1901 - After almost 20 years of discussion in which a number of proposals were shelved, Britain finally sanctions the building of a tramway system on Hong Kong Island. The laying of the track begins in May 1903. 1904 - Hongkong Tramways begins full operations. The first fleet consists of 26 tramcars - all single-deck. Ten are reserved for first-class passengers, the others for third-class. There are no second-class passengers. 1911 - The Electric Traction Company changes its name to the Hongkong Tramways Company Limited. 1912 - Double-deck, open-top tramcars are introduced to cope with demand. A report in the Government Gazette carries news of a proposal for a 1.5km-long double tram track to start in Queen's Road Central, near Battery Path, and run to the Mid-Levels. In the end, the project is shelved. 1913 - Canvas roof covers are installed on the upper deck to replace those introduced a year earlier. 1924 - Hongkong Tramways begins to double-track the route between Causeway Bay and Shau Kei Wan. 1925 - Newly designed tramcars with fully enclosed upper decks are introduced. 1927 - The new double track between Shau Kei Wan and Quarry Bay begins operating. 1950 - Hongkong Tramways begins redesigning and building its own trams, adopting a 'modern' design. 1953 - The North Point to Whitty Street route is introduced to help ease traffic congestion in Shau Kei Wan. 1956 - The fleet is increased to 146 tramcars. 1966 - The single-deck trailer is introduced to cope with the high demand for tram services. The trailers are attached to the back of tramcars and designed to serve first-class passengers. These trailers are finally abolished in 1982. 1970 - Eight panels on each tramcar are rented out for advertising. 1971 - Hongkong Tramways begins employing women for the first time. 1972 - Class fares are abolished and a 'flat fare' system is introduced. 1976 - The first drop-in coin box is installed on trams. Conductors are no longer needed and most are trained to become motormen. The conductor system is phased out by 1982. 1986 - An antique-style tram with an open balcony on the upper deck is built mainly for tram tours, private parties and promotional purposes. Today, two antique open-top trams are in operation. 1994 - Hongkong Tramways introduces a half-price fare for senior citizens. 2000 - Hongkong Tramways embarks on a tram-modernisation programme and on October 24 launches the 'millennium' new tram. The prototype uses an aluminium alloy body to provide better strength and durability in a framework more rigid than the old wooden-frame body. Designed and manufactured locally, the new tramcar marks an important milestone in the history of Hongkong Tramways. 2004 - The modernisation programme is completed in time for Hongkong Tramways' centenary celebrations.