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Tram Company (CTFV)

The Birth of CTFV (1917)

ctfvThe desire for the Urban Transport of Valencia to be locally owned and the customs disadvantages produced by the lines being owned by a French company converged causing the nationalisation of "la Lyonesa" on the 3rd of September 1917 which was renamed as the "Compañía de Tranvías y Ferrocarriles de Valencia (CTFV)" (the Tram and Railway Company of Valencia) and established its headquarters at the "Estacioneta del Pont de Fusta". The first president José María Villalonga and the vice-president was Alberto Mathieu were responsible for the nationalisation of the company.

World War I caused great difficulty to the CFTV in its first years of existence due to the impossibility to replace vehicles and import spare parts. In spite of this, the work electrifying both the trams and railways continued. 1919 was a year with high levels of social tension, which produced the creation of a company store for the company's employees and retired workers.

omnibus

Los Ripperts Omnibus .

They were new Omnibuses, which could run on rails or off them. The press back then defended their existence. "The Ripperts may be harmful to the Compañía General but they are a public good. People can travel in the way that they wish and no authority should impose a method of transport in order to benefit a company".
(newspaper El Pueblo).

tranviacatedral

Once the war was over, the company continued its improvements. It constructed new stations, improved rails, introduced automatic needles, upgraded the aerial rail and the appearance of new coaches and buggies, shutdown the bypass, and electrified the cemetery line, which was completed on the 28th of February of 1925 and caused the Hipotram to disappear. In 1926 the "Grandes Vías de Turia" and "Germanías" lines were inaugurated and the "Serie 200" tram started running.

In 1927, the Ayuntamiento de Valencia conceded the establishment of an urban bus service to the "Levantina de Autobuses S.L". To compete with this the CTFV created "a Valenciana de Autobuses Sociedad Anónima (V.A.S.A.)", which obtained the bus lines which were parallel to the rail lines.

"In 1927, the town council prohibited trams from going under the Torres de Serranos, in defense of the city's patrimony" (Inmaculada Aguilar Civera, Valencia Tranvía 1874-2004).

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Diario El Pueblo, 14 de agosto de 1936.

A petición de los trabajadores afectados y mediante acuerdo del Comité Ejecutivo Popular, delegación de Transportes, ayer día 13 del mes en curso, fueron incautados los servicios de Tranvías, Ferrocarriles Eléctricos y Autobuses de La Valencia de Autobuses, S.A. De la citada incautación se han hecho cargo de una parte de los trabajadores afectados al Sindicato Nacional Ferroviario de U.G.T., conjuntamente con que pertenecen a la Federación Nacional de la Industria Ferroviaria, C.N.T. de Tranvías y Autobuses, la entidad obrera Unidad Sindical de Trabajadores de Autoferrotranvías de Valencia y Pueblos Limítrofes.Para atender a todo lo relacionado con estos servicios, han sido nombrados consejos obreros de dirección y explotación.En nombre, pues de todos los obreros de autobuses, ferrocarriles, eléctricos y tranvías, saludamos a la masa trabajadora en general, en armas contra el fascismo. –Valencia 13 de Agosto de 1936 – Los consejos obreros.

The II Republic and the Civil War (1931-1939)

tranviaguerraThe advent of the II Republic in 1931 produced the worsening of the social conflicts. On the 30th of March 1933 the "Series 300" trams were presented. In 1934 there was a strike, which lasted from the 23rd of April to the 1st of May. The conflict was repeated in October. In 1935, the "Sociedad General de Autobuses (SOGEA)" (General Society of Busses) replaced "la Levantina de Autobuses S.L".On the 18th of July 1936, there was a 15-day strike as a consequence of the military uprising against the Republic. On the 3rd of August, the "Sindicato Nacional del Ferrocarril de la CNT" took over the company, due to this a Workers Committee began running the company finding themselves constantly over run by the problems caused by the conflict. These were difficult times, with saturation of mobile material without spare parts, in which it was difficult to move around Valencia, with its streets invaded by confiscated vehicles driven by inexperienced drivers.

The bombings suffered by the city, specially in the maritime area, where the CTFV had its garages, left the pool of vehicles in a horrible state and the company in a very delicate situation.

tranviaguerra2"Out of the 190 coaches with motors that existed before the war, one was totally destroyed and 8 were dismantled. 26 of the remaining ones suffered serious damage. 20 more coaches were retired at the end of the war. So at the beginning of the new era of liberty there were only one hundred and thirty something useful coaches".
(Antonio Ivars Moreno, Estudio de la Explotación de los Tranvías Urbanos de la CTFV).

Once the war was over the CTFV started repairing their facilities and the mobile material.

 

The post-war period and the first transport crisis (1941)

tranviaanyos50Slowly but surely the CFTV recovered its strength and would quote in the stock exchanges of Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao. On the 6th of February 1941, it reached an agreement with the Town Council to not duplicate routes between different means of transport (bus, tram and railway). It was the first attempt to coordinate the city's transport. That same year renovations took place on the lines, the "series 400" tram arrived and 112 million passengers were transported. In 1942, the CTFV designed the Metropolitan plan for Valencia, to implant a subterranean link, which would join trains from the Lliria zone with those from Vilanova de Castelló. On the other hand, the government's reluctance to the increase of prices stopped the regeneration capacity of the company.

