5th Region



90 km north of Santiago
pop. 1885, 11,768; 1930, 11,963; 1992, 54,550
an tw 1886-1933?; 1435 mm; 11.5 km; 18 pt (dd), 3 ft

In the southern half of the 4th Region, south of Coquimbo, there was a great void of 400 km without tramways of any kind. The situation improved as one entered the 5th Region and reached the industrial towns along the Aconcagua River and the railroads that connected Santiago with Valparaíso and the Argentine.

The line from Llaillay to Los Andes, which connected at the latter city with the Transandine Railway, reached San Felipe in 1871. The tram system operated by the Ferrocarril Urbano de San Felipe is said to have had three routes and averaged 190,000 passengers per year in the 1920s. A magazine illustration shows a double-deck car of the John Stephenson type.

75 km north of Santiago
pop. 1885, 7,533; 1992, 50,622
an tw 1889-?

The EFE's broad-gauge branch from Llaillay reached Santa Rosa de Los Andes in 1888. In 1889 the English-owned Transandine Railway Company began construction of its meter-gauge line from Los Andes to Argentina.

The Sinopsis notes a tramway in "Santa Rosa" in its editions of 1890 through 1894. The line no doubt ran from the railroad station to the Plaza de Armas, but unfortunately no photos or other information about it could be found.

12 km west of San Felipe
pop. 1992, 5,878
an tw [1920s]; 3.5 km; 600 mm

The Ferrocarril de la Hacienda Panquehue was built to carry wine and other crops and farm equipment between the plantation and the Panquehue station of EFE's Los Andes line. But it later also carried passengers, both workers and the general public who lived along the route.

125 km northwest of Santiago
pop. 1865, 10,149; 1992, 68,284
an tw 1884?-1923?; 1200 &/or 1676 mm; 7.5 km; 8 pt

The steam railroad from Valparaíso reached Quillota in 1857, and because of construction problems went no further for four years. Quillota and neighboring towns along the Aconcagua River may have had one of the earliest tram operations in Chile.

The 1890 edition of the Sinopsis, the first to consider tramways, notes a line in Quillota. The 1898 edition reports its length as 3 km. A 1892 newspaper says that Quillota trams and rails are for sale, but the line seems not to have closed at that time. The Anuario Estadístico shows a Ferrocarril Urbano a Charravata, 1676 mm gauge, 3 km, between 1916 and 1918, and a Ferrocarril Urbano de Quillota a La Cruz, 1200 mm gauge, 7 km, from 1919 on. Both Charravata and La Cruz are villages near Quillota. The photo shows a tram on narrow-gauge track, presumably 1200 mm, in 1904. There appears to be another wide-gauge track in the center of the road.

There are two reasons to suspect that the 1676 mm gauge line was built in the 1860s - perhaps as an extension of the incomplete steam railroad: (1) that gauge is thought not to have been used in tramway construction after the 1860s; (2) no photos of Quillota trams appear in John Stephenson archives in New York, even though that manufacturer lists Quillota as a customer; Stephenson began photographing its product in the 1870s.

The Quillota tramway is last reported in the Anuario of 1923, but is described by Long (1930), whose data represent the year 1927. Quillota's tramway history is mysterious and merits further investigastion. The author could not find out more about it during a visit in 1991.

From San Pedro, 8 km south of Quillota, the EFE operated gasoline-powered cars on a railroad branch to the coastal town of Quinteros. Part of that line followed the original railroad route planned between Valparaíso and Quillota in the 1850s. The railroad was ultimately built along a more southerly route through Limache.

40 km east of Valparaíso, 15 km south of Quillota
pop. 1885, 6,442; 1992, 34,973
an tw 1884-1930s; 1435 mm; 5 km; 11 pt

At Limache the Valparaíso-Santiago railroad - which reached this town in 1856 - turns 150° abruptly north and goes through San Pedro tunnel. During construction of the tunnel in the 1850s passenger trains were hauled on temporary rails over the hill alternately by teams of oxen and by a locomotive perched on top. [See Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna, De Valparaíso a Santiago: datos, impresiones, noticias, episodios de viaje (S, 1877), pp. 255-6; also Charles F. Hillman, "Old Timers," British and American in Chile (S, nd (1900), p. 297.]

The Ferrocarril Urbano de Limache ran from the railroad station through the town of San Francisco de Limache and across the Limache River to the original settlement, now known as Limache Viejo. The company was at first Italian-owned, was later operated by Chileans. 261,332 passengers were carried in 1901, 323,539 passengers in 1921.

