public transport.” – Anwar Fazal

Today, Penang’s streets are congested at all hours of the day with motorbikes, cars and the occasional bicyclist. In the busiest of jams, it seems as though every person in the state is on the road, in their own individual vehicle. Indeed, one look at the most trafficked of highways and one might
find it hard to believe that, once upon a time, Penang was a pioneer of its time in the art of transport. In the early 20th century, the small state was home to Malaysia’s first and only tram service, the country’s only trolleybus system, and one of Asia’s first funicular railways. Most of these modes of transport may be long gone in our modern century, but each of them left a legacy not soon to be forgotten. Penang Trams, Trolleybuses and Railways traces the fascinating history of each mode of transport in great detail from beginning to end.

Penang Trams, originally published in 2006 and reprinted in 2012 by popular demand, tells the story of each mode of transport through well-researched prose and rare photographs dating back to the heyday of Penang transit. The book traces the history of transit in Penang from the 1880s to 1963, when the last of the Penang trams concluded their final journeys. The book is separated into four different chapters, covering the tram, the trolleybus, the funicular railway, and the electric rail. Each chapter contains historical background about each service, as well as precise influences on the modes of transport, including the Second World War.

Penang Trams reprint is now on sale at Areca Books for RM 50. Please click here for more information, or to purchase.