Ventotto History

Ok, now a short historic review of the Peter Witt cars in Milano. The ultimate Ventotto story was written by Guido Boreani of Milano (published in Italian as “Un tram che si chiama Milano” by Calosci Cortona in 1995), unfortunately this is a little difficult to find now.

In the late 1920s Milano needed to replace it’s old fleet of short two axle (single truck) tramcars of the Edison type (500 motor cars and 300 trailers built between 1895 and 1910). They looked around the world and found the so-called Peter Witt design (named after the man himself, he worked for the streetcar company in Cleveland/Ohio, USA). By 1912 Cleveland had built the first prototype of this car which featured passenger-flow. Passengers entered at the front and paid on leaving through the centre doors (a sitting conductor operated those doors). There were no doors at the back of the car but plenty of seats (the front of the car only had longitudinal seating and lots of standing room). Local company Carminati e Toselli in via Procaccini was ordered to build two prototypes in 1927. The first had General Electric equipment and the other Westinghouse.

The tests with those two cars were successful and a large order was placed with 6 builders in 1928. Carminati & Toselli were to build 110 cars (1503-1612), Ernesto Breda (Milano) another 110 (1613-1722), Officine Meccaniche (Reggio Emilia) 50 cars (1723-1772), OM Milano another 110 (1773-1882), Tallero (Milano) yet another 110 (1883-1992) and Lodigane (Lodi) the last 10 cars (1993-2002). The new class of tramcars received two names: 1500 class or “Carrello” (Italian for bogie/double truck). As mass production started in 1928 they also received the name “Ventotto” (Italian for 28). One of the Breda cars went to Frankfurt in Germany in 1929. It operated (equipped with a pantrograph) on route 23 between Heddernheim and Schauspielhaus. It was not a success there and returned to Milano (nobody seems to know for sure which car this was!). Breda also built an additional car for Brussels in Belgium. It arrived in 1929 as ran as no.5001 on route 15 between Nord and Midi. Instead of ordering these cars from Italy the Belgians used it to build their own fleet of class 5000 cars instead, the Ventotto was renumbered 5000. The car was sold to Madrid in Spain in 1935 where it ran on route 71 Ventas – Rosales (as their no. 1001, later as no. 1000 and in the end again as 1001). It survived until 1965.

039060-001847-09 << click to enlarge

By 1932 502 “Carrelli” operated in Milano. Somehow the passenger-flow did not quite work for the people of Milano, the car was always full at the front but few people rode in the back of the car. So in 1932 cars 1529 and 1530 were rebuilt with a single door at the back (keeping the seats in the back). In America some Peter Witt cars had been built with this feature as well. In 1929 car 1529 was rebuilt again, this time longitudinal seats replaced the regular setas in the back of ther car and this became the “smokers saloon”. Later all cars were rebuilt and received double doors at the back, entrance was at the back and exit through the centre and front doors. The conductor was moved to sit by the back doors.

During the second world war a lot of the Peter Witts got damaged and some even ran as non-motorised trailers (behind Peter Witt cars or behind 600 series two axles cars). Nearly all the cars were rebuilt after the war and today none of the fleet numbers match the original builder. They used what they had to get those cars back into service, even if they had to build completely new underframes and bodies, 204 cars were completety rebuilt!

In the 1970s the Venttos were equipped with pantographs in addition to the trolleypoles (called “Perteghetta” in Milano) they had since new. Also the two-tone green livery they had received since the 1930s (only very few cars ran in the old white and yellow livery when they were young!) was replaced by the country-wide “transit orange”. The 1970s also saw the first scrapped cars. More modern and longer trams had been introduced and the number of “Carrelli” slowly but steadily decreased. By the 1980s the trolleypoles disappeared.

1984 not only saw the first low-floor car in Italy (built by ATM using two Peter Witt cars) but also the first of many Ventotto to be sold abroad: car 1834 went to San Francisco! 100 years of eletric trams in Milano was celebrated in 1993 by repainting car 1723 into the old two-tone green livery.