All Limache trams seem to have come from John Stephenson in New York: in addition to the double-deckers shown in the illustrations, the Stephenson archives include a photo of a single-deck 5-bench open car #12, on which someone has handwritten the date 1891.

185 km northwest of Santiago (by railroad; 120 km by highway); capital of 5th Region
pop. 1865, 70,438; 1907, 162,447; 1992, 276,737
an tw 1863-1907; 1676 mm; 22 km; 75 pt
el tw 1904-1952; 1435 mm; 60 km; 144 pm, 42 pt

The Valparaíso metropolitan area is the second-most populous in Chile and had the nation's second-largest tramway system. The Valparaíso conurbation includes the city of Viña del Mar, which is Chile's most popular vacation resort and has grown larger than Valparaíso in recent years [see separate chapter below]. The district's total population today approaches a million.

Valparaíso is Chile's principal port and is its only large city built on hills. The commercial area is squeezed into a flat strip around a bay; residential zones sprawl dramatically on the surrounding slopes. The latter have been scaled by an extraordinary network of funicular railways. At least 29 ascensores were erected between 1883 and 1932. Fifteen still operate today.

Valparaíso had Chile's first official street railway company, which built one of its most interesting tramway lines. Its electric tramway company was the most completely German in Chile and, with the exception of a single vehicle in Santiago, had the only trams in Chile that collected power with Siemens-style bows [see discussion of the Ferrocarril del Llano de Maipo in the PUENTE ALTO chapter]. It also built the only tram routes that climbed steep grades.

Valparaíso was the starting point for Chile's second steam railroad, which still operates today and may be the oldest passenger-carrying railroad in the southern hemisphere. Revenue service on the first section of the Valparaíso-Santiago line, from Barón station to El Salto, near Chorrillos, began on 17 September 1855. The railroad reached Santiago in 1863 - but was not extended from Barón to Puerto station in Valparaíso until 1876.

The inauguration of a street railway in Santiago in 1858 inspired a plan to connect Barón station with the port and commercial area of the city. David Thomas, a prominent local banker, secured a franchise to build a street railway on 8 February 1861 and, with other investors, founded the Ferrocarril Urbano de Valparaíso the following 18 June. [Thomas was of English origin and had his own bank, the Bank of David Thomas. He was later also president of the Ferrocarril de Carrizal, which operated an interurban horsecar line in the 3rd Region; see CARRIZAL BAJO chapter.] FUV began laying 1676 mm gauge track - the same used by the steam railroad and the tramway in Santiago - and ordered 25 double-deck trams from the Eaton Gilbert Company in Troy, New York. They had a unique design: the driver sat on the roof, there were twin staircases at the rear, and the cars ran in only one direction and had to be turned around. [Double-deck trams generally have a single stair at each end and run both ways. Trams with twin staircases - two stairs at the same end - were rare. Stephenson supplied a four-stair horsecar - twin stairs at both ends - to Buenos Aires, Argentina; two-stair single-end trams also ran in Liverpool, England. Both Blackpool, England, and Oakland, California, USA, had electric trams with four stairways.]

The initial 3 km route followed a circuitous path between Barón and Aduana: south along the east side of Avenida Argentina (which straddled a canal), then sharply northwest on Victoria, Montt, Donoso, O'Higgins, Esmeralda and Cochrane, returning via Serrano, Prat, Condell and Independencia. Double track on Av. Argentina and Calle Esmeralda was arranged for right-hand operation.

Tests began in January 1863 and Valparaíso's horse tramway was formally inaugurated on 4 March 1863. It was the third urban street railway known to operate in South America - preceded only by lines in Santiago and Rio de Janeiro - and may have been the first to use double-deck cars.

Unlike the pioneer tramway route in Santiago, which was built by a steam railroad company and may have operated without a franchise, the Valparaíso line was a completely autonomous and legal enterprise. The Anuario reports that it carried 1,752,000 passengers in its first 10 months of operation [the author finds this figure high]. FUV soon laid rails on additional streets and ordered five more trams from Eaton Gilbert in 1868, another 15 in 1870. It had a fleet of 63 cars by 1880. [The John Stephenson Collection at the Museum of the City of New York includes a photograph of a double-deck tram that Stephenson built for Valparaíso - but it is not known if that car went to Chile.]

