Central Station >> Milano >> The urban tramways

The urban tramways

ATM_4942_piazzaVIFebbraio_260300.jpg (76308 byte)

Before the introduction of the Eurotram type, this was the most modern series in ATM roster. Car 4942 pausing in piazza VI Febbraio, northern terminus of route 27 to viale Ungheria on March 26th 2000.

Index

A brief history

The history of the tramways in Milano started in 1876 when the horse interurban tramway Milano – Monza was opened by the undertaking Societŗ Anonima Omnibus (SAO) that also operated the urban omnibus system. Soon the horse trams started to run into the city, too; this happened on May 5th 1881 when two lines were opened in occasion of a great exhibition. The routes were: Duomo – Stazione Centrale (at that time in piazza della Repubblica), and Duomo – Porta Venezia, where the exhibition's pavilions stood. Soon the horse lines reached all the main gates of the city with all the central termini set in piazza Duomo.

On 1st November 1893 Edison started an electric service on a new line between piazza Duomo and corso Sempione (at the crossing with via Losanna). The electric trams were clearly faster and cleaner than the horse vehicles, so it was decided to electrified all the lines, a process that took place in the 1896-99 years. Since 1895, tracks and depots had been owned by the Ufficio Tramviario Municipale (UTM), while overhead, substations and rolling stock had been owned by the Edison, while the SAO ceased to exist. Since January 1st 1917 the urban tramways had passed under full municipal control.

In 1921 there were 37 routes in service: most of these routes were radial with the central terminal set in piazza Duomo or other close points, a characteristic inherited by the horse system, helping connections between different routes but creating a heavy traffic of tram in the square and in the adiacent streets slowing down both private and public vehicles. To resolve this problem, it was decided to shut down the central terminus in piazza Duomo (called "Carosello" i.e. merry-go-round) and to couple all the radial routes two by two, creating diametral routes running on three V-shaped lines parallelly to the square. The last day of service of Carosello was the November 28th 1926, while the day after the new track and route layout was already in full service.

In the '30s, when the service was take over by the new undertaking Azienda Tranviaria Municipale (ATM) the network had new exstension reaching its maximum in 1940 with 310 km of routes. After II world war, a number of routes were replaced by bus service, judged more flexible to run in the increasing private traffic. These substitutions interested only secondary routes but in late '50s works for the first metro line were started, so other services needed to be diverted or withdrawn. These diversions and the lower prices of private cars led to the decrease of the passengers carried by ATM. In 1960 there were 277 km of routes, in 1970 there were 184 km. These cuts were operated mostly to avoid parallel routes with the metro lines, but other routes were replaced by buses only because of road works or some other pretext.

In the '80s the system remained almost intact, only some secondary section was abandoned.

In 1990 was opened the first section of metro line M3. This event and various road works that interrupted some street interested by tram tracks was the pretext to suggest the closing of a lots of lines.

Finally, only the line from Crocetta M3 to via Gamboloita (route 13) was definitively closed (May 10th 1993), but runs were reduced on some route, leading to another deterioration of the service. In that day the network reached its minimum, but soon the destiny of the tramways changed direction, thanks to the new management in ATM.

In February 1994 there was the celebration of the centennial of the electric trams: ATM made know the intention to upgrade and extend the tramway system. Soon new section, all with light rail characteristics, were built. On December 21st 1996 the line in via Giambellino, run by route 14, was extended from piazzale Tirana to the new terminus in Lorenteggio. In the same years the first low floor Eurotram took service on route 14. On June 12th 1999 two new lines were opened to the route 12 from corso XXII Marzo to viale Molise and from via Console Marcello to viale Espinasse (then route 12 continues to Roserio on existing tracks). The next year, on December 15th, route 24 was extended southwards from the loop of via Noto to Vigentino. The last opening was the new light rail viale Testi – largo Mattei (Metrotramvia Bicocca), inaugurated on December 7th 2002. This line, served by route 7, runs into the first Milano tramway tunnel and has the first italian underground tramway stop.

