tram e trasporto pubblico a Roma

Some questions on the Rome's Alfa Romeo trolleybuses in Germany


Towards the end of year 1941, the Rome's transport undertaking (the ATAG) put in an order to the Alfa Romeo for a batch of 60 three-axle trolleybuses with TIBB electrical equipment, partly with Casaro body (25 cars) and partly with Reggiane body (35 cars). At that time, trolleybuses in Rome were numbered with odd numbers only and for the Alfa batch.the numbering scheme was foreseen as following: numbers 6265 to 6313 for the Casaro cars and 6315 to 6383 for the Reggiane cars.

A first group of 17 cars arrived in Rome between March and July 1943 and consisted of following cars:

(a) 8 Casaro cars 6265-6271, 6287-6293; 9 Reggiane cars 6315-6331.

These cars were the nine first in the Reggiane group and the four first plus other four cars in the Casaro group.

The well known unfortunate events of 25th July and 8th September 1943 have arisen later; in the changed situation, with the Germans yet no more allied but occupants, numerous tramway, bus and trolleybus cars came to requisition, and among other the 17 new Alfa Romeo trolleybuses between 14th and 18th October. The requisition of these cars is well stated by ATAG documents.

After the war, the Alfa Romeo completed the supply of the batch within the year 1949 with the delivery of only 32 cars and not 43 (i.e. the 60 ordered minus the 17 drawn by the Germans), i.e. with the cars:

(b) 6273, 6275, 6279-6283, 6295, 6299, 6301, 6335-6339, 6343-6383.

In the batch emerged as absent not only the 17 cars drawn in 1943, but also the 11 following trolleybuses:

(c) 9 Casaro cars 6277, 6285, 6297, 6303-6313; 2 Reggiane cars 6333, 6341.

Talking about these cars, it is to notice that at that time the fleet numbers were applied to the cars at works; the (c) cars seems to be nearly the completion of the Casaro batch, while car 6333 is immediately following the last Reggiane car in the (a) group. Cars (c) must be therefore built immediately after the cars (a), i.e. between April and September 1943 (it is unlikely for the italian industry to be enable to manifacture any other after the catastrophe of 8th September).

It is elsewhere known that the german Department of Transport came in 1941 to the decision of search for trolleybuses in foreign countries, proceeding by requisitions in occupied countries and by purchasing in other countries; this last was the case of Italy, still allied to Germany. The current assumption is therefore that the Department of Transport purchased 17 Alfa Romeo trolleybuses from the batch intended for Rome, delivering then afterwards to some german cities.

This assumption is, in the writer's opinion, wrong. The trolleybuses which appears to be present at Berlin, Bielefeld, Esslingen, Linz and Kiel must be the 17 (a) cars, drawn in Rome in October 1943 and not purchased. This is also confirmed by the presence of car 6329, of the (a) group, in Berlin as 1403 (note 1).

As a matter of course, the question is: which fate has been concerned to (c) cars? The main point is that these cars never reached Rome; this is well stated in some assurance documents, in which all but (c) fleet numbers are present. Can be these cars purchased by the german Department of Transport?

This supposition is fascinating, but involves some weaknesses. No trace has been apparently found of these cars in Germany and the cars have to be purchased after July but before September 1943, a very brief lapse of time. The cars can be also destroyed during some air attacks on nord Italy during summer 1943, but in this case the 11 trolleybuses can have been added to the post war (b) purchasing.

P.S. - It has been found out recently that three Alfa trolleybuses of this series has been in service as electric transportation trucks at St. Lamprecht, Austria, in 1944-1945. Can be these cars of the (c) group?


(1) The writer remembers clearly cars 6265, 6267 and 6331 in service in Rome roughly in June or July, 1943.

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