Fact and Fiction
Hebblethwaite - Engineer - Tramway, Amazonas
Amazonas is the largest state in Brazil, 1,564,445 square kilometers, larger than Western Europe or Alaska. One half of the inhabitants of Amazonas live in its capital city, Manaus, which had the state's only known tram system. Information about the first tramways is sketchy. The first franchise for construction of a tramway in Manaus seems to have been awarded to an English engineer named Frank Hebblethwaite in 1895. Hebblethwaite acquired three 0-4-2ST steam locomotives from Hudswell Clarke of Leeds, England, and laid 16 km of 610 mm gauge track down the avenues of the city; an 1895 map shows five tram routes, identified by Roman numerals. The Viação Suburbana began revenue service in February 1896. An 1897 text says that there were ten passenger coaches and 25 freight cars.
The steam tramway was short-lived. Charles Ranlett Flint, one of the directors of the United States Rubber Company, installed electric street lights in Manaus in 1896 and began building a meter-gauge electric streetcar system in 1898. Flint, Hebblethwaite and 13 other Americans founded the Manáos Railway Company in New York on 24 February 1898 and opened the Manaus trolley system for revenue service on 1 August 1899.
The above information is taken from:
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