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Historical background

The First Tram (1876)

torresserranosOn the 27th of September 1875, the "Ayuntamiento de Valencia" approved the project presented by the "Sociedad Catalana General de Crédito" to introduce trams to Valencia. Two lines were constructed: Valencia to the Grao, which started and ended at the Plaza de San Francisco (which is now known as the Plaza del Ayuntamiento) and the Primitive Interior Line, which linked the Puente del Real and Plaza de las Barcas. On the 23rd of June 1876, the night before San Juan, the Horse Drawn Tram, and costing 25 cents a ticket finally united the city with the port. The Las Provincias newspaper described the new vehicles in the following way: These coaches on which the general public had fixed all their interest, are magnificent, perfectly constructed and well prepared for the service they offer. There are two types: The double-decker ones ("imperial") were constructed in England where as the normal ones were constructed in Belgium. Eight seated people fit on each bench and two horses pull each coach.

tranviaimperialThe tram's inauguration took a long time and was a most important event in the city of Valencia. The passers by would stop and watch the tram go by and would wave to the passengers that were on the balcony of the tram. In 1877, the garages and stables were built for the Valencia-Grao tram. The foreman Joaquin Bueso Martí designed these, and the building is located at the "Camino del Grao", in front of the old convent of San Juan de Ribera.

 

 

New Companies Appear (1885)

On the 16th of January 1885, The "Sociedad Valenciana de Tranvías", also known as "La Valenciana" was founded. Its first president was the Marquis of Colominas and its first director was Juan Navarro Reverter the engineer. The society obtained the concession of two new lines: one at the bypass ("Circunvalación") and one at the "Diagonal". In 1886 the Valencia-Liria steam tram started working. During 1887 "La Valenciana" obtained the lines that until then had been run by the "Sociedad Catalana General de Crédito", while new concessions were added to those that already existed: bypasses of the "Pueblo Nuevo del Mar" and the Grao Station to the Baños de la Florida y la Perla. In 1889, the Pascual Carles y Cía Society inaugurated the Godella Line and in 1890, obtained the Catarroja concession. 

tranviaialgraoOn the 17th of February 1891, The Northern Valencia Tram Company (Compañía de Tranvías del Norte de Valencia) was created, and it constructed a line, which joined the capital city with the "Puebla de Farnals". On the 11th of June, the General Tram Company ("Compañía General de Tranvías") took the floor and was also known as "La General". The first lines that it ran were the hipotraction lines of the "Ensanche" (extension) and the interior and the Valencia to the Grao steam tram, also known as the "Ravachol". It also ran the trams, which united Valencia with Torrente, Tabernes Blanques, Massamagrell and the Pobla de Farnals. In 1894, the Lladró y Cía company obtained the concession of the cemetery line, which was the last horse drawn line and Pascual Carles y Cía presented its project for a tram from San Agustin to Pont de Fusta.

Fierce competitiveness was established between "La General" and "La Valenciana", aggravated even more by service offered by the "El Barco" omnibus which covered the route Glorieta-Grao for only 5 cents. The press considered that the situation could not go on much longer without causing one of the two companies or both to become bankrupt. The rumours suggesting crisis were common and in June 1895, "La Valenciana" went into receivership. On the first of July 1896 "La General" did the same thing. A new company called the "Lionesa Compagnie Generale des Tranwais Electriques de Valence" obtained the lines which belonged to "La General" and began there transition towards electricity (1898)." La Valenciana" held out longer, but between 1906 and 1911 transferred its lines to the French company.

El Ravachol

ravachol

"Due to the large amount of accidents produced by this new and powerful tram it is called the Ravachol (Famous French anarchist whose adventures were continually found in the press). For the same reason the animal traction trams run by this same company, were called Ravacholet's"(Inmaculada Aguilar Civera, Valencia Tranvía 1874-2004).