The city's first funicular railway began operation on Concepción hill on 1 December 1883. A second line opened on Cerro Cordillera in 1886, and a double funicular - four tracks - was inaugurated on Cerro Artillería in 1893. Two dozen more inclined plane railways - called ascensores in Valparaíso - were built in the next 40 years.

The FUV trams ran only in the flat central area of the city. Before the end of the century two new companies opened routes that ventured in both directions along the Pacific coast:

In 1897 the Ferrocarril de Playa Ancha (Wide Beach) inaugurated an animal-powered line north along Avenida Altamirano to El Membrillo and Torpederas. The FPA tramway used the same 1676 mm gauge as the FUV, but its cars were conventional double-deckers with a platform and stairway at each end.

In 1899 the Empresa de Tranvías del Cardonal al Sauce opened a 1676 mm gauge line along Avenida España, from Barón toward Viña del Mar. The ETCS could not connect with the horse tramway then operating in Viña del Mar because of a mountain that juts into the sea beyond Sauce [see VIÑA DEL MAR chapter]. The steam railroad went through a tunnel.

At the turn of the century the city's three tramway companies were operating about 75 cars on 20 km of 1676 mm gauge track. About 17 million passengers were carried in 1901.

With electrification of the Santiago tramway in 1900, plans began for electrification in Valparaíso as well. On 25 October 1902 Saavedra Bénard y Compañía, an agent for the Allgemeine Elektricitäts Gesellschaft of Germany, acquired a concession to build an electric tramway in Valparaíso. AEG, Deutsche Bank and a group of German investors founded Elektrische Straßenbahn Valparaíso in Berlin on 25 September 1903, and purchased the three horsecar systems in Valparaíso. The Empresa de Tranvías Eléctricos de Valparaíso, as the German company was known in Chile, ordered 60 double-deck electric tram cars from Van der Zypen & Charlier in Köln.

AEG had just installed the electric tramway system in Santiago. It erected a power plant 20 km south of Valparaíso at Laguna Verde and laid 1435 mm gauge track along a more direct route between Barón and Aduana, via Avenida Brasil and Calle Blanco. Double track on the latter street was laid for right-hand operation, but crossed itself at Calle Bellavista in order to run left-hand on either side of a promenade on Avenida Brasil - a peculiar arrangement that prevailed into the 1920s.

Seven decorated double-deck German cars opened Valparaíso's electric tramway on Christmas Day 1904. Revenue service for the public began 26 December.

A month later, on 20 January 1905, ETEV acquired permission to build an electric tram line to Viña del Mar and ordered 10 double-truck salon cars and 10 double-truck second-class trailers from Waggonfabrik Falkenried in Hamburg. Wire and new track were installed on Av. España and a new Camino Plano (Level Road) was cut through the mountain between Sauce and Recreo. Electric trams first carried passengers between Valparaíso and Recreo on 28 January 1906. But track on this line was single, there were problems with electric power, and horse trams dominated the service for most of that year. ETEV regauged the trucks of its Eaton Gilbert cars from 1676 to 1435 mm.

In the spring of 1906 Valparaíso's German tramway company was acquired by the Deutsch-Überseeische Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft consortium of Berlin, which already controlled the electric tramway in Santiago and electric enterprises in other parts of Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. The new operator was called Compañía de Tranvías Eléctricos de Valparaíso. [In addition to the electric street railways in Santiago and Valparaíso there was a plan for a 143 km electric interurban railway between the two cities as well. A paragraph on p. 610 of the 14/4/1905 edition of the English periodical Electrical Review reports that the Chilean Senate granted permission for construction of such a line; unfortunately it does not say to whom or provide further details.]

The city of Valparaíso was struck by a massive earthquake on 16 August 1906 (three months after the catastrophe in San Francisco). About 2,500 residents were killed and both the city and its tram system endured heavy damage. The depot on Calle Independencia was spared, however, and protected hundreds of residents and most of the tramcar fleet.

Despite the calamity CTEV opened a new tram line in September to the hilltop community of Playa Ancha. Cars ran from Plaza Wheelwright along Av. Altamirano and Carvallo to Parque Playa Ancha; shuttle trams continued, via two routes, to the top of the Artillería funicular. To help the double-deck electric cars brake on steep grades several sections of the line had a special third rail between the tracks. [See El Mercurio (V), 1/10/1906, p. 6. A U.S. engineer observed that the device resembled 'the magnetic track brake in use in the United States except that it works on plates between the rails instead of on the rails themselves'; see Julian Debois, "Equipment Problems in the Sub-Tropics," Electric Traction Weekly (Chicago), 18/5/1912, p. 578.]

