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Trams Of Argentina
Compania Central Argentina de Electricidad
Special thanks to Pablo Pascuzzi for the following information. Service began in 1885 with a horse-hauled tramway service. Electric service began on March 25, 1914. The company that owned the first electrical tramway service was "Tramway Eléctrico de Santa Fe", becoming later the "Compañía Central Argentina de Electricidad". The last owner was the Argentine Estate, under the "Agua y Energía" Company.
The First series of cars, numbered 1-32 were built by United Electric Car Co. Ltd of Preston, England. In 1915 10 more were added, built by the same manufacturing company. The latter were very similar to those of Buenos Aires, La Plata, Porto Alegre (Brazil), and Barcelona (Spain). The data for both series was:
Length: 9.60 mts (31 1/2 ft)
Width: 2.45 mts. (8 ft)
Height: 3.48 mts (11 1/2 ft)
Weight: 12 metric tonnes (26,400 lbs)
Truck: Brill 21-E
Motors: 2 (BTH)
10 more cars by the same builder were added in 1926, numbers 43-52. They were very similar to the second series. The main change was in the platform design as it was closed in.
Data for the third series:
Length: 9.30 mts (30 1/2 ft)
Width: 2.50 mts (8 1/4 ft)
Height: 3.45 mts (11 1/4 ft)
Weight: 9,380 kgs. (20,660 lbs)
Truck: Brill 21-E 7' (Extended, an Argentine invention)
Motors: GE 294x2
The last series of trams for Santa Fe was built in 1929 in the CATITA workshops, and they were a bit more bigger than the others (36 seats instead of 32). They were specially built for Santa Fe.
The data for the 4th Series:
Lenght: 9.87 mts (32 1/2 ft)
Width: 2.45 mts (8 ft)
Height: 3 mts (10 ft)
Weight: 12 metric tonnes (26,431 lbs)
Truck: Brill 21-E 7'
Motors: Dick Kerr 30-B
Later, within the state administration of the company, almost all trams were reconstructed. They were rebuilt keeping the design of the sides of the first two series, the platform design from the second series, and the style of the roof from the third series. Locally the tramway was referred to as "santafesino".
There were also trailer cars in service in Santa Fe which were built by J.G. Brill of Philadelphia. They had 32 seats and were numbered 101 to 108. They were only used on a suburban line to the town of Guadalupe.
Data for trailers:
Length: 9.2 mts (30 1/4 ft)
width: 2.50 mts (8 1/4 ft)
Height: 3.4 mts (11 1/4 ft)
Weight: 6,560 kgs (14,500 lbs)
Truck: Brill 21-E
There was also a meat service between Central Market and the Slaughter house, with three "zorras" for this service and 5 little wagons.
Compania de Electricidad de los Andes
Mendoza's electric tramway was German-built, owned and operated by the Empresa de Luz y Fuerza de Mendoza - a subsidiary of "La Transatlántica" - the Latin American name for a giant German conglomerate in South America. Trolleys 1-25 were built in 1911 by Falkenried in Hamburg and the system opened 1 October 1912. Later cars came from Belgium: Ragheno sent 26-47 in 1925-26 and Franco-Belge sent 48-63 in 1928-30. At the end of 1929 the company was taken over by the Compañía de Electricidad de los Andes, which was a subsidiary of the U.S. conglomerate, Electric Bond & Share (loosely allied with General Electric). The Argentines expropriated the system in 1937 and closed it several times, finally completely in 1965. Traffic direction changed from left to right throughout Argentina in 1945. - Allen Morrison
10 was built by Falkenried in 1911.
49 was built by Franco-Belge in 1928.
50 was built by Franco-Belge in 1928.
60 was built by Franco-Belge in 1930.
Compania de Electricidad del Este Argentino
Compania Enterriana de Electricidad
Parana was the second city in Argentina to promote trams in 1869. But the first cars didn't run until 1873 when Primer Tramway de Parana ran its first car between the port and the city. In 1888 Compania Constructatora de Tranvias de Parana opened a line between the railroad station and downtown and the slaughterhouse. On May 20, 1921, the first electric cars were run over a 7.8 kilometer route serving the port, downtown, Urquiza Park, and the railroad station. In 1926 extensions were added to the Cemetary, Boulevard Alsina, and Corrales. The last car ran on July 20, 1962.
There were 14 electric cars, all birneys, built by Brill. 7 came in 1920, 2 in 1923, 3 in 1926, and 2 in 1928. The line was standard gauge.
Compania de Tranvias Electricos de La Plata
Compania de Tranvias "La Nacional"
The tramway system of La Plata was the first one in Argentina with an electrified Line. That's not a surprise. The future capital of the province of Buenos Aires, was rivaling at the last decade of the 19th century with Buenos Aires, in official buildings and "progress" (gas networks, power grids, waterworks, etc.). The first tramway line electrificied began to work in 1892, 5 years earlier than in Buenos Aires. As if it were a quirk of fate, it was also the last city in Argentina that kept it's original tramway system (up to December 31st, 1966, almost four years later than Buenos Aires). It was also the only city in Argentina (except Buenos Aires) to have more than one company operating at the same time. Those two were: Compañía de Tranvías Eléctricos de La Plata and Compañía de Tranvías "La Nacional". The second one was smaller, but it had a greater prestige and a better service. It was popularly known as "Tettamanti's Company" due to the Owner's surname. From the beginning this company used for its service American tram cars (I think that they were Brill) instead of English trams, which were common at those times. It ended up building its own cars. It's also was one of the few lines with cars with four axles and two bogies since most tram lines in Argentina were of English design with four wheel cars. The lines between Buenos Aires and Quilmes, and from Buenos Aires to Campo de Mayo, were the only other lines with four axle two bogey cars. By Pablo A. Pascuzzi
CTLN 121, 122. and 128 were examples of the Brill cars.
Ferrocarril Gen. Urquiza
We have a full page offering on this line.
Tramways El Capital
Unknown meat car was built by Brill Car Co.
Transportes de Buenos Aires
The ASOCIACIÓN AMIGOS DEL TRANVÍA tells us that Buenos Aires had one of the largest tramway networks (857 Km, approximately 535 miles) being operated by 12 different private companies; one of them, the Anglo-Argentine Tramways Co., being perhaps the greatest in the world, with a total of 675 Km of tracks (420 miles aprox.), a fleet of more than 3.000 cars served by 12.000 employees. Not in vain during some decades Buenos Aires was known as the "City of Trams". The AAT now operates a heritage trolley line and a visit to their site is well worth while.
Franklin Romero has provided us a genealogy family tree and a 1924 route map. A translation of terms is as follows:
a caballo: Horse lines
2574 was originally built by Compañía Argentina de Talleres Industriales, Transportes y Anexos. In the 1950s it received a new body built at the Vail Workshops.
3491 appears to be a car built by Fabricaciones Militares (Argentine Military Factories).
Special thanks to Franklin H. Romero, Pablo A. Pascuzzi, and Allen Morrison for their information.
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