More details will follow when we present you portraits of individual cars.

039060-001966-19 << click to enlarge

other Milano tram websites

There are various sites on the web that deal with the Milano trams. Here is a small selection of what we like best:

Central Station by Ivan Furlanis:
http://digilander.libero.it/CentralStation/
(unfortunately, this site has not been updated since 2003)

there is also a great “track” map available on Ivan’s seite:
http://digilander.libero.it/CentralStation/maps_files/milano_04.gif

Market Street Railway San Francisco:
http://www.streetcar.org/mim/streetcars/fleet/milan/index.html
(this includes a list of the Ventto cars in service there)

Milano tram videos on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=milano+tram&search_type=

Peter Witt page on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Witt_streetcar

Blickpunkt Strassenbahn report (from 2003) by your webmaster about the Milano interurbans:
http://web.archive.org/web/20040803053118/www.blickpunktstrab.net/report12_e.html
(the article is long deleted and a little out of date but thanks to webarchive.org it survived…)

Italian Website with various articles (many in English) on Milan’s public transport:
http://www.milanotrasporti.org/

nycsubway.org pages about Milano (with photos by Peter ehrlich and others):
http://world.nycsubway.org/eu/it/milan.html
(the text is not quite up-to-date but still worth visiting just for all those great pics!)

ditto about the Interurbans:
http://world.nycsubway.org/eu/it/milaninterurban.html

and their pages about the San Francisco historic fleet (includes Ventottos and other cars):
http://world.nycsubway.org/us/sf/muni-marketfleet.html

Workscars

039060-000701-15 << click to enlarge

700 rebuilt into historic car 609
701 mess#
702 leon#
703 fama
704 leon
705 leon#
706 mess#
707 dem
708 fama
709 mess (rebuilding into 1300 series trailer envisaged in the future)
710 mess
711 bagg
712 bagg
713 leon#
714 teodosio
715 teodosio#
716 tici
717 mess
718 tici
719 mess#
720 dem

039060-003129-05 << click to enlarge

3111 trailer des*
3114 trailer des*
3129 rail grinder trailer teodosio#
3131 trailer des*
3137 tank car trailer teodosio#
3148 track transporter trailer teodosio
3149 rail grinder trailer ???
3150 track transporter trailer teodosio
– (not numbered) tower trailer mess
– (not numbered) Windhoff tractor leon#

# = last seen there in July 2007 (workscars do move to another depot from time to time!)
* = withdrawn or accident victim
bagg = stationed at depostio Baggio
cons = survives in a museum
dem = scrapped
des = stationed at deposito Desio
fama = stored at metro deposito Famagosta
leon = stationed at deposito Leoncavallo
mess = stationed at deposito Messina
prec = stationed at deposito Precotto (or stored there)
ssp = special car
teodosio = stationed at Officina Generale Teodosio (main works)
tici = stationed at deposito Ticinese
var = stationed at deposito Varedo

note: other codes may describe out of town or foreign locations

039060-VIEW-032 << click to enlarge

Interurbans

039070-000092-35 << click to enlarge

44 fama* 45 des* 46 var 47 des 48 des

85 var 87 des* 89 des 90 var 92 var 93 des* 94 des* 95 des* 96 issaquah

101 des*

114 des*

039070-000122-23 << click to enlarge

122 des 124 leo 128 des*

153 var* 157 var* 161 var 167 var* 177 var 179 var
181 var 182 var* 183 des* 184 des* 190 des* 192 des* 194 des*
217 des* 220 des* 224 des* 226 des*
240 des* 241 des* 243 des* 245 des* 250 des* 255 des* 258 des*

308 des* 309 des*

039070-000532-02 << click to enlarge

531+512+532 var*
533+502+534 var
535+503+536 var
537+504+538 des
539+505+540 var
541+506+542 des
543+508+544 var*
545+507+546 var
547+511+548 des
549+509+550 var
551+510+552 des
553+501+554 var

