Central Station >> Parma


1953-2003: 50 Years of trolleybus in Parma

TEP_040_stazioneFS_191001.jpg (55442 byte)

The Menarini 040 has just leaved the platform at Stazione FS terminus of route 1 and now is turning slowly on the reversing loop. October 19th 2001.



The history of Parma trolleybuses started on October 25th 1953 when two trolleybus routes were inaugurated, soon followed by a third route. These routes that replaced three tramlines were:

with a full lenght of 13.130 km of routes and 11.750 km of lines.

The trolleybus company, named Azienda Municipalizzata Elettricitą Trasporti Acqua e Gas (AMETAG), bought in years 1953-56 16 FIAT 2401 FM with body built by Cansa and electric equipment by TIBB. These cars were numbered in the series 001-016. Two FIAT 2411 with Menarini body were put in service in 1959-60 and numbered 017 and 018, followed in 1964 by other two units but with a different body desing.

014prsp-.jpg (56900 byte) One of the two old Parma preserved trolleybuses: car 014 in La Spezia. Photo © Stefano Paolini, from the page I Filobus.

In the '60s the trolleybus company changed its name in Azienda Municipalizzata Pubblici Servizi (AMPS). In 1968 route 1 was extended from Cimitero della Villetta to Orti Baganza and route 2 from ponte Dattaro to largo 8 Marzo. But in 1972 AMPS was decided to dieselized route 2 to extend further without building extra overhead; the old wires of route 2 remained in place until 1986, used for driving school runs. In that period lots of trolleybus systems were closed and replaced by diesel buses and it seemed Parma would followed that tendency, too. Luckily, route 2 was the only closing in the history of the system; on the contrary, it was decided to modernize the network. In 1978 the substation was renewed. In 1981 10 new Menarini F 201 LU with TIBB electric equipment were put in service (series 021-030), followed five years later by other 10 Menarini/TIBB, these with F 201/2 LU chassis. In meanwhile, AMPS was absorbed by TEP-APT (1) (TEP – Azienda Provinciale Trasporti), the company that operated the interurban bus system. The new undertaking was renamed TEP-ACT (TEP – Azienda Consorziale Trasporti), but it is know smply as TEP, too.

26-dep xxv aprile.JPG (127629 byte) The trolleybus Menarini F 201 LU: car 026 in Deposito XXV Aprile. Photo © Alessio Pedretti.
36-dep xxv aprile.JPG (146535 byte) The trolleybus Menarini F 201/2 LU: car 036 in Deposito XXV Aprile. Photo © Alessio Pedretti.

In 1987 route 1 was extended from Orzi di Braganza to strada Farnese and a second substation was added to the system. In 1989 bus route 4 (via Mordacci-via Parigi) was transformed in a trolleybus route, as most of its alignment was in common with route 3. The new route was inaugurated on December 14th. Finally, also bus route 5 (via Chiavari – via Orazio) was electrified in 1997 and three new substation were built. To reinforce the rolling stock, TEP bought in 1997-99 14 low floor Busotti trolleybuses, built by Autodromo on MAN chassis with ADtranz electric equipment.

48+46-dep xxv aprile.JPG (71509 byte) The trolleybus Autodromo Busotto: cars 046 and 048 in Deposito XXV Aprile. Photo © Alessio Pedretti.

Parma trolleybus routes, past and present
Number Termini
1953-1968 1968-1972 1972-1987 1987-1989 1989-1997 1997-2002
1 Stazione FS – Cimitero della Villetta Stazione FS – Orti Baganza Stazione FS – strada Farnese
2 San Leonardo – ponte Dattaro San Leonardo – largo VIII Marzo
3 Crocetta – San Lazzaro
4 via Mordacci – via Parigi
5 via Chiavari – via Orazio

The network

The system at a glance
Company TEP – Azienda Consorziale Trasporti SpA (TEP-ACT)
System Trolleybus network
Service Urban
Ordinary routes 4
Lenght (lines) 18.6 km
Lenght (routes) 27 km
Voltage 600 V
Depots Deposito XXV Aprile (to be closed)
Deposito I Maggio (not yet used)
Opening of the first line October 25th 1953: Stazione FS – Cimitero della Villetta (route 1), San Leonardo – ponte Dattaro (route 2)
Maximum extension Now
Last significant abandonment 1972: San Leonardo – largo 8 Marzo (route 2)
Last significant extension 1997: via Chiavari – via Orazio (route 5)
Cars in regular service 34

The four routes are all diametral services passing all in piazza Mazzini, the busiest point of the network.