The Viña del Mar line began full operation on 11 November 1906 with the new salon cars, which were the first 8-wheel trams to run in Chile. The line's success inspired construction of similar suburban tramways in Santiago and Concepción. The route remained single-track beyond Barón. Cars looped (clockwise) around a terminal at Plaza de la Parroquia in Viña del Mar. A shuttle tram continued to Chorrillos.

By the end of 1907 CTEV had electrified the last of its animal-powered routes and ordered 20 more double-deck cars and five 4-wheel single-deckers from Van der Zypen & Charlier. In March 1909 two of the latter inaugurated a new isolated tram line atop Cerro Barón, which, like the Playa Ancha line, used a center rail for braking. The route began at the top of the company's new Barón funicular; the track connection with Av. España was used only for maintenance. A branch from Torpederas to the Cementerio also opened that year.

CTEV rebuilt its equipment that was damaged in the quake and now had a fleet of 137 cars: 60 Van der Zypen & Charlier double-deckers of 1904, numbered #1-60; 10 Falkenried salon cars of 1905, #61-70, and 10 Falkenried trailers, #151-160; 20 double-deck VZC cars of 1907, #161-180, later renumbered #71-90; 5 single-deck VZC cars of 1908, #200-204, later renumbered #91-95; and 32 Eaton Gilbert horsecars from the 19th century which CTEV rebuilt and renumbered #101-132 for use as trailers behind its electric cars. At least one of these ancient vehicles, #102, seems to have been motorized. The tramway carried 29 million passengers in 1909.

In 1910 the German company signed a new contract with the municipal government, agreeing to purchase more equipment and build new lines into the surrounding hills. Trams would climb to Los Placeres, Santa Elena and Las Zorras (today called Barrio O'Higgins), and via either Tomás Ramos or Yerbas Buenas Street to a new hillside route connecting the top stations of several funiculars. There were also plans for extensions in Viña del Mar.

But CTEV apparently changed its mind. It bought no new cars after that date, laid no new track and never built any of these lines. With arrival of the War it allowed its equipment to deteriorate, removed more and more trams from service, increased its fares and provoked general dissatisfaction among its riders. After a series of accidents the municipal government passed an ordinance restricting the number of passengers that could ride inside the cars and on their crumbling platforms. This action reduced the company's profits and increased the public's rage.

CTEV was ridiculed in the press, which claimed that it had broken every term of its agreement. The company finally remodeled 25 of its oldest double-deck cars, which it renumbered #201-225, painted red and placed in service in 1920. But the gesture was too late. When an inspector asked a passenger to leave an overcrowded tram during the evening rush hour of 10 March 1920, the passenger threw a rock through the car's front window. In a 4-hour brawl the city's populace set fire to 56 trams. Twenty-one were destroyed completely. At the hearing, tramway offcials complained that the police did not intervene.

The riot was decisive for German tramway enterprise in Chile and DÜEG sold its assets to the Compañía Hispano-Americana de Electricidad, which was formed in Madrid the following June. The new Spanish firm was under financial control of the SOFINA group of Belgium [see GENERAL HISTORY].

Within two years CHADE completed many of the projects that had been charged to the German company a decade before. It rebuilt the damaged cars, enclosed the tops of the double-deckers, constructed the new lines to Santa Elena and Las Zorras and double-tracked the suburban route to Viña del Mar. It began construction on new lines to Los Placeres and the hills south of downtown - but for some reason these were never completed. One of CHADE's notable contributions was a fleet of 23 large 8-wheel double-deck trams that it ordered from La Brugoise, Nicaise et Delcuve in Belgium.

The new cars, numbered #501-523, were unlike anything built before in Europe and were among the most unusual trams to run in South America. The design may have been inspired by the "Broadway battleship" tram of New York, and may, in turn, have served as model for a center-door car built in London in 1930 [see the author's article, "The missing link," in Modern Tramway (London), 5/1990, pp. 165-167].

However, on 11 April 1923, before their arrival in Chile, CTEV was sold to S. Pearson & Sons of London, associated with England's Whitehall Electric Investments Ltd. The latter company, already involved with transport and electric power in Santiago, named its new subsidiary Compañía de Electricidad de Valparaíso.

