850 km south of Santiago
pop. 1920, 26,854; 1930, 34,296; 1986, 104,910
numerous tramway projects
Valdivia is the terminus of a branch of the Longitudinal Railroad and is the city with the largest German population in Chile. As the railroad station is distant from the center of town, Valdivia seemed a logical place for a tramway line.
The Sinopsis of 1904
reports a tramway "en formación" in Valdivia. The 1909 edition
lists the Ferrocarril Urbano de Valdivia in its chart - but all data
columns are blank, and Valdivia is not mentioned again in succeding
editions. A notice on p. 149 of the 19 August 1922 edition of the
South American Journal, published in London, says that
"permission was requested in November, 1921, to install an electric
tramway in Valdivia"; but no further discussion of the project could
be found. It seems that despite its plans, needs and large European
population, Valdivia never had a tramway of any kind.
1050 km south of Santiago; capital of 10th Region
pop. 1907, 5,400; 1930, 16,150; 1986, 85,058
an tw 1927-1931; 3.2 km; 4 pt, 4 ft
Puerto Montt is the terminus of both the Pan American Highway and of Chile's wide-gauge Longitudinal Railroad, that begins 1,275 km north in Valparaíso. The only other railroad farther south in the 10th Region was a 600 mm gauge line between Ancud and Castro on Chiloé Island. Puerto Montt has a large German population and Alpine architecture, and is the kickoff point for tourism in Patagonia and the lake districts of southern Chile and Argentina. It seems to have had the continent's southernmost animal-powered streetcar line.
The Anuario reports a 3.2 km animal-powered tramway in Llanquihue province in 1927, and a similar 3 km line in Chiloé province in 1928, 1929 and 1930. [The Anuario does not name tramway cities after 1921 nor report any tram data after 1930: see BIBLIOGRAPHY.] Both lines are believed to be the same tramway in Puerto Montt, which was the capital of Llanquihue province until 1927, and became the capital of an enlarged Chiloé province in 1928.
A series of inquiries to Puerto Montt's mayor finally elicited a reply from a local journalist who offered to supply the author with information about the city's tramway history for 80,000 Chilean pesos, or about U.S. $230. The author declined.
The Puerto Montt tramway no
doubt ran from the railroad station to the plaza and down the main
street. The steam railroad reached Puerto Montt in 1913, so the
tramway most likely opened after the First War and used equipment
acquired second-hand from Santiago or Concepción. According to
the Anuario its four cars carried 302,296 passengers in 1927,
386,668 in 1928, 377,320 in 1929, and 379,573 in 1930. The line
probably closed in 1931, after only four years of operation, for it
is not mentioned in Chilean guidebooks of the era or in the1933
edition of the WSFR, which (in this case) reports data for
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