Updated 24/12/98 NOTICE: Moreimages and links will be added in next weeks ... around 27/1/99 try to reload this page. Put it in your bookmark.
If you found a brown word ... it is a link to be added ...
This is a page about the railways in Toscana: This first page is a summary of all the Railroads you find in this region:
People interested can have here informations about both present, past and future lines.
I choose not to let you have to wait for too long to download the 27KB map, but i strongly suggest to load it (that will appear in a separate window, so you can look while in parallel you read this article. (Do it now!)
On 1844 was opened the first railway line from
Livorno to Pisa,
to be continued to Firenze (named as Strada
ferrata Leopolda), and two years later was opened the first section
of the line from Pisa to Firenze via Lucca and Pistoia. (Maria Antonia)
then other lines were opened as the Strada ferrata
Centrale from Empoli to Siena and Orvieto,
The Aretina from Firenze (porta alla Croce) to Pontassieve-Arezzo-Cortona-Perugia,
then the Porrettana from Pistoia to Pracchia and
Bologna (1864) , the Mediterranea from Spezia to Pisa-Collesalvetti-Cecina-Grosseto-Roma.
came in 1866. In 1874 the line from Chiusi to Terontola make a third connection
to Roma, while in the nineth decade of nineteenth century were opened also
the lines from Spezia to Parma, from Lucca
to Piazza al Serchio and from Asciano
Last, but not least in 1888-1892 was openend the third transappennine railway, the Faentina from Firenze to Borgo S. Lorenzo, Marradi and the spur from Arezzo to Stia. In 1905 after the nationalization of Italian railways into FS the map was quite complete.
From 1905 to 1913 many modifications was made, apart for a few doubling
of tracks, was opened a new line from Livorno
to Vada (north of Cecina) along the sea, began
the works on the Prato-Bologna line and were
opened two rack lines: from Saline
di Volterra to Volterra and "from Sant'Ellero to Vallombrosa.
In these years began the works in the locomotive depot of Firenze that would have ended in 1927
from the beginning of century to 1920 also the lines from Lucca to Viareggio, Lucca to Pontedera and Pontassieve to Borgo S. Lorenzo was opened to traffic, as well the lines from Arezzo to Sinalunga and Siena to Monte Antico. (note i do not mention here some lines of tramway (Althought some of them as the lines from Pisa was sometime run with standard railroad stock)(these lines are thin light green lines in the map).
In 1927 the first line in the region, From Firenze to Pistoia-Bologna, due its high ( 35/1000 ) gradients was electrified at 3400 V 16 2/3 Hz and in 1931 with the same system the line from Spezia to Viareggio-Pisa-Livorno.
In 1932 was electrified (3000 DC) the tramway line from Pisa to Marina di Pisa and prolonged to Livorno. In the same years with the same system was also opened the Arezzo Sinalunga.
In 1934 was opened the so called "Direttissima" from Prato to Bologna with electric traction 3000V, to be used in all subsequent electrifications.
1936 saw the opening of the new central station
of Firenze , but also the first closure, of a steam tramway (but
standard gauge) from Firenze to Greve, replaced by bus service by SITA,
a company emanation of the FIAT. (in 1994 the SITA have been incorporated
by the railways), the same thing happeened to the Vallombrosa
In 1944 due extended war damages the lines from Lucca to Pontedera and from Firenze to Borgo S. Lorenzo and Faenza, as well the NG line from Arezzo to Sansepolcro were closed.
In the fifties all Tramways and the lines of Apuanes was all closed, as well the rack section of Volterra, and the line to Massa marittima, althought this decade saw the completion of the Garfagnana-Lunigiana Line from Piazza al Serchio to Equi Terme - Aulla and the reopening of part of the Faentina, from