Valparaíso Metro

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Valparaíso Metro
Metro Valparaiso 2014.png
Native name Metro Valparaíso
Locale Gran Valparaíso, Chile
Transit type Rapid transit/heavy rail
Number of lines 1[1]
Number of stations 20[1]
Annual ridership 19.3 million (2015)[2]
Website Metro Valparaíso
Began operation November 23, 2005 (2005-11-23)
Operator(s) Metro Valparaíso
Character Mostly at-grade, with a subway section
Headway 6–12 minutes
System length 43 km (27 mi)[1]
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
(Indian gauge)
Electrification N/A

The Valparaíso Metro (Spanish: Metro Valparaíso, also called "Merval") is the rapid transit heavy rail system serving the urban conglomeration of Gran Valparaíso, Chile. It consists of one line, 43 kilometres (27 mi) long, serving 20 stations,[1] connecting the cities of Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, Quilpué, Villa Alemana, and Limache[1] (outside the Valparaíso conurbation).

It is administered by Metro Regional de Valparaíso S.A., a subsidiary of the Chilean state-owned train company Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado. The Valparaíso Metro began with the conversion of an interurban rail line into more rapid transit-like service in 2005[3] – the renovated line was inaugurated on November 23, 2005 and began rapid transit operations the following day. The Valparaíso Metro carried 19.31 million passengers in 2015.[2]

Together with the much bigger Santiago Metro, it is one of the only two subway systems in Chile (the Valparaíso Metro has a 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) underground stretch from Miramar through Chorrillos stations in Viña del Mar), "but cannot be classified as a full metro due to the existence of various level crossings and the long distances between stations on the eastern section of the line" according to Robert Schwandl of[4] As a result of the presence of at-grade level crossings, the Valparaíso Metro is most analogous to a light rail system.

Valparaíso Metro symbol


Train entering Puerto

Valparaíso had an interurban passenger train system since the 19th century, but it could not be considered a rapid transit system due to infrequent service and other operational shortcomings. In 1999 construction began on the current system, tearing down the old interurban stations and building new ones with an homologous design. In Viña del Mar, a tunnel over 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) long was constructed. New trains arrived in Chile on February 22, 2005 and the old system was decommissioned on June 30 that year, in favor of the new Valparaíso Metro rapid transit system on the line.


Route map

Between Puerto and Recreo the line runs at street level, bordering the coast, parallel to Errázuriz and España Avenues. It descends into tunnel below Viana and Álvarez Avenues, with four underground stations. The line leaves the tunnel at the industrial area of El Salto, and continues along a winding path to the inner metropolitan area.

Fleet and operations[edit]

Valparaiso Metro has a fleet of 35 trains; 27 single-deck multiple-car X'Trapolis 100 train sets manufactured by Alstom, France operate the service, in a blue and white livery and 8 single-dech multiple-car X'Trapolis Modular train sets manufactured by Alstom, in Barcelona.

Services operate 06:30-22:30 on weekdays; 07:30-22.30 on Saturday, and 08:00-22:15 on Sunday and public holidays. Services between Puerto and Sargento Aldea are most frequent, at 6-minute frequencies, with 12-minute frequencies elsewhere, 12 minutes on weekends and public holidays.[5]

Ticketing and fares[edit]

Limache-bound unit at Portales

To access the services of Metro Valparaiso the only means of payment is the Metroval card, a smart contactless card, costing CLP$1,350 (US$ 2.05) in May 2016 and sold at all stations, It is scanned both entering and leaving stations, since fares depend on the length of the journey and the time of day. The card can be loaded in all ticket offices with cash or Redcompra. The minimum charge for general users is $ 300 and $ 1,000 to use Redcompra. All loads must be multiples of $ 100. There are five Zones and three time-of-day fares. Tickets cost from CLP$410 (US$ 0.62) in low-usage hours within Zone 1 (T1) to CLP$864 (US$ 1.31) in rush-hour travelling through five zones, for example from Valparaíso to Limache. Entering and leaving the same station results in charging the highest fare. The service "Bus + Metro" in the Limache Station to the cities of Limache Viejo, Olmué, Quillota and La Calera cost between CLP$787(US$ 1.19) and CLP$1460 (US$ 2.22)

There are concession cards for students, senior citizens, disabled or handicapped people and tourists (This card allows unlimited travel on the day of acquisition and cost CLP$2.360 or US$ 3.58), Children below one metre in height travel for free.

A customer services and informations offices are in 3 stations; Viña del Mar, Puerto and Limache.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "XIX Memoria Anual 2013" [2013 Annual Report] (pdf) (in Spanish). Metro Valparaíso S.A. p. 16. Retrieved 2014-07-26. 
  2. ^ a b "XIX Memoria Anual 2013" [2013 Annual Report] (pdf) (in Spanish). Metro Valparaíso S.A. p. 22. Retrieved 2014-07-26. 
  3. ^ "Conócenos - Historia - El Servicio Ferroviario del siglo XXI" [About Us - History - The Railway Service of the 21st century] (in Spanish). Metro Valparaíso. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  4. ^ Schwandl, Robert. "Valparaíso". Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  5. ^ "Viaje en Metro - Frecuencia" [Metro Travel - Frequency] (in Spanish). Metro Valparaíso. Retrieved 2016-07-03. 

External links[edit]