039070-000806-04 << click to enlarge

831+801+832 des
833+802+834 des
839+804+840 des
841+806+842 des

codes used:

* = withdrawn or accident victim
bagg = stationed at depostio Baggio
cons = survives in a museum
dem = scrapped
des = stationed at deposito Desio
fama = stored at metro deposito Famagosta
leon = stationed at deposito Leoncavallo
mess = stationed at deposito Messina
prec = stationed at deposito Precotto (or stored there)
ssp = special car
tici = stationed at deposito Ticinese
var = stationed at deposito Varedo

note: other codes may describe out of town or foreign locations

7000/7100/7500 Series

039060-007116-03 << click to enlarge

7001 tici 02 tici 03 tici 04 tici 05 tici 06 tici 07 prec 08 tici 09 tici 10 tici
11 tici 12 tici 13 teod 14 tici 15 tici 16 tici 17 tici 18 tici 19 tici 20 tici
21 tici 22 tici 23 tici 24 prec 25 tici 26 tici

7101 mess 02 acc 03 mess 04 mess 05 acc 06 mess 07 acc 08 mess 09 mess
10 acc 11 acc 12 acc 13 prec 14 mess 15 mess 16 mess 17 acc 18 mess
19 mess 20 mess 21 acc 22 mess23 mess 24acc 25 mess 26 mess 27 prec
28 mess 29 mess 30 mess 31 mess 32 acc 33 acc 34 acc 35 mess 36 mess
37 acc 38 mess 39 mess 40 acc 41 mess 42 mess 43 acc 44 acc 45 mess

7501 mess 02 mess 03 acc 04 mess 05 mess 06 mess 07 mess 08 mess
09 prec 10 acc 11 acc 12 acc 13 acc

codes used:

acc = withdrawn or accident victim
bagg = stationed at depostio Baggio
cons = survives in a museum
dem = scrapped
des = stationed at deposito Desio
fama = stored at metro deposito Famagosta
leon = stationed at deposito Leoncavallo
mess = stationed at deposito Messina
prec = stationed at deposito Precotto (or stored there)
ssp = special car
tici = stationed at deposito Ticinese
var = stationed at deposito Varedo

note: other codes may describe out of town or foreign locations

4600/4700/4800/4900 Series

039060-004604-02 << click to enlarge

4601 bagg 02 bagg 03 acc 04 acc 05 bagg 06 acc 07 bagg 08 bagg 09 bagg 10 bagg 11 bagg 12 bagg
13 bagg

4714 bagg 15 bagg 16 bagg 17 bagg 18 leon 19 leon 20 leon 21 leon 22 leon 23 leon
24 leon 25 acc 26 leon 27 leon 28 leon 29 leon 30 leon 31 leon 32 acc 33 leon

4801 prec 02 mess 03 prec 04 mess 05 dem 06 acc 07 dem 08 mess 09 acc 10 mess
11 fama 12 acc 13 mess 14 dem 15 mess 16 mess 17 mess 18 acc 19 mess 20 acc
21 mess 22 dem 23 fama 24 dem 25 mess 26 mess 27 dem 28 dem 29 dem 30 dem
31 prec 32 dem 33 mess 34 prec 35 dem 36 prec 37 mess 38 acc 39 prec 40 mess
41 mess 42 prec 43 acc 44 dem