7014-emanueli.JPG (100021 byte)

Eurotram 7014 running in via Emanueli on the new light rail 7 on its first day of service. Photo © Alessio Pedretti.

The network today

The system at a glance
Company Azienda Trasporti Municipali (ATM)
System Tramway network
Service Urban and suburban
Gauge 1445 mm
Ordinary routes 18
Lenght (routes) 176.7 km (2001)
Voltage 600 V
Depots Deposito Baggio
Deposito Leoncavallo
Deposito Messina
Deposito Ticinese
Workshop Officine Generali Teodosio
Opening of the first horse line May 5th 1881: Duomo – piazza della Repubblica (old Centrale FS), Duomo – Porta Venezia
Opening of the first electric line 1st November 1893: piazza Duomo – corso Sempione
Maximum extension 310 km (1940)
Last significant abandonment May 10th 1993: Crocetta M3 – via Gamboloita (route 13)
Last significant extension December 7th 2002: viale Testi – largo Mattei (route 7)
Cars in regular service 403 (2001)

The urban tramway network is constituted by 18 ordinary urban routes: eight diametral (1, 2, 3, 4, 12, 14, 24, 27), five radial (5, 7, 15, 19, 23), two transversal (11, 33), a two-way loop (counterclockwise 29, clockwise 30), and a half loop (9). Route 15 is suburban, connecting Milano with Rozzano. There are three short working services (4/, 11/ and 27/) running during rush hours as well a sporadic diametral route number 23 that extend the service of the "black" route 23. Other short working services run between depots and termini and vice versa when cars take or take off service: cars running on depot-bound services display on the route blinds (called in Milano "velette") number and destination in red (for example: "29Baracca"). Red numbers are sometimes used when services are diverted on provisorily routes, too. Eurotram, Sirio and most of the eight-axle trams have electronic route blinds and cannot display red numbers. A touristic loop route numbered 20 runs everyday operated by the two green Ventotto 1723 and 1843, special fares applied.

ATM_4843_4811_depositoMessina_081000.jpg (108044 byte) Cars 4843 and 4811 resting in Deposito Messina with red route blinds: 4843 has the indication "12Dep. Messina", while 4811 has "3 – Cimitero Monumentale". October 8th 2000.
1723-castello-2.JPG (163634 byte) Ventotto 1723 at the terminus of the touristic route 20 in piazza Castello on July 7th 2002. Behind it, the heritage 5137 car running a special fan trip. Photo © Alessio Pedretti.

