100 years of the tramway and the engine “Reggio Emilia” 92: taste of history in Limbiate

The tram stop of the Town Hall of the city has hosted the ceremony celebrating the centenary of the end of the line of the Varedo-Mombello route: the anniversary was honored with the exhibition of the historic engine “Reggio Emilia” number 92, an authentic jewel of the era

For the Limbiate citizens, it was the “Gamba de legn” (wooden leg) of the city, a Lombard expression that was used, between the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, to indicate steam locomotives of the intercity tramway lines: the historic engine “Reggio Emilia” number 92, so called because it was built by the Officine Meccaniche Reggiane, this morning “has paraded” along the tram tracks in the centre of Limbiate starting from the Varedo depot, until the Town Hall tram stop in via Monte Bianco.

The engine, an authentic jewel of the era with wooden interiors, has stopped in front of the Town Hall in order to celebrate the 100 years anniversary of the Limbate-Mombello Hospital tram stop, the historic end of the line of the Varedo-Mombello route, inaugurated on February 1st  in 1920 as an extension of the Milano-Mombello tramway, a project that was launched by “Edison” company in 1915 and accomplished by “Stel”, (Società Trazione Elettrica Lombarda), exactly a century ago.

A true piece of history, a “survivor” repository of a historical baggage that made the citizens savour those 20s of the 20th century again, one of the two engines “Reggio Emilia”, number 90 and 92, remained in service until 2010, assigned to the Varedo depot in 2017 and then subjected to conservative restoration work.

The centenary of the tram and the first stop at the end of the Varedo-Mombello tramway have been remembered by the testimonies of some members of the Gruppo Storico ATM, and by the words of the mayor Antonio Romeo, in a festive atmosphere enriched by the Corpo Musicale.

The mayor then announced the future of the line and the tramway redevelopment project: In fact, the Lombardy Region has financed the purchase of new trams that ATM is currently working on, bidirectional and coupling cars, to guarantee greater capacity during peak hours. The line will be rebuilt with double-track and single-track sections protected by traffic lights, and will be partly brought to the centre of the road to avoid interference with the driveways.

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