In 1948, access to the stock market was closed and the paying of dividends was halted. The CTFV's credit suffered a shocking blow. Valencia's Transport entered into crisis.
However, in 1950 the tram network of Valencia reached its peak, disposing of 16 urban and 5 interurban lines. That same year, the use of the Portalet garages began. These garages where rented by CTFV from VASA, who during the previous decade had extended their Trafalgar garages and abandoned the Quemadero Stables. That same year the company placed an order for Macosa to construct an articulated tram, the "Series 500", reusing two "Series 100". This articulated tram was the first to circulate in Spain and had a capacity for 105 passengers.

descarrilatranviaOn the 18th of July 1951, the trolley bus was inaugurated in Valencia with 2 lines: number 3 which covered San Vicente-Reina Doña Germana-Monteolivete and number 13 which covered San Vicente-Reina Doña Germana-José Antonio, with a branch that allowed vehicles to retreat to the Portalet Garage.
On the 3rd of April 1952 the committees that were created to solve the crisis began work. There were two: One which was a mix containing municipal members and members of the CTFV and a Special committee which extended its work untill August of 1954. The epistolary war unleashed between the consistory and the committees invalidated all the work, which had previously been done, including the Improvement and Investment Plan, which never came into effect. Considering this situation the Special Committee decided to propose the anticipated reversion of the service to the authorities.

The Ministry of Public Works accepted the proposal (O.M 19/8/1954) and on the 21st of September of the same year placed the interurban lines on public tender. But there were no bids. Meanwhile, the service offered got worse due to missing economic resources. The flooding of the Turia in October 1957 caused great damage to the CTFV since its garages were severely damaged.

 

The trolley bus

trolebus1The trolley bus"The SOGEA Company, which noticed the great urban development of the Monteolivete neighbourhood, decided that one of the best methods for improving it's services was substituting the busses for trolley busses in such a way that the new rails could also be used in the future for trams. The trolley bus project, which ran through the city, more exactly from Transitos to Monteolivete, took place in 1950, and had great acceptance.
(...)
The first trolley busses in Valencia (nº1-10) were constructed by "Carde y Escoriaza" and offered their first service in 1951. The first trolleybuses of Valencia (nº 1-10) were built by Carde and Escoriaza and started working in 1951. They had Renault frames with two axis and Vetra electrical equipment." (Inmaculada Aguilar Civera. Valencia Tranvía 1874-2004).

The Seat 600

In 1957 automobiles invaded Our cities and the private vehicle dominate public transport.
"1957 represents the end of a distressful period in our collective existence [...] That year the '600' (the premium utility car) began fabrication, and would solve the mythical desire of Spaniards to own their own vehicle."
(Rafael Abella, Daily Life in Spain Under Franco's Regime).

The rescue committee (1959)

esquinasaguntoDue to the severity of the moment, on the 8th of July 1959, some working members of the CTFV offered their help to try to end the crisis but the company rejected their offer.

The workers then established a Rescue Committee, formed by Macario Bolado Hernández, Juan Bautista Roses Verdeguer, Joaquín Alcaraz Pérez and Ángel Motos Cano, who had an interview with the Mayor of Valencia, Adolfo Rincón de Arellano y García, on the 14th of December who asked for a document underlining their ideas. On the 9th of January 1960 the document was presented and amongst the possible options, which it contained, the mayor chose the socialization of the service and the exploitation of this service by the workers.

 

macarioboladoAuthorized by the government, Pedro Lamata Mejías who was a provincial syndicate delegate, named a committee of experts which was formed by Bolado, Alcaraz, Motos y Roses, in order to investigate the possibility and viability of the production personnel of the CTFV presenting themselves to the public tender of Valencia's Tram Services which would be held soon by the Council of Valencia.

In a second interview, Rincón de Arellano pointed out that the workers should create an anonymous labour society, offer a viability project and pay for all the necessary indemnity. The committee hired Juan Velarde Fuertes, professor of Political Science at the University of Madrid and the lawyer Antonio Ivars to give them professional advice. In may 1962 the negotiations for the new collective agreement began and were broken in August.

riconarellanoOn the 5th of October, at the council's plenary meeting it was decided that the negotiations for CTFV's collective agreement and the request made towards the government for the anticipated rescue of the concession without public tender should all be included in the same lot. Three days later, the CFTV's workers showed their appreciation to the members of the council by assisting massively a Valencia Council ceremony.

 

The signing of the agreement, the 99/63 and the SALTUV statutes (1963)

The last days of 1962 were extremely active for the Rescue Committee: meetings with José Solís Ruiz, General Minister for Mobility, Jesús Romero Gorría, Minister of Employment, Mariano Navarro Rubio, Treasury Minister and the governments vice-president, Agustin Muñoz Grandes; request for financial help from the "Patronato del Fondo de Protección al Trabajo" were essential for the construction of the new company.

presentbusesaytoSurprisingly and in order to maintain the unity of the staff, the tram section of the CTFV agreed on receiving the same wage as the railway section, and on the 1st of March 1963, the agreement was signed by the CTFV.
On the 29th of June, the plenary meeting of the courts approved the 99/63 law, which authorized the rescue of the concession and it being directly given to the new company by Valencia's council.

On the 19th of September the statutes for the SALTUV and FULTUV were publicly exposed on CNS premises. On the following day the council of ministers approved a 60.000.000 peseta loan with a 3 % interest rate to be paid in 15 years in order to construct the new company.
On the 22nd of October, the Ceremony to celebrate the creation of SALTUV was celebrated at the Tyris Cinema, with the presence of one thousand two hundred workers along with Macario Bolado, Adolfo Rincón de Arellano and Jesús Romeo Gorría.

On the 15th of November, the SALTUV provisional office was opened. Soon after the documents which constitute FULTUV's (30 of November) and SALTUV's (16th of December) creation were verified. On the 30th of December the first 30 Pegaso model 5020 busses arrived, with a capacity for 90 people and on the 14th of march 1964 so did another ten.