Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Centenary of Railway Service in Hong Kong

An absolutely stunning piece of mail!!!!

This is the official souvenir cover issued by the Hong Kong post regarding the Centenary of its Railway Service. The issue consists of 6 stamps and all can be seen on this cover.

Over the past century, along with the rapid development of Hong Kong, local railway services have expanded to cover an extensive network of destinations. The railway system has advanced in stages with the times and introduced many new trains, from the earliest steam engines to diesel locomotives of the 1950's, to the automated electric trains of today - all for the purpose of providing our community with convenient and reliable train services. On 1 October 2010, the centenary of the railway service in Hong Kong was celebrated. To mark this occasion, Hongkong post issued a set of six stamps showcasing trains from different periods to commemorate important milestones in local railway history.

$1.40 Steam Train - The first train began to steam along the track of the section within Hong Kong of the Kowloon-Canton Railway, from Tsim Sha Tsui to Lo Wu, on 1 October 1910. The steam engines from the early days were gradually replaced by diesel locomotives from the 1950's onward until they were all retired from service in 1962. The building at the upper part of the stamp is the Hong Kong railway museum.

$1.80 Diesel Train - In 1955, diesel trains opened a new page in local railway history. The first two diesel locomotives in Hong Kong, No.51 and No.52, were named Sir Alexander and Lady Maurine respectively. Locomotive Sir Alexander is now kept at the Hong Kong railway museum for public viewing. The building at the upper part of the stamp is the Clock Tower of the then Kowloon-Canton Railway terminus in Tsim Sha Tsui.

$2.40 Electric Train - The 1980's saw an era of electrification in Hong Kong's railway history. The first generation of electric trains, with the driver's cab front painted yellow as shown on the stamp, was in operation from 1982 to 1999. The building at the upper part of the stamp is the old Hung Hom terminus.

$2.50 MTR Passenger Train - Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway (MTR) commenced construction in 1975 and was officially opened on 1 Octobr 1979, with trains running between Shek Kip Mei and Kwun Tong. Th Metro-Cammell Train or M-TRAIN for short, depicted on the stamp is the longest-serving model used by the MTR. The building at the upper part of the stamp is the International Finance Centre situated above the MTR Hong Kong station.

$3 Kowloon-Guangzhou Through Train - The Kowloon-Guangzhou Through Train (Ktt) has been providing non-stop train services between Hong Kong and Guangzhou since August 1998. The Ktt is the only train service using double-decked direct passenger train. A journey between Hung Hom and Guangzhou East Station takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes. The building at the upper part of the stamp is the MTR Hung Hom Station.

$5 Airport Express Train - Airport Express Train started operation in mid 1998, take as little as 24 minutes to complete the 35.3-kilometre journey between the Airport and Central. The building at the upper part of the stamp is the Hong Kong International Airport from aerial view.

Stamp Printing Details:

- Date of issue: 28 September 2010
- Paper: Paper with security fibres
- Process: Lithography
- Stamp size: 28mm x 45mm
- Stamp Layout: Pane of 25 stamps
- Perforation: 13.6x13.25 (one elliptical perforation on each vertical)
- Design: Clement Yick
-Illustration: Roxy Lau

Thanks a lot to Edward for this one!

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