4900 bagg 01 bagg 02 bagg 03 acc 04 acc05 bagg 06 bagg 07 bagg 08 bagg
09 bagg 10 bagg 11 bagg 12 bagg 13 bagg 14 bagg 15 bagg 16 bagg 17 bagg
18 bagg 19 bagg 20 bagg 21 bagg 22 acc 23 leon 24 bagg 25 bagg 26 acc
27 bagg 28 bagg 29 bagg 30 bagg 31 bagg 32 bagg 33 bagg 34 bagg 35 bagg
36 leon 37 leon 38 leon 39 leon 40 acc 41 leon 42 leon 43 leon 44 leon
45 leon 46 leon 47 acc 48 leon 49 acc 50 prec 51 tici 52 tici 53 tici
54 acc 55 tici 56 tici 57 tici 58 acc 59 acc 60 tici 61 tici 62 tici
63 tici 64 tici 65 acc 66 tici 67 tici 68 acc 69 tici 70 tici 71 acc
72 tici 73 tici 74 acc 75 tici 76 tici 77 tici 78 acc 79 tici 80 tici
81 tici 82 tici 83 bagg 84 bagg 85 acc 86 bagg 87 bagg 88 tici 89 tici
90 tici 91 acc 92 bagg 93 bagg 94 bagg 95 bagg 96 acc 97 acc 98 bagg
99 bagg

codes used:

acc = withdrawn or accident victim
bagg = stationed at depostio Baggio
cons = survives in a museum
dem = scrapped
des = stationed at deposito Desio
fama = stored at metro deposito Famagosta
leon = stationed at deposito Leoncavallo
mess = stationed at deposito Messina
prec = stationed at deposito Precotto (or stored there)
ssp = special car
tici = stationed at deposito Ticinese
var = stationed at deposito Varedo

note: other codes may describe out of town or foreign locations

Fleet Lists

We have now added various fleet lists (starting with the Ventotto). The data is from 2007 (or in some cases from 2006) – mostly from personal observavtion in the depots visited – and was compiled by your webmaster and Alberto Jori.

039060-000609-30 << click to enlarge

1900/2000 Series

039060-001802-04 << click to enlarge

1900 dem 1901 mess 1902 leon 1903 dem 1904 monza 1905 dem 1906 st.louis/us
1907 dem 1908 dem 1909 dem 1910 dem 1911 sfo 1912 dem 1913 dem
1914 dem 1915 acc 1916 mess 1917 mess 1918 dem 1919 dem 1920 mess
1921 mess 1922 leon 1923 acc 1924 leon 1925 dem 1926 mess 1927 fama
1928 dem 1929 bagg 1930 fama 1931 leon 1932 dem 1933 dem 1934 dem
1935 leon 1936 mess 1937 dem 1938 dem 1939 dem 1940 tici 1941 dem
1942 dem 1943 dem 1944 mess 1945 mount pleasant/us 1946 dem 1947 dem 1948 tici
1949 ssp 1950 leon 1951 leon 1952 dem 1953 dem 1954 leon 1955 prec
1956 leon 1957 ssp 1958 dem 1959 dem 1960 mess 1961 dem 1962 dem
1963 mess 1964 dem 1965 dem 1966 ssp 1967 dem 1968 leon 1969 dem
1970 risto tram 1971 dem 1972 dem 1973 dem 1974 leon 1975 dem
1976 leon 1977 dem 1978 mess 1979 sfo 1980 bagg 1981 dem 1982 bagg
1983 dem 1984 mess 1985 dem 1986 fama 1987 dem 1988 dem 1989 fama
1990 bagg 1991 dem 1992 dem 1993 leon 1994 leon 1995 dem 1996 gomaco
1997 fama 1998 dem 1999 mess 2000 mess 2001 san jose/us 2002 mess

codes used:

acc = withdrawn or accident victim
bagg = stationed at depostio Baggio
cons = survives in a museum
dem = scrapped
des = stationed at deposito Desio
fama = stored at metro deposito Famagosta
leon = stationed at deposito Leoncavallo
mess = stationed at deposito Messina
prec = stationed at deposito Precotto (or stored there)
sfo = San Francisco/US
ssp = special car
tici = stationed at deposito Ticinese
var = stationed at deposito Varedo

