The gallery :
La Bella Ferrovia,
or the result of 3 weeks vacations in Italy...
This year I took 3 weeks of vacations in northern Italy, discovering not only the Italian state railways but also the numerous and usually less known private railways of the country:
Forza E 402 B!
The Italian state railways FS (Ferrovie dello Stato) got a serious youth treatment in the last times, but it’s still possible to find nice (quite) old electrics in regular service.
The "reptiles" E 626 no longer run for the FS (but on some private railways), there are still numerous E 424 and E 646 (with push-pull trains), E 636 and E 645 (with goods traffic). The "Tigers" E 632, E 633, E 652, the "Turtles" E 444 and the "Caimans" E 656 are very active with passengers and goods trains (excepted the E 444, specialised on passenger trains). The newcomers are the E 402 and E 402B (with really questionable look, personal opinion ...), and the "Monocabina" E 464, specialised for push-pull trains.
The bad surprise was the absence of the "Pendolini" ETR 450, ETR 460 and ETR 480 in northern Italy: most of their services have been taken over by the ETR 500... Only the "Cisalpino" ETR 470 run regularly on the lines Domodossola / Chiasso – Milano – Firenze / Venezia.
E 464 "Monocabina" :
E 632 / E 633 "Tigre" :
ETR 500 :
ALe 940 :
ALn DAP :
Aln DAP 005
The (unvoluntary) kings of graffiti...
The Milan northern railway (FNM) circulates from Milano (Piazza Cadorna) in direction of Como, Varese , Novara and Malpensa (Airport), almost exclusively with suburb traffic.
It looks, THE big problem of the FNM are the graffiti. It’s really the first time I can see locomotives sprayed up to the roof level, where the original colours and the inscriptions are no longer clearly visible...
The V 200 at Don Camillo’s country
The south-eastern part of the Pô lowlands is served by several private railways:
With exception of the FPS, these railways also have numerous goods trains, hauled mainly by former German diesels : V 200 ex DB (FSF and FP), and the prototype V 160 "Lollo" also ex DB (ACT, line Reggio – Sassuolo).
And, if you want to see Don Camillo : The station Brescello-Viadana, who is visible in several film scenes, is not far from Parma, on the line Parma – Suzarra.
Isolated, but no more for long time
The public transport company of Modena (ACTM, Azienda Communale die Trasporti di Modena) also exploit the local line Modena-Sassuolo, who isn’t connected to any other railway: at Modena, the station ACTM is about 3 km away of the main station FS, and the terminus of Sassuolo is located 100m far of the station of the ACT Reggio-Emilia. A new connecting line between the station Modena ACTM and the main station in work, it should be taken in service in 2002.
Diesel under catenaries
Oh bella !!!
If you like old electrics, you must see this railway!
The LFI railway (La Ferroviara Italiana, lines Arezzo – Stia and Arezzo – Sinalunga, south of Firenze) is really a rolling electric traction museum, with a nice fleet of old electric locomotives and EMUs, any diesels of various types, several steam engines (with at least one in running order: the beautiful 740.091), and 3 "reptiles" E 626 (with E 626.006, one of the first prototypes, having a completely different look than the other E 626).
Last but not least, the shunter in the station of Bibbiena is an English engine: 700.003, not a standard 08 of the BR, but one of their prototypes, with Winterthur rods drive. In my knowledge, this engine was one of the prototypes of the 08 owned by the LMS, and then sold to the Dutch state railways NS short after WW2 (If somebody knows more about this shunter, please contact me: e-mail email@example.com . Thanks !)
A little of Switzerland...
From Trento, on the Brenner line, the FTM (Ferrovia Trento-Male‘, also named FETM Ferrovia Elettrica Trento-Male‘) is a metric gauge railway to Male‘. Having first the characteristics of a valley line as far as Mezzocorona, it climbs then through the apple-tree plantations up to the terminus of Male‘. The material is modern and well maintained. This line really looks like some Swiss narrow gauge railways...
A little of Austria...
Radical change of ambience with the "Ferrovia del Renon" (or "Rittnerbahn" in German). The all region of the dolomites and their inhabitants got a strong Austrian influence: this railway, exploited by the SAD (Societa' dei Autobussi delle Dolomite), too.
The line started initially in Bolzano / Bozen with a rack section as far as L’Asciunta / Maria Himmelfahrt (This part of the line has been removed and was replaced by a cable cabin railway), and carries on to Soprabolzano / Oberbozen and Collalbo / Klobenstein. Along the line, the panorama over the Dolomites is simply superb.
This railway still has some nice old wooden electric railcars, who aren't regularly used yet. The daily traffic is done with the Nr END 12, bought second-hand in Germany after the closure of the Esslingen-Nellingen-Denkendorf railway, near of Stuttgart.
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© Pierre-Noël Rietsch 2001
© Pierre-Noël Rietsch, Zürich 2001