Always on the run… till…. yes… till… we met Juan Antonio and the national historic monuments: The trolebuses of Chile! I think we all loved them…
We had a meeting with Juan Antonio Massai, Managing Director of the company and son of the company’s founder, and went there by using a Trolebus. The Trolley’s are integrated into Valparaíso’s transport system and are operating on one route around the city.
They are operating since 1952 and there are still buses – built in 1952 (by the Pullman-Standard Company in the US) – in use. Beside those, the fleet consists of some Swiss Buses (built around 1966) and some Chinese Models (around 1985). Some of Valparaíso’s Pullman trolleybuses are even older, built in 1946–48, having been acquired secondhand from Santiago in the 1970′s. The surviving Pullman trolleybuses are the oldest trolleybuses still in normal service anywhere in the world, and they were collectively declared National Historic Monuments by the Chilean government in 2003. And as Peter figured out, the last 15 Pullman’s in Valparaíso are part of Pullman’s Companies last and finally delivered order: 30 Trolley to Calparaíso, Chile.
We visited the companie’s garage as well. One can just imagine the passion those guys must have, no spare parts available, so everything recycled (again and again) or they use replicas, build on their own.
The highlight was certainly the completely refurbished Pullmann from 1952. The owner was “proud as punch” when he showed us this bus and we had to confirm, he certainly can be proud of it.
Strong company, solid and with visions into the future, preserving Chilean monuments in a competitive market place. Chapeau!
We are heading towards the final…. stay tuned! Bye for now.