CEV placed the first Belgian cars on the Viña line on 15 December 1923. The center doors on both sides permitted passengers to board either from the curb or from center platforms between the tracks. The tram loop at Plaza de la Parroquia was eliminated and cars thereafter turned back at Hospicio or ran all the way to Chorrillos. After the EFE (State Railways) electrified its coastal line in 1924 there were four sets of parallel electric railway tracks running through Valparaíso and Viña del Mar.

Both the Valparaíso and Santiago tramways were, in turn, sold on 1 January 1929 to the U.S. holding company, Electric Bond & Share. The Americans transferred several trams between the two systems: Valparaíso acquired at least one Brill car, which kept its Santiago number, #765; and Santiago received the Falkenried salon cars that used to run to Viña del Mar. The Falkenried trailers, #151-160, were rebuilt as motor cars and remained in Valparaíso.

The inauguration of the Perdices funicular in 1932 brought the number of the city's ascensores to 28 - actually 29, counting the double railway at Artillería. They ranged in length from 51 to 177 m (Mariposa) and in steepness from 24 to 70° (Cordillera). In addition to its inclined planes the city also acquired a completely vertical railway in 1916. The Polanco Elevator is a 58 m tower similar to the Lacerda Elevator in Salvador, Brazil, and the Santa Justa Lift in Lisboa - but has three stations: the lowest is inside the hill at the end of a 150 m tunnel.

The tramway system reached its peak in the early 1930s, with 144 passenger motor cars, 42 passenger trailers and 11 pieces of work equipment running on 60 km of track. There were three tram depots, on Calle Independencia downtown, on Calle General del Canto in Playa Ancha, and at Chorrillos terminus in Viña del Mar.

CEV's new American owners enclosed the platforms of all trams and rebuilt the double-deck German cars as single-deckers. Belgian double-decker #504 was rebuilt with one floor and doors at the ends, but was later returned to its original form. In 1943 the mayor of Viña del Mar protested that the heavy Belgian cars were damaging his streets and all 23 double-deckers - including #504 again - were rebuilt as single-deckers.

The Compañía de Electricidad de Valparaíso was expropriated by the Chilean government on 15 September 1945. The new state-owned Empresa Nacional de Transportes, which also acquired the tramway system in Santiago and motorbus networks in other cities, announced a program to eliminate trams from Chile.

ENT closed the Viña line beyond Sauce in 1947 and shortened the route further to Portales in 1948. The Santa Elena and Las Zorras lines and the entire Playa Ancha division also disappeared in the late 1940s. By 1950 the Valparaíso tramway system consisted of only two short routes in the central area, between Aduana and Barón - very much as it started a century before. Service was provided by Brill car #765, a few single-deck Belgians and the delapidated Falkenried cars, which had begun their lives as trailers in 1905.

Belgian tram #505 was the last to run in Valparaíso on Tuesday night 30 December 1952. After 89 years and 9 months the city's tramway history came to an end. Thirty new Pullman trolleybuses from Massachusetts took over on the last day of that year.

Brill car #765 and Falkenried cars #152 and 153 were sold to the Ferrocarril Eléctrico Santiago Oeste in the capital, where they continued operation into the next decade. The rest of the fleet was apparently scrapped.

The Polanco Elevator was declared a national monument in December 1976 and the Villanelo Funicular in Viña del Mar - that city's first - opened in August 1984. On 17 February 1986, ending a 123-year tradition, the EFE operated its last passenger train between Valparaíso and Santiago. However, a new company, Metro Regional de Valparaíso or MERVAL, has kept trains going along part of the route.

Today, the 137-year-old railroad line is grass-covered and looks very much like a tramway reservation. The Polanco Elevator and 15 funiculars still climb the city's hills and new inclined planes serve apartment complexes in nearby Reñaca and Concón. [The Polanco Elevator and four of Valparaíso's inclined plane railways - El Peral, San Agustín, Reina Victoria and Barón - are municipally operated and owned. The Artillería, Cordillera and Concepción lines are run by the Compañía de Ascensores Mecánicos. The Villaseca, Espíritu Santo and Larraín funiculars are operated by the Compañía de Ascensores Valparaíso. The Florida, Mariposa and Las Monjas railways are owned by the Compañía Nacional de Ascensores. The Lecheros and La Cruz funiculars are independent. The Polanco Elevator and the Peral funicular have English mechanisms; the Barón funicular (constructed by CTEV) is German; the Reina Victoria and San Agustín inclined planes use equipment imported from the United States.]

