Valparaiso [CL] - Successful trials and arrival of further Luzern trolleys
K. Budach - 20.10.14
Since June 2014, the former Luzern trolleybus Nr. 269 has been on site in Valparaiso. During the past few weeks, the vehicle has successfully completed numerous trial runs, although actual revenue service has not yet started. The bus has already been repainted into the local livery, although only partially, as aside from the characteristic green band at the bottom, the customary beige around the windows was not applied and instead the trolley still carries the white stripe from Luzern.
In the mean time, the intercontinental transport of the other Swiss trolleybuses continued and units 270 and 275 arrived in Valparaiso on 22 September 2014. Trolleys 276, 265 and 266 are now also in Chile, although presently the latter two need to be stored in San Antonio, as the depot in Valparaiso lacks the necessary space. The last four units cascaded from Luzern should then arrive by late November 2014. This will allow all of the older Swiss trolleys and especially the articulated units in Valparaiso to be withdrawn by the end of the year. The iconic American Pullman buses, however, will remain in service. The oldest original vehicle from the lot is Nr. 814, which dates from 1948 and still runs regularly. It arrived in Valparaiso in the 1970s, after operating for several decades in the capital city Santiago. Indeed, these streamlined Pullman units are now the oldest trolleybuses in regular service anywhere in the world!
Generally there are ambitious plans to upgrade the attractiveness and convenience of the public transportation network in this major Chilean port city. During the first half of 2015, a new, integrated transportation authority is to be formed, including the Merval-Metro on the Valparaiso - Vina del Mar Limache line, the 4.5 km long trolleybus route through the city center, as well as the unique network of UNESCO listed funiculars, which are locally described as elevators. These measures seek to provide better transport links for the urban population living in the hills and aim to enable travel on all three modes of transport with just one ticket.
Significant financial investment to the tune of 500 million Euros is therefore also planned for the renewal and modernization of the local transport infrastructure during the coming years. Additionally, the repair all 16 of the UNESCO designated funiculars as well as the construction of 3 new ones is foreseen. (Based on information provided by Reto Westermann)
Translation: Andrew Thompson
Top: On 22 September 2014, the former Luzern trolleybus Nr. 275 was unloaded in Valparaiso. Photo: Samuel Fuentes
Bottom: The cascaded Luzern trolleybus Nr. 269 has already been repainted into the green livery of Valparaiso and is presented at the bus depot to the local press. Image taken from the media outlet La Tercera.
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