Visitors to Sichuan's Anren in Dayi County now have more than just the area's ancient town to see: An old-style tram has opened, and passengers can ride for free until February 17.
The red wooden train is the first (and, for the moment, only) tram in southwestern China. Anren was selected as the site for the tram due to its history, much of which lingers today: cultural museums and sites, an old street, and Qing-Dynasty-era architecture. The tram isn't the only 'first' that Anren can lay claim to, though: Anren was also the first place in Southwest China to build a public highway, a steel structure (the Anren Middle School), and was home to the first Ford motorcar in Sichuan.
The tram was designed by a team at the Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu. Their design plans include establishing a 1.3-square-kilometer scenic area within Anren Town, which the tram circles, and within which motor vehicles will be prohibited. Pedaled and pulled rickshaws, chariots, and sedan chairs will service the area.
There are two trams making a 1.8-km, 20-minute loop from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The train departs from the Passenger Service Center and passes Minguo Fengjing Jie Station, Anren Old Street Station, Liu Xiang's Mansion Station, and the Western Sichuan Folk Customs Museum Station before arriving at its final destination, Liu's Manor Museum Station.
Anren residents can board the tram for free by presenting their ID card, while visitors can obtain a free ticket at the ticket counter by leaving their name and contact information