10 km east of Valparaíso
pop. 1885, 4,859; 1907, 26,262; 1992, 302,765
an tw 1888-1907; 1200 mm; 6 km; 6 pt
el tw 1906-1947; 1435 mm; 6 km

Viña del Mar is often considered a suburb of Valparaíso, but is actually a separate city. It is Chile's principal vacation resort, whose population has recently surpassed that of Valparaíso itself. In addition to the railroad and tramway lines that connected it with Valparaíso, Viña del Mar also had several rail operations of its own.

According to the Sinopsis the Ferrocarril Urbano de Viña del Mar inaugurated a horsecar line in the city in 1888. Its route is uncertain, but photos show single-deck cars on Av. Álvarez in Chorrillos and on Av. España near Recreo, so it is presumed to have been the same as that of the later electric tramway. Track gauge was 1200 mm and the six horsecars carried 290,000 passengers in 1902.

When the Camino Plano was cut through the mountain in 1906 [see VALPARAÍSO chapter] trams from Valparaíso met Viña trams at Recreo. The two lines could not be joined because of difference of gauge. The new German company relaid the Viña rails to 1435 mm and beginning 11 November 1906 electric trams from Valparaíso ran all the way to Plaza de la Parroquia; there was a local service from that point to Chorrillos. After the Parroquia loop was eliminated in 1923 trams from Valparaíso ran directly to Chorrillos or changed ends at Hospicio. Despite numerous proposals Viña's street railway never ran north of the railroad tracks or crossed the river; that part of the city was not developed until the 1930s.

The last tram ran in Viña del Mar in 1947. The line from Valparaíso was cut back to the city boundary at Sauce, and later to Portales. During the 1950s two trolleybus services began operation from Valparaíso to and through Viña del Mar; one crossed the river to the north side of town.

The flat area north of the Marga-Marga River was originally called Población Vergara, and about 1907 the Compañía de Muelles de la Población Vergara built a 1676 mm gauge railway between the Santiago main line and several small industries along the north shore. CMPV followed a right-of-way originally surveyed by the Valparaíso-Santiago steam railroad in the 1850s; that railroad was ultimately built via Limache [see QUILLOTA chapter]. Decades before Viña del Mar became a fashionable spa this "street railway" ran down its avenues to factories, refineries, oil tanks and piers on the Pacific Ocean. It never carried paying passengers and was later sold to the Compañía de Refinería de Azúcar de Viña del Mar. One of its locomotives, the "Santiaguina," built by Krauss (München) in 1906, has been restored and is displayed today in a park on Av. San Martín.

116 km west of Santiago
pop. 1907, 440; 1930, 1,562; 1992, 11,698
an tw 1909-1920?; 1435 mm; 6 km; 6pt (dd)
gas tw 1920-1930s; 1435 mm; 8 km; 3 pm

Cartagena is a picturesque coastal town at the end of another railroad line from Santiago, this one running southwest via Melipilla. The area's topography made transport difficult: the railroad didn't reach Cartagena until 1921, and terminated on the side of a hill, some distance from the city center and beaches. The tramway, which in this case did not begin at the railroad station, connected the main beach, Playa Grande, with the village of Las Cruces, 6 km north. It was built by José Francisco Ríos in 1909. The 1915 Anuario indicates six horsecars on 6 km of track operated by the Ferrocarril Urbano de Cartagena. Cartagena, like Temuco, had a horse tramway before it had a steam railroad.

The double-deck horsecar in the photo seems identical to the model that Brill built in the 1880s for Talca, and may have been acquired from that city when it electrified in 1916. The 1930 Baedeker de Chile says that two gasoline-powered trams serve the line every half hour, but in summer only (December through March). As the rails ran along the beach, blowing sand was a problem and the tramway finally gave up about 1935.

110 km west of Santiago
pop. 1920, 2,994; 1930, 5,994 [sic]; 1992, 77,719
an tw 1880-?; 600 mm; 8 km
gas tw 1930s

San Antonio is an industrial town 6 km south of Cartagena, on the railroad line from Santiago that brings copper from El Teniente mine near Rancagua. The port at San Antonio is one of the most important in Chile. The city had one of Chile's earliest recorded tram lines.

Both the Sinopsis during the 1880s and the Anuario of 1917 note a 600 mm gauge horsecar line to Boca de Maipo, a district about 8 km south of the railroad station. The 1918 edition notes a 6 km steam-powered line along the docks; later editions record animal power. The 1930 Baedeker and other guidebooks of the 1930s say that San Antonio's trams are powered by gasoline and run to Lloleo, near Boca de Maipo.