Parma trolleybus routes since 1997
Number Route Notes
1 Stazione FS – via Garibaldi – strada Mazzini – barriera Bixio – via Baganza – strada Farnese
3 Crocetta – via Emilia Ovest – piazzale Santa Croce – strada d'Azeglio – strada Mazzini – piazza Garibaldi – strada della Repubblica – via Emilia Est – San Lazzaro
4 via Mordacci – via Emilia Ovest – piazzale Santa Croce – strada d'Azeglio – strada Mazzini – piazza Garibaldi – strada della Repubblica – via Emilia Est – via Parigi
5 via Chiavari – piazzale Santa Croce – strada d'Azeglio – strada Mazzini – piazza Garibaldi – strada della Repubblica – via Gibuti – via Orazio

The depot, called XXV Aprile, is located on the midway of route 1. TEP recently built a new depot called I Maggio and it is used at present only by diesel buses: the overhead reaches it but it ends at the gates. It is expected the old depot will be closed in the next future and the trolleybuses will be hosted in the new one.

dep xxv aprile-parata deposito.JPG (57160 byte) Deposito XXV Aprile, with a parade of all the types of Parma trolleybuses, broken by a single Effeuno diesel bus (the second car from right). Photo © Alessio Pedretti.

Rolling stock

Parma trolleybuses, past and present
Type or series Classification Amount Year Axles Chassis Body Electric equipment Notes
1st 001-016 16 1953-56 2 FIAT
2401 FM
Cansa TIBB 1
2nd 017, 018 2 1959-60 2 FIAT
Menarini TIBB 1
3rd 019, 020 2 1964 2 FIAT
Menarini TIBB
020 021-030 10 1981 2 Menarini
F 201 LU
030 031-040 10 1986 2 Menarini
F 201/2 LU
Busotto 041-054 14 1997-99 2 Man
NL 202 F
CAM Busotto
  1. Cars 014 and 017 preserved at Museo Nazionale dei Trasporti (La Spezia).
    In grey: retired trolleybus series.

In origin all trolleybuses of series 001-020 were painted in light and dark green, then in late '60s FIAT 2401 were painted in yellow and some of FIAT 2411 in orange. Trolleybuses of series 020 and 030 are painted in orange with a black strip for the series 020, white for 030, while Busotti in white with orange front end and a yellow/blue pattern on the sides.


TEP_030_stradaMazzini_191001.jpg (64436 byte) Two images of the oldest Parma trolleybuses, both in service on route 3: 030, without the black strip, in strada Mazzini heading to Crocetta...
TEP_024_piazzaGaribaldi_191001.jpg (71453 byte) ... and 024 in piazza Garibaldi in the opposite direction.
TEP_037_stradaMazzini_191001.jpg (64555 byte) Trolleybus 037, from the second Menarini series, in service on route 4 to via Parigi.
TEP_045_pontediMezzo_191001.jpg (64664 byte) Parma is the only city with two-axles Busotti trolleybuses. One of them, car 045, is running on ponte di Mezzo heading to via Mordacci, terminus of route 4.
TEP_054_stradaMazzini_191001.jpg (66109 byte) Busotto 054, without the yellow/blue pattern, is turning from strada Mazzini to via Garibaldi on route 1 to the Stazione.
TEP_042_piazzaGaribaldi_191001.jpg (83288 byte) Car 042 in piazza Garibaldi in service on route 4 to via Mordacci. On the right a diesel bus on route 5: that day that trolleybus service was suspended for road works. All these photos October 19th 2001.

Bibliography, links, thanks

A special thank to Enzo Porcu that provided me with a great number of information.

Thanks to: Giancarlo Bondi - Marco Montanarini - Alessio Pedretti - Bruno Principe - Enzo Porcu


  1. TEP originally meant Tramvie Elettriche Parmensi: this company was created in 1948 to operate both the urban and interurban transport network that at time included tramways and buslines, since 1953 only the interurban one, while the urban network was taken over by the new AMETAG. The last tramway was converted to bus operation in 1954.
pza barbieri-stazione tranvie.JPG (184795 byte) A remnant of the gone tramways. The old interurban tramway station in piazzale Barbieri, still with the writing "Tranvie Elettriche". Photo © Alessio Pedretti.


© 2003 Ivan Furlanis
Last changes: October 2003