Singapore Tramways


Fourteen metre gauge 0-4-0Tram locomotives were built by Kitson in 1885. They had 8" x 12" cylinders and 2' 4" diameter driving wheels. The works numbers were 2779 - 2792 and they also had tram numbers T169 - T182. Their running numbers were 1 - 14. Kitson built two more to the same dimensions in 1887, works numbers 2941/T225 and 2942/T226 being numbered 15 and 16 respectively. This data was sourced from the Kitson Works List, compiled by Reg Carter from the Kitson records held by the Stephenson Locomotive Society. Reg states that the tram numbers only related to blocks of works numbers and the allocation of works numbers to T numbers may not be accurate.

Singapore Tramway Company 6 of 1885 built by Kitson, works number 2784 and probably T174. The top, long plate reads KITSON & Co. LEEDS 1885 while the oval plate appears to read SINGAPORE TRAMWAY COMPANY 1885. (RF collection)

Ric Francis tells me that at least one Kitson tram was off-loaded in Penang for use on the Penang Steam Tramway's newly opened branch to the waterfall, pending the arrival of their own trams from Kerr Stuart (Falcon-built 1885-87).

When the Singapore Tramway finally succumbed the stock was auctioned in 1894 and was purchased by the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company, which later became the Singapore Harbour Board. I do not know if these were its first locomotives or not. One possibility is that some may have been sold on to the Penang Steam Tramway who had 11 steam trams on their books in 1890 but I can only find records of 3 purchased from Kerr Stuart. No record has yet been found of what they used between opening in 1880 and the arrival of the Kerr Stuart and Kitson trams in 1885, but they did use horses on other parts of their system.

The following picture was supplied by Ric Francis. The caption merely stated "The Tanjong Pagar Dock Co used the steam tram to transport its freight." It shows a Kitson Steam Tram with a double-deck passenger trailer. There appears to be a clock tower behind the building on the left, and maybe the masts of ships. Can anyone give a location.

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Updated 19th October 2003.

Last updated 4th September 2006.

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