PreMetro E2 (Buenos Aires)
Car 13 at Intendente Saguier station, the interchange with the Metro
General Savio and Centro Cívico
|Opening||28 April 1987|
|Line length||7.4 km (4.6 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)
|Electrification||Catenary, 750 V DC|
The Premetro (officially Line E2) is a 7.4-kilometer long (4.6 mi) tram line that runs in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, connecting with the Buenos Aires Underground line E, at Plaza de los Virreyes station and runs to General Savio, with a short branch to Centro Cívico. It opened in 1987 and is operated by Metrovías.
The line opened in stages. The first section was opened for service on 28 April 1987; this was the 2-km section between the metro station (Plaza de los Virreyes) and Ana Maria Janer, near the line's carhouse. Service was extended to Villa Soldati in June and to General Savio on 25 August. A formal inauguration ceremony was held two days later.
The cost of constructing the line was USD 5.4 million, and an additional USD 4.6 million was allocated to the acquisition of a fleet of 25 trams. A contract for the latter was awarded around the end of 1985 to a consortium led by the Argentine company Materfer (Fábrica de Material Ferroviario), of Córdoba, some of which were for a planned second line that was to be built later.
Delivery of the Materfer cars was originally due to begin in mid-1987, but it soon became apparent that they would not be ready until mid-1988 or later, which would be well after construction of the line was completed. In order to avoid a long delay in opening of the line, officials decided to create a temporary fleet by converting some 1913 metro cars into trams. They were double-truck (four-axle), non-articulated, double-ended (bidirectional) trams. A total of eight such cars were built, using new metal bodies manufactured in Buenos Aires by EMEPA S.A., mounted on the original 1913 Belgian-built La Brugeoise underframes. They were painted in a livery of all-over green. The first three of these inaugurated service on the first section of line E2 in April 1987.
The Materfer trams began to arrive in mid-1988, with six delivered by the end of the year. Their electrical equipment was supplied by Siemens. Like the temporary cars rebuilt from metro cars, the Materfer/Siemens trams are double-truck, double-ended cars. They have seating for 24 passengers and room for around 115 standees. They have three doors on each side. The low-platform stops along the line are long enough to accommodate only one car at a time, and multiple-unit operation is not planned, so the tramcars are not equipped with couplers. The first cars entered service on 14 October 1988. In 1989, both types of car were still in service, but eventually the Materfer cars displaced all of the rebodied metro cars. By April 1991, 20 of the 25 cars had been delivered (fleet numbers PM 1–20), and the last five were reported as being completed but still at the factory in Córdoba. However, the scheduled service needed only six cars. As of 2001, normal peak service still required only six to eight cars.Metrovías became the line's operator on 1 July 1993, under a franchise agreement.
In 2015 SBASE, along with the City of Buenos Aires, began making plans to refurbish and rebuild many of the stations, including a brand new central terminal at Plaza de los Virreyes, as part of a plan to modernise the network which also intends to increase the amount of rolling stock in circulation.
Description and service
Line E2 passes through many poorer areas, but travel on the line is generally safe. As of 2001, service was being provided from 7:00 to 22:00, matching the hours of the line E underground service, on a headway varying between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the time of day. Most of the line is double-track, but the short branch to Centro Cívico is single-track. The line includes sections of private right-of-way, sections of reserved track (in the median of streets, but separated from other traffic) and street-running in mixed traffic. The carhouse (maintenance facility) for the line is located along Avenida Mariano Acosta, adjacent to the Somellera stop.
Brand new Materfer tram (1988)
- Trams in Buenos Aires
- Tren de la Costa - Another light rail line in Buenos Aires
- Tranvía del Este - Former modern tram line in Puerto Madero area (closed in 2012)
- Buenos Aires Metro
- La Brugeoise cars (Buenos Aires Metro)
- "Nuestra compañía - ¿Qué hacemos?" [Our Company - What We Do] (in Spanish). Metrovias. Retrieved 2015-01-18.
- Cross, Barry (April 2001). "Buenos Aires: Brand new pre-Metro line". Tramways & Urban Transit, pp. 136–137. UK: Light Rail Transit Association/Ian Allan Publishing.
- Modern Tramway, March 1986, p. 97. UK: Ian Allan Ltd.
- Van Hattum, C. (August 1989). "Developments in Buenos Aires". Modern Tramway, pp. 271–273. UK: Ian Allan Ltd.
- Modern Tramway, August 1991, p. 280. UK: Ian Allan Ltd.
- Light Rail and Modern Tramway, August 1993, p. 219. UK: Ian Allan Ltd.
- Realizan contratación directa para renovar la terminal del Premetro - EnElSubte, March 2015
- El plan de SBASE para el Premetro - EnElSubte, September 2014
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Buenos Aires PreMetro.|
- Metrovías – official website (Spanish)