note: other codes may describe out of town or foreign locations

1800 Series

039060-001835-08 << click to enlarge

1800 leon 1801 dem 1802 leon 1803 bagg 1804 cons 1805 dem 1806 dem 1807 dem
1808 dem 1809 bagg 1810 dem 1811 gomaco 1812 fama 1813 mess 1814 sfo
1815 dem 1816 dem 1817 dem 1818 sfo 1819 fama 1820 dem 1821 leon 1822 acc
1823 dem 1824 dem 1825 mess 1826 fama 1827 tici 1828 dem 1829 dem 1830 tici
1831 dem 1832 dem 1833 tici 1834 sfo 1835 bagg 1836 mess 1837 cons 1838 dem
1839 dem 1840 dem 1841 mess 1842 bagg 1843 tici 1844 dem 1845 dem 1846 fama
1847 acc 1848 dem 1849 pavia 1850 dem 1851 mess 1852 mess 1853 mess
1854 fama 1855 risto tram 1856 dem 1857 mess 1858 leon 1859 sfo 1860 tici
1861 mess 1862 tici 1863 leon 1864 dem 1865 dem 1866 mess 1867 fama 1868 dem
1869 dem 1870 leon 1871 dem 1872 leon 1873 dem 1874 tici 1875 dem 1876 dem
1877 leon 1878 acc 1879 tici 1880 tici 1881 leon 1882 dem 1883 acc 1884 dem
1885 dem 1886 mess 1887 dem 1888 dem 1889 dem 1890 fama 1891 dem 1892 acc
1893 mess 1894 dem 1895 mess 1896 dem 1897 bagg 1898 leon 1899 tici

codes used:

acc = withdrawn or accident victim
bagg = stationed at depostio Baggio
cons = survives in a museum
dem = scrapped
des = stationed at deposito Desio
fama = stored at metro deposito Famagosta
leon = stationed at deposito Leoncavallo
mess = stationed at deposito Messina
prec = stationed at deposito Precotto (or stored there)
ssp = special car
tici = stationed at deposito Ticinese
var = stationed at deposito Varedo

note: other codes may describe out of town or foreign locations

1700 Series

039060-001730-08 << click to enlarge

1700 dem 1701 dem 1702 ssp 1703 mess 1704 mess 1705 dem 1706 dem 1707 dem
1708 mess 1709 dem 1710 dem 1711 dem 1712 don orione 1713 dem 1714 leon
1715 dem 1716 dem 1717 ranco 1718 dem 1719 leon 1720 dem 1721 dem 1722 dem
1723 ssp 1724 cons 1725 mess 1726 leon 1727 dem 1728 dem 1729 dem 1730 leon
1731 san vincenzo 1732 mess 1733 dem 1734 dem 1735 dem 1736 mess 1737 leon
1738 mess 1739 dem 1740 dem 1741 dem 1742 dem 1743 dem 1744 leon 1745 leon
1746 leon 1747 leon 1748 dem 1749 leon 1750 dem 1751 dem 1753 dem 1753 dem
1754 acc 1755 dem 1756 mess 1757 leon 1758 dem 1759 fama 1760 dem 1761 dem
1762 dem 1763 dem 1764 dem 1765 dem 1766 dem 1767 dem 1768 cons 1769 dem
1770 dem 1771 tici 1772 dem 1773 leon 1774 dem 1775 dem 1776 dem 1777 dem
1778 dem 1779 dem 1780 dem 1781 dem 1782 acc 1783 dem 1784 tici 1785 mess
1786 dem 1787 tici 1788 leon 1789 acc1790 dem 1791 dem 1792 dem 1793 sfo
1794 tici 1795 sfo 1796 dem 1797 dem 1798 mess 1799 leon

codes used:

acc = withdrawn or accident victim
bagg = stationed at depostio Baggio
cons = survives in a museum
dem = scrapped
des = stationed at deposito Desio
fama = stored at metro deposito Famagosta
leon = stationed at deposito Leoncavallo
mess = stationed at deposito Messina
prec = stationed at deposito Precotto (or stored there)
ssp = special car
tici = stationed at deposito Ticinese
var = stationed at deposito Varedo

note: other codes may describe out of town or foreign locations