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2016 Tramjatra 20th anniversary - Mahadeb Shi Short Film - Tramways Friendship Kolkata & Melbourne

Posted Sun 8/12/13 by Roberto D'Andrea


Tramjatran Mahadeb Shi has prepared a short film to mark and celebrate 20 years of tramways friendship between Kolkata (India) and Melbourne (Australia).

Tramjatra celebrates the distinctive tram-way cultures of Melbourne (Australia) and Kolkata (India) through collaborations between trammies, tram companies and their tram-loving communities. Melbourne and Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) are two of the rare surviving tramway systems of continuous operation outside of Europe. Both cities have an enduring love for trams and have fought against anti tram forces that dismantled and destroyed many of the world's tramways through the 1950s and 60s. Trammies, artists and tram passengers have decorated the interior and exterior of many trams in both cities. Starting in Calcutta-1996 (Melbourne-Calcutta Tramways Friendship), Melbourne February 1997 (Bondhu Tram), Calcutta-1997 (Calbourne), Melbourne-2000 (Moomba), Kolkata-2001 (Tramjatra, Sundari, Cricket, Childrens Trams, Moomba), Melbourne-2001 (Moomba), Melbourne-2002 (Moomba), Kolkata-2005 (Tramjatra Book Launch), Kolkata-2012 (Paribeshbandhu Tramjatra) and Kolkata-2013 (Gitanjali Tramjatra). 

"The Mother Earth - Clean Air - Free Flowing Trams". Trams being good for a clean environment by lowering air pollution and congestion are central to the Tramjatra script.

In 2016 we celebrate our 20th anniversary of tramjatra friendship.

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2016 Kolkata Tramjatra - Kolkata International Film Festival - Tramjatra Festival

Posted Mon 7/11/16 by Roberto D'Andrea

Update : Tramjatra short doco directed by Mahadeb Shi has been selected for the Kolkata International Film Festival (KFF) in the documentary film section. The film festival runs between Friday November 11 and Friday November 18. The Tramjatra festival in Kolkata begins on Friday December 9. Mahadeb's Tramjatra documentary  explores 20 years of tramways friendship between Kolkata and melbourne. He is one of 5 original Tramjatrans with Dr Debasish Bhattacharya, Jayanta Basu, Mick Douglas and Roberto D'Andrea. Mahadeb came to Melbourne for the 2001 Tramjatra. He is a port graduate in cinema from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, specialising in editing. in both film and video media (1985). Over two and a half decades since then he has been working as a director, scriptwriter and editor in both film and video media. He has directed more than 10 documentaries including Kather Baxo (Wooden Box), a personal documentary on Kolkata's Tramways that explores the relationship between the city and its tramcars. His most notable film "Eleven Miles", which won the Joris Iven award at the Cinema Du Rell at Paris in 1990 and was then broadcast on Channel 4 in the U.K.

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2016 Tramjatra 20th Anniversary - Tramjatra and Multicultural Arts Victoria : Bushra Hasan Indi Bind

Posted Fri 2/9/16 by Roberto D'Andrea

20th ANNIVERSARY TRAM DESIGN. Bushra Hasan - Indi Bindi

Tramjatra and Multicultural Arts Victoria. General Manager of Multicultural Arts Victoria and Tramjatran Andy Miller, has introduced Bushra Hasan from Indi Bindi and together we have come up with a Tramjatra design that has been given the thumbs up by the Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC). This will be the template design for the 20th anniversary Tramjatra Tram in Kolkata late in 2016.  After the Kolkata 20th anniversary tramjatra we will apply to decorate a Melbourne Tram on our 21st ...

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2013 Gitanjali Tramjatra

Posted Thu 19/12/13 by Roberto D'Andrea

The Rabindranath Tagore Tramjatra is now complete. Five beautiful days on the tracks of the Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC) in our decorated Hati Gari 'elephant' tram we named Gitanjali, after Rabindranath Tagore's famous book that won him the Nobel Prize for Literature 100 years ago. The Hati Gari tram 498 was built in the early 1940s at the Nonapukur Tram Workshops and is a wooden bodied tram that was common in Rabindranath's Kolkata of the late 1930s and into the 40s..

