Then and Now – Top of Whites Road

The Port Elizabeth tramway network was opened on 14 May 1881 and was initially operated horse-cars.  On 16 June 1897 the network was converted to electrical power and the system operated until it was closed on 17 December 1948.  One of the most challenging parts of the tramway network was going up Whites Road past the Opera House.  Apparently at one stage boys with buckets of sand used to throw sand on the line to give the trams more grip going up the hill.

Looking down Whites Road today it’s all cars (ok, so not at the moment of taking this photo) and no more trams.  Both the Opera House and St Augustine’s are blocked by trees but still there.  At least the buildings top right are still recognisable from the Then picture to Now.