The Republic of Chile was divided into 25 provinces during most of its tramway era, but was redivided in 1974 into 50 new provinces grouped into 13 new regions, numbered 1 to 12 from north to south. Santiago, its capital, is in the unnumbered Metropolitan Region (Región Metropolitana), an area about the size of Connecticut. The discussions of individual cities in this book are arranged by these regions, identified by number. The regions also have names, but these are ignored in the text in order to avoid confusion with the names of the provinces, new and old, that are sometimes the same. Until the late 19th century most of the 1st Region belonged to Peru, the 2nd Region was part of Bolivia, and the 9th and 10th Regions were claimed by the Araucanian Indians.

Trams ran in all regions except the 11th (whose name is Aisén del General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo). The majority of Chile's tramway systems were in the central regions, i.e., the Metropolitan, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th. This was also the location of the ten cities that had electric tramway systems - although Chile's only known battery-powered streetcars ran in Iquique, in the 1st.

The following pages contain individual descriptions, maps and photographs of each of the tramway systems, arranged geographically by region, approximately from north to south. Each city's name is followed by its vital statistics: location; population; tramway types; years of operation; track gauge; maximum system length and number of cars (when known). An tw = animal tramway; el tw = electric tramway; pm = passenger motor cars; pt = passenger trailers; ft = freight trailers; etc. References in the text to other publications can be identified in the BIBLIOGRAPHY; "o.n." = order number(s). In the photograph captions "pc" = postcard; "coll." = collection; "AM" = the author. The names of cities are alphabetized in the INDEX.

The maps show the electric tramway systems at their maximum extent, although not all tram routes necessarily operated at the same time. They also show horsecar lines and steam railroads, which in many cases have also disappeared. Only principal streets are named and, because many have two or three words, names are often abbreviated. When they have changed, the modern name is used. The neighborhoods indicated on the maps are names of tram routes; therefore there are no lists of tram routes. "P.r.w." = private right-of-way. Asterisks (*) show location of tram depots, where known. North is squarely at the top of every map in this book.

The metric system is used to note distances and track gauge, since it is the standard in Chile and it is hoped that Chileans will read this book: 10 kilometers (km) = 6 miles; 1435 millimeters (mm) = 4 feet 812 inches; etc.