Mahadeb Shi our long time Tramjatra friend did the curatorial job on ...

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Reflections on two decades of Melbourne-Kolkata Tramjatras

Posted Thu 19/12/13 by Roberto D'Andrea

This is my 7th visit to Kolkata since 1994 and all visits have had trams and the Calcutta Tramways Company central to the script. On my 1st visit to Belgatchia Depot in 94 the local trammies said there was not much time left. I was glad this changed after local and international pressure and by the time I'd returned to Calcutta in 1996 with a travelling tram show there was more hope that trams would have a future in this congested and air polluted metropolis. This year again I see much cause for optimism ...

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Tramjatra 2013: Day 4

Posted Sat 14/12/13 by Roberto D'Andrea

It's been a rippa wild ride as a Connie once again in Kolkata. The Gitanjali tram launch was held in the Esplanade.

On Wednesday December 11. The tribute tram to Rabindranath Tagore we've named Gitanjali, after a book Rabindranath produced that won him the Nobel Prize for Literature 100 years ago was decorated on the spot in garlands of flowers. Love this tradition and the tram has some beautiful floral perfumes wafting through the tram. Shri Das Gupta a learned scholar on Tagore launched the Gitanjali tram together with CTC Managing Director Mr Nilanjan Sandilya, ...

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Tramjatra 2013 : Gitanjali Tramjatra Newspaper articles

Posted Thu 12/12/13 by Roberto D'Andrea


It is only fitting that the poets journey through life - including his receiving the Nobel 100 years ago - will be celebrated on a Calcutta Tram, appropriately christened Gitanjali. Calcutta-Melbourne Tramways Friendship Forum, in association with Calcutta Tramways Company and Australian based, is organising an exhibition on a tram of rare photographs tracing Tagore's journeys across the world. The exhibition, from Wednesday to Sunday has been designed by artists Hiran Mitra and Mahadeb Shi.

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Calcutta Tramways Company - Trammies and Depots - Tram Street architecture - Travelling by Tram

Posted Wed 11/12/13 by Polash Larsen

Roberto D'Andrea

One of the great joys of being a tramjatran in Kolkata has been the catching of many a Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC) tram for over 20 years. A small camera travels in my tram conductors bag. This series of photos are pics of trams in December 2013 from a variety of tram locales. Sometimes we're inside a depot or the Nonapukur Workshops, with a Belgatchia Depot conductor or tram crew at Galiff Street. From Kidderpore to Tollygunge and Rajabazzar to Esplanade.....


Written by Abhijit Ganguly - interview with Roberto D'Andrea

Kolkata and Melbourne have two rare surviving tramway systems outside of Europe. Both cities have a love for trams and kept trams running against the trend of the 1960s to abandon them.  In India, trams plied the streets of New Dehli, Mumbai, Kanpur and Chennai. In Australia, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth once had extensive tram systems. Around the world there has now been a tram renaissance to combat urban air pollution and traffic congestion. Cities in France, England, Canada, Brazil, Turkey, Tunisia, the United States and others have rebuilt.......

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Tramjatra 2013: The launch

Posted Wed 11/12/13 by Polash Larsen

Above all Tagore believed in the importance of international friendship.  The spectacle of the Aussie Connie singing in Bangla with the Bengali poets sums it up for me.  The poetry group disembarks soon after this moment and later we have Maloy Mitra’s Sukchar Pancham Repertory Theatre.  They provide a full programme of dance drama, songs, poetry and even an excerpt from Dak Ghar or The Post Office as it’s known in English.

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Tramjatra 2013: Santiniketan - Nonapukur Workshops and decorating Gitanjali

Posted Tue 10/12/13 by Polash Larsen

Nonapukur which means “Salty Pond” is a fully functioning tram maintenance and tram building workshop. We have the support of both Mr Sandilay the Managing Director of the Tramways and Mr Ghosh the Works Manager at the workshop.  Like many of the depots there are people living on site – including a bunch of kids playing cricket on the weekend. 

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