Milano urban tramway routes in January 2003
Number Route Cars Notes
1 Via Martiri Oscuri (Greco) > via Apulia ] – via Venini – piazza Caiazzo – via Settembrini – via Lazzaretto – viale Vittorio Veneto – piazza della Repubblica – via Turati – via Manzoni – piazza della Scala – via Grossi – piazza Cordusio – via Broletto – via Cusani – largo Cairoli – foro Bonaparte – piazza Cadorna – via Boccaccio – via Monti – via Pagano – corso Sempione – piazza Firenze – via Bartolini – piazza Prealpi – via Mac Mahon – piazza Castelli Ventotto
2 Viale Testi × via Bignami – viale Testi – viale Zara – viale Marche – viale Lunigiana – via Seveso – piazza IV Novembre (Centrale FS) – via Filzi – via Galilei – viale Monte Santo – piazza della Repubblica – via Turati – via Manzoni – piazza della Scala – via Grossi – piazza Cordusio – via Orefici – via Torino (Duomo) – via Correnti – corso Genova – corso Colombo – Porta Genova FS – via Valenza – ripa Ticinese – via Ludovico il Moro – piazza Negrelli Ventotto
3 Piazza Bausan – via Imbriani – via Lancetti – via Stelvio – via Farini – piazza Baiamonti – viale Montello – via Legnano – via Tivoli – via Mercato – via Vetero – via Broletto – piazza Cordusio – via Orefici – via Torino (Duomo) – corso di Porta Ticinese – piazza XXIV Maggio – corso San Gottardo – via Meda – via Montegani – piazza Abbiategrasso – via dei Missaglia – via dei Missaglia × via Baroni (Gratosoglio) 4800, 4900
4 Ospedale Maggiore – viale Ca' Granda – viale Testi – viale Zara – piazzale Lagosta – via Lambertenghi – via Bassi – via Farini – piazza Baiamonti – viale Montello – via Legnano – via Tivoli – via Mercato – via Vetero – via Broletto – piazza Cordusio – via Orefici – via Mazzini (Duomo) – corso di Porta Romana – via Lamarmora – via Bergamo – via Comelico – [ via Friuli > via Maj ] – viale Umbria – via Tito Livio – piazzale Cuoco – via del Turchino – via Monte Velino Ventotto
4/ Ospedale Maggiore – viale Ca' Granda – viale Testi – viale Zara – piazzale Lagosta Ventotto Only rush hours
5 Piazza IV Novembre (Centrale FS)– piazza Duca d'Aosta – via Vitruvio – via Settembrini – via Lazzaretto – viale Tunisia – viale Regina Giovanna – via Scipioni – piazza Ascoli – via Tiepolo – via Beato Angelico – via Amadeo – [ via Milesi (Ortica) > via Tajani ] Ventotto
7 Piazzale Lagosta – viale Zara – viale Testi – [ viale Pulci > ] [ < via Rodi ] – via Emanueli – piazza Egeo (Greco Pirelli FS) – Tunnel – via Gilardi – largo Mattei 4800, 4900, Eurotram, Sirio
9 Piazza IV Novembre (Centrale FS) – via Filzi – via Galilei – viale Monte Santo – piazza della Repubblica – viale Vittorio Veneto – piazza Oberdan – viale Piave – viale Premuda – piazza Cinque Giornate – viale Monte Nero – piazza Medaglie d'Oro – viale Sabotino – viale Bligny – viale Col di Lana – piazza XXIV Maggio – viale Gorizia – [ corso Colombo > Porta Genova FS > via Vigevano ] Ventotto
11 Viale Testi × via Bignami – viale Testi – viale Zara – piazzale Lagosta – via Lambertenghi – via Bassi – via Farini – via Ferrari – viale Sturzio (Garibaldi FS) – via Rosales – via Monte Grappa – viale Monte Santo – piazza della Repubblica – viale Vittorio Veneto – via Lazzaretto – viale Tunisia – viale Regina Giovanna – via Scipioni – piazza Ascoli – via Pascoli – piazza Leonardo da Vinci – via Bonardi – via Bassini – viale Rimembranze di Lambrate (Lambrate) Ventotto
11/ Vale Testi × via Bignami – viale Testi – viale Zara – piazzale Lagosta Ventotto Only rush hours
12 Via Grassi (Roserio) – largo Boccioni – via Mambretti – via Palizzi – piazzale Santorre di Santarosa – via Monte Altissimo – via Console Marcello – piazza Castelli – via Mac Mahon – via Cenisio – via Nono – via Bramante – via Legnano – via Tivoli – via Mercato – via Vetero – via Broletto – piazza Cordusio – via Orefici (Duomo) – via Mazzini – via Albricci – via Larga – Verziere – largo Augusto – corso di Porta Vittoria – piazza Cinque Giornate – corso XXII Marzo – viale Umbria – via Arconati – piazzale Martini – [ via Calvairate > viale Molise > via Caposile ]

Wednesday morning: the route is diverted from corso XXII Marzo to viale Corsica

4800, 4900
14 Piazza del Cimitero Maggiore – viale Certosa – piazzale Accursio – viale Certosa – piazza Firenze – via Cenisio – via Nono – via Bramante – via Legnano – via Tivoli – via Mercato – via Vetero – via Broletto – piazza Cordusio – via Orefici – via Torino (Duomo) – via Correnti – corso Genova – viale Coni Zugna – via Solari – piazza Napoli – via Giambellino – piazzale Tirana – via Gonin – via Lorenteggio 4800, 4900
15 Milano [ via Cappellari > Via Dogana (Duomo) > via Marconi > piazza Diaz > via Giardino ] – via Mazzini – corso Italia – viale Col di Lana – piazzale XXIV Maggio – corso San Gottardo – via Meda – via Montegani – piazza Abbiategrasso – via dei Missaglia – 4900, Eurotram, Sirio
Rozzano – via Curiel – via Mazzocchi – via Romagna (Rozzano)
19 Via Grassi (Roserio) – largo Boccioni – via Mambretti – via Palizzi – piazzale Santorre di Santarosa – viale Espinasse – piazzale Accursio – viale Certosa – piazza Firenze – corso Sempione – via Domodossola – piazza VI Febbraio (Fiera) – via Monti – corso Magenta – via Meravigli – piazza Cordusio – via Orefici – [ via Hugo > via Spadari > via Cantý (Duomo)] Ventotto
20 piazza Castello – via Sella – foro Bonaparte – via Cusani – via Broletto – piazza Cordusio – via Orefici – via Torino (Duomo) – corso di Porta Ticinese – piazza XXIV Maggio – viale Gorizia – viale Coni Zugna – piazzale Aquileia – via San Michele del Carso – piazzale Baracca – corso Magenta – via Meravigli – piazza Cordusio – via Orefici – via Mazzini (Duomo) – via Albricci – via Larga – Verziere – largo Augusto – corso di Porta Vittoria – piazza Cinque Giornate – viale Premuda – viale Piave – viale Vittorio Veneto – via Lazzaretto – via Settembrini – via Vitruvio – piazza Duca d'Aosta – via Filzi – piazza IV Novembre (Centrale FS) – via Filzi – via Galilei – viale Monte Santo – piazza della Repubblica – via Turati – via Manzoni – piazza della Scala – via Grossi – piazza Cordusio – via Broletto – via Tivoli – foro Bonaparte – largo Cairoli – foro Bonaparte – via Ricasoli – piazza Castello Ventotto 1723 or1847 Touristic service
23 Piazza Bottini (Lambrate FS) – via Viotti – via Bassini – via Bonardi – piazza Leonardo da Vinci – via Pascoli – piazza Ascoli – via Scipioni – via Bixio – viale Piave – viale Premuda – piazza Cinque Giornate – corso di Porta Vittoria – largo Augusto – Verziere – piazza Fontana Ventotto
23 Piazza Bottini (Lambrate FS) – via Viotti – via Bassini – via Bonardi – piazza Leonardo da Vinci – via Pascoli – piazza Ascoli – via Scipioni – via Bixio – viale Piave – viale Premuda – piazza Cinque Giornate – corso di Porta Vittoria – largo Augusto – Verziere – via Larga – via Albricci – corso di Porta Romana – via Lamarmora – via Bergamo – via Comelico – [ via Friuli > via Maj ] – viale Umbria – via Livio – piazzale Cuoco – via del Turchino – via Monte Velino Ventotto Sporadic morning monday-friday runs
24 Piazza Axum – via Rospigliosi – via Stratico – piazzale Segesta – via Albertelli – via Dolci – piazzale Brescia – via Faruffini – piazza De Angeli – via Sanzio – via Ravizza – via Cuneo – corso Vercelli – piazzale Baracca – corso Magenta – via Meravigli – piazza Cordusio – via Orefici – via Mazzini (Duomo) – corso di Porta Romana – corso di Porta Vigentina – via Ripamonti – via Ripamonti × via Selvanesco 4900
27 Piazza VI Febbraio (Fiera) – via Monti – via Boccaccio – piazzale Cadorna – foro Bonaparte – largo Cairoli – via Cusani – via Broletto – piazza Cordusio – via Orefici – via Mazzini (Duomo) – via Albricci – via Larga – Verziere – largo Augusto – corso di Porta Vittoria – piazza Cinque Giornate – corso XXII Marzo – viale Corsica – via Repetti – via Marco Bruto – piazza Ovidio – via Mecenate – viale Ungheria 4900
27/ Piazza Fontana – Verziere – largo Augusto – corso di Porta Vittoria – piazza Cinque Giornate – corso XXII Marzo – viale Corsica – via Repetti – via Marco Bruto – piazza Ovidio – via Mecenate – viale Ungheria 4900 Only rush hours
29
CIRCONVALLAZIONE
Piazza della Repubblica > viale Monte Santo > viale Monte Grappa > via Rosales > viale Sturzo (Garibaldi FS) > via Ferrari > piazzale Cimitero Monumentale > via Procaccini > corso Sempione > via Pagano > largo V Alpini > via Ariosto > piazzale Baracca > via San Michele del Carso > piazzale Aquileia > viale Coni Zugna > corso Colombo > Porta Genova FS > via Vigevano > viale Gorizia > piazza XXIV Maggio > viale Col di Lana > viale Bligny > viale Sabotino > viale Monte Nero > viale Premuda > viale Piave > viale Vittorio Veneto > piazza della Repubblica 4600, 4700
30
CIRCONVALLAZIONE
Piazza della Repubblica > piazzale Aquileia > piazza della Repubblica, in opposite direction of route 29 4600, 4700
33 piazzale Cacciatori delle Alpi – viale Espinasse – piazzale Accursio – viale Certosa – piazza Firenze – corso Sempione – via Procaccini – piazzale Cimitero Monumentale – via Ferrari – viale Sturzio (Garibaldi FS) – via Rosales – via Monte Grappa – viale Monte Santo – via Galilei – via Filzi – piazza Duca d'Aosta (Centrale FS) – via Vitruvio – via Morgagni – piazza Bacone – viale Abruzzi – via Pecchio – via Lulli – via Porpora – via Merzario – piazza Bottini (Lambrate FS) – via Viotti – viale Rimembranze di Lambrate (Lambrate) Ventotto

Keys and notes

  • piazza della Repubblica: the terminus is located in piazza della Repubblica.
  • via Ripamonti × via Selvanesco: the terminus is located in via Ripamonti at the crossing with via Selvanesco.
  • piazza Bottini (Lambrate FS): the terminus, or the generic stop, is located in piazza Bottini, but it is usually called "Lambrate FS"
  • [ A > B > C ] – D – [ E > ] [ < F ] – G – [ H > I ] – J: the route is from B to J: BCDEGHIJ, from J to B: JGFDAB.
  • Attention: piazza Castello and piazza Castelli are two different squares!
  • Since December 8th the system has changed: see News October 2003.

The depots Baggio, Leoncavallo and the Officine Generali Teodosio are linked with the tramway network with two long service lines.

The future

Today two lines are in building. The first isn't a totally new line, as it recovers the right-of-way of the urban section of the interurban tramway Milano – Desio; it branches off route 3 at the crossing of via Farini with viale Stelvio and ends in Parco Nord passing by via Valassina, piazza Nizza, via Benefattori dell'Ospedale, via Graziano Imperatore, via Donatelli and via Ornato ending at the boundary between Milano and Bresso communes where today there is the provisorily terminus of the Desio interurban. This light rail is know as Metrotramvia Nord.

Via Valassina verso periferia 21-06-02.JPG (138182 byte)

The tracks of Metrotramvia Nord in via Valassina looking north on June 21st 2002. Photo © Alessio Pedretti.

The second line start from the junction in piazzale di Porta Lodovica and ends in piazzale Abbiategrasso, passing by via Teulliť, via Giambologna, piazza Bibbiena, viale Tibaldi, via Pezzotti, via Volvinio, piazza Agrippa and via Medeghino. In via Teulliť there has already been a track leading to Deposito Ticinese, while in via Tibaldi the light rail will share the right-of-way with the trolleybus loop routes. The section from piazzale di Porta Lodovica to piazza Bibbiena was already served by trams, as route 2 used to run here until November 11th 1957 when the service was withdrawn. All this new line together with the light rail piazzale Abbiategrasso – Rozzano constitutes the Metrotramvia Sud.

vialeTibaldi_130402.jpg (77340 byte) The right-of-way of Metrotramvia Sud in common with the trolleybus loop routes. During these works the trolleybus were diverted on the side roadways: counterclockwise route 91 used provisorily wires, like Socimi 120 does in the photo, while route 90 was served by series 300 trolleybuses, the only series that can run long distance off wires, and diesel buses. April 13th 2002.

Both lines opened on December 8th 2003. See Milano Metrotramvia Nord opening and Milano Metrotramvia Sud opening.

Next extension will be the completition of Metrotramvia Bicocca (route 7) from largo Mattei to the new tram depot that is under construction in the area of Deposito Precotto of metro M1. This line will be completed in 2004-05. Another project is Metrotramvia Cinisello, a new interurban light rail from viale Testi (terminus of routes 2 and 11, route 11 only from December 8th) to Cinisello, following the right-of-way of an old interurban tramway closed in the '60s.

Summer 2003 diversions

Rolling stock

The trams in Milano are very varied: rolling stock dates from late '20s to the present days. The backbone is formed by 180 four-axle cars, the famous Ventotto built in late '20s: because their limited capacity, they are confined on secondary routes. From the second half of the '50s the 33 six-axle cars come providing service on the important loop routes around city centre; they are divided in two series (4600 and 4700) but the difference is only in the electric equipment. In the '70s the need for high capacity cars brought to the creation of the Jumbo trams, obtained by the transformation of four-axle vehicles; other totally new Jumbo trams arrived in the following years; now these two series of eight-axle (4800 and 4900) serves all the most important routes. In the last years, the low floor concept was adopted by the city: ATM ordered 26 Eurotram and 58 Sirio units bringing easy access to the customers. In 2004 other Sirio, this time the short version with six-axle, will arrive in ATM roster.

Click on the type to go to its page.

Milano urban trams in January 2003
  Type or series Classification Axles Present (original) amount Year Mechanic Electric equipment Routes Notes
Motor cars Ventotto 1501-2002 4 ~ 180 (502) 1927-30 Various CGE 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, 19, 20, 23, 33
4600 4601-4613 6 13 1955 Stanga TIBB 29, 30
4700 4714-4733 6 20 1956-60 Stanga, Breda TIBB 29, 30
4800 4801-4844 8 38 (44) 1971-77 See note CGE 3, 7, 12, 14 1
4900 4900-4999 8 100 1976-78 FIAT, Stanga CGE, Ansaldo 3, 7, 12, 14, 15, 24, 27
Eurotram 7001-7026 8 26 1999-03 ADtranz ADtranz 7, 14, 15
Sirio lunghi 7101-7158 8 58, in delivering 2002-... AnsaldoBreda AnsaldoBreda 7, 14, 15
Sirio corti 7201-72xx 6 ?, in delivering in these days? 2003-... AnsaldoBreda AnsaldoBreda
600II 609II 2 1 1984 ATM CGE Heritage 2
700 700II-720II 2 16 (21) 1947-48 Caproni CGE Service 3
4500II 4500II 6 1 1984 Off. Cittadella CGE Heritage 4
5100 5101-5137 4 2 (37) 1947-51 Ansaldo CGE Heritage 5
Service cars series 3100 2 and 4 ? Various Various Service
Notes
  1. Car 4801 built coupling cars 5335, 5336, 5451. Cars 4802-4844 built coupling cars from series 5100, 5200 and 5300 with center bodies built by Officine di Cittadella. Cars 4805, 4807, 4824, 4829, 4832, 4844 were demolished in February 2002.
  2. Built using series 700II truck.
  3. Built using series 600 trucks.
  4. Built coupling cars 1538 and 1888.
  5. Built using series 5000 chassis and bogies. Only cars 5131 and 5137 remain.

Other Milano trams are preserved in various locations:

Probably there are other urban preserved cars. If you have some other entry, you can email me.

 

© 2003 Ivan Furlanis
Last changes: December 2003