ⓘ Valparaíso Metro

                                     

ⓘ Valparaiso Metro

The Valparaiso Metro is the commuter rail system serving the urban conglomeration of Gran Valparaiso, Chile. It consists of one line, 43 kilometres long, serving 20 stations, connecting the cities of Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, Quilpue, Villa Alemana, and Limache.

It is administered by Metro Regional de Valparaiso S.A., a subsidiary of the Chilean state-owned train company Empresa de los Ferrocarriles del Estado. The Valparaiso Metro began with the conversion of an interurban service on the Santiago–Valparaiso railway line into more rapid transit-like service in 2005 – the renovated line was inaugurated on November 23, 2005 and began service the following day. The Valparaiso Metro carried 19.66 million passengers in 2016.

Together with the much bigger Santiago Metro, it is one of the only two underground urban rail systems in Chile the Valparaiso Metro has a 5-kilometre 3.1 mi underground stretch from Miramar through Chorrillos stations in Viña del Mar). However, it is not a full metro system due to the existence of various level crossings and the long distances between stations. As a result of the presence of at-grade level crossings and regional rail character, the Valparaiso Metro is more analogous to a commuter rail system.

Studies are being done to assess the feasibility of extending the line farther inland along the Valparaiso-Santiago Railway to serve the towns of Quillota, La Cruz, and La Calera which are currently being served by intercity buses Bus+Metro services that feed into Limache Station. In addition, passenger and freight service between Valparaiso and Santiago is proposed to use the line.

                                     

1. History

Valparaiso had an interurban passenger train system since the 19th century. In 1999 construction began on the current system, rebuilding the old interurban stations and building new ones with an homologous design. In Viña del Mar, a tunnel over 5-kilometre 3.1 mi long was constructed. New trains arrived in Chile on February 22, 2005 and the old system was decommissioned on June 30 that year, in favor of the new Valparaiso Metro service.

                                     

2. Architecture

Between Puerto and Recreo the line runs at street level, bordering the coast, parallel to Errazuriz and España Avenues. It descends into tunnel below Viana and Alvarez Avenues, with four underground stations. The line leaves the tunnel at the industrial area of El Salto, and continues along a winding path to the inner metropolitan area.

                                     

3. Fleet and operations

Valparaiso Metro has a fleet of 35 trains; 27 single-deck multiple-car XTrapolis 100 train sets manufactured by Alstom, France operate the service, in a blue and white livery and 8 single-deck multiple-car XTrapolis Modular train sets manufactured by Alstom, in Barcelona.

Services operate 06:30-22:30 on weekdays; 07:30-22.30 on Saturday, and 08:00-22:15 on Sunday and public holidays. Services between Puerto and Sargento Aldea are most frequent, at 6-minute frequencies, with 12-minute frequencies elsewhere, 12 minutes on weekends and public holidays.

                                     

4. Ticketing and fares

To access the services of Metro Valparaiso the only means of payment is the Metroval card, a smart contactless card, costing CLP$1.350 US$2.05 in May 2016 and sold at all stations. The card can be loaded in all ticket offices with cash or Redcompra; the minimum charge for general users is $300 and $1.000 to use Redcompra, all loads must be multiples of $100. It is scanned both entering and leaving stations, since fares depend on the length of the journey and the time of day. There are five Zones and three time-of-day fares. Tickets cost from CLP$410 US$0.62 in low-usage hours within Zone T1 to CLP$864 US$1.31 in rush-hour travelling through five zones, for example from Valparaiso to Limache. The service "Bus + Metro" in the Limache Station to the cities of Limache Viejo, Olmue, Quillota and La Calera cost between CLP$787US$1.19 and CLP$1460 US$2.22.

There are concession cards for students, senior citizens, disabled or handicapped people and tourists This card allows unlimited travel on the day of acquisition and cost CLP$2.360 or US$3.58, Children below one metre in height travel for free.

A customer services and informations offices are in 3 stations; Viña del Mar, Puerto and Limache.