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Motor cars type Desio

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Desio 48 is posing for photographers at the entrance of the Deposito Desio. This unit is the only surviving Desio that can run at 60 km/h. October 7th 2001.

The Desio motor cars are the oldest Milano trams still in regular service, as they were built in 1926 in five units by Carminati e Toselli with CGE electric equipment for SocietÓ Trazione Elettrica Lombarda (STEL) that in that period ran most of Milano interurban tramways. Cars 44-47 had a maximum speed of 35 km/h, while the two remaining units (48 and 49) could run at 60 km/h. In origin these trams had an BCC device hosted on two small boxes on the roof to allow them to run under 600 V or 1200 V. This device was never used and was moved on other interurban motor cars, as the lines that Desio served (the Brianza and Monza lines) remained with 600 V voltage. In 1937 STEL was absorbed by ATM and the original white lovery was replaced by the classic light and dark green.

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Desio 45, set aside in the Deposito Desio. October 7th 2001.

The traditional trolley pole was replaced in 1986 with the pantograph; in the same years all the cars but 45 and 49 lost the classic ATM light and dark green livery as they were repainted in orange. After the scrapping of the tram 49 on December 11th 2000 the present situation (November 2003) of Desio cars is:

Cars 44, 45, 47, 48 in the '70s
Cars 46 and 49 in the '70s
Car 49 before scrapping
Cars 44, 46-48 today
Car 45 today


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Another image of Desio 48 in its home depot. October 7th 2001. Photo © Alessio Pedretti.

Services of cars 46, 47 and 48 are very limited, as they are used mostly as shunters in their depots (46 in Varedo, 47 and 48 in Desio): the probability to see these cars out of the depots is very little.

Desio tecnical characteristics
Year 1926
Original amount 6
Present amount 5
Classification 44-49
Length 13 560 mm
Width 2 210 mm
Mass 27 000 kg
Maximum speed Units 44-47: 35 km/h
Units 48, 49: 60 km/h
Body builder Carminati e Toselli
Bogie builder Carminati e Toselli
Axles 4
Brake Pneumatic
Electric equipment builder CGE
Engine builder Siemens
Engine amount 4
Total power 220 kW


© 2003 Ivan Furlanis
Last changes: December 2003