The Tourist Tramway


Allen Morrison

Part 1: Construction
[ go to Part 2: Operation ]

The capital of Tarapacá region in far northern Chile had a horsecar system from 1885 until 1930. A battery-powered tram was tested in 1917, but was unsuccessful. Several horsecars were fitted with gasoline motors in the 1920s, but the system closed altogether in 1930. Seventy years later, in 2000, the city decided to restore one of its principal thoroughfares, Paseo Baquedano, to its former glory with wood-planked sidewalks on the sides and a horse-powered tramway in the center. Construction of a meter-gauge line began in 2001 and inauguration finally took place on 24 October 2004. Part 1 shows the development of the project.



Plaza Prat in 1900
[postcard, col. Allen Morrison]



Plaza Prat in 2002
[Diego and Mario González Vargas]



The new design
[Diego and Mario González Vargas]



Assembling the vehicle
[Enrique Sironvalle]



Iquique's new horsecar (1)
[Harold Middleton]



Iquique's new horsecar (2)
[Harold Middleton]



Iquique's new horsecar (3)
[Enrique Sironvalle]



Passing loop (meter gauge) in 2002
[Harold Middleton]



Paseo Baquedano in May 2003
[Harold Middleton]



The tram in May 2003
[Harold Middleton]




In early October 2004, the line was still not in operation, but a new car – a doubledecker! – was under construction!
[Harold Middleton]

Part 2: Operation

Versión en español


Imágenes antiguas de Iquique

Electric Transport in Latin America

Copyright © 2002-2102 Allen Morrison - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED