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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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2013 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

TAGORE TAKES  TRAM TO MARK NOBEL CENTENARY - TELEGRAPH NEWSPAPER  Jayanta Basu 

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 connies.com, 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.....

BUSINESS ECONOMICS INDIA MAGAZINE    

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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Tramjatra 2013: One day until launch

Posted Tue 10/12/13 by Roberto D'Andrea

Kolkata's a city where there's many and varied transport modes from human drawn Ricksaws to a well run underground Metro, Auto 3 wheelers and a swag of public and private run buses that are like beasts spewing diesel exhaust and hunting in packs across tram lines.....heaps of Taxis, human drawn Goods Carriers and cyclists.

Catching trams in 'Calcutta' in the 1990s and early 2000s was ...

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Tramjatra 2013: Nonapukur Workshops - decorating the Gitanjali tram

Posted Mon 9/12/13 by Roberto D'Andrea

The Tagore Tramjatra tram decoration started at Nonapukur Workshops in Kolkata today with CTC trammies involved in the work. There's 2 tram workshops that I've enjoyed visiting over the years. The Preston Tram Workshops in Melbourne and the Nonapukur Tram Workshops is Kolkata.

The Nonapukur Tram Workshops that I first visited in 1996 was a fully functioning workshop with a working foundry, body shop, truck shop, electrical shop and paint shop. Today, Nonapukur continues to renovate trams and from 2008 to 2010 they manufactured 24 new-look trams. The new modern trams have clear rooftops made of clear polycarbonate sheeting with a wide window space, comfortable seating and better visibility from inside and out. Nonapukur Workshop is now manufacturing new tram cars.....

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Tramjatra 2013: Polash Larsen’s first blog from Kolkata

Posted Mon 9/12/13 by Polash Larsen

So here is the long overdue initial blog post for Tagore Tramjatra 2013.  They’ll start coming thick and fast from now on as I steadily catch up on the whirlwind of activity over the last couple of weeks.

Despite months of emails, meetings, research into Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel prize and the history of the Kolkata tram network I still feel unclear about whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing.  At the back of my mind is a quibbling quisling voice asking if Roberto is somehow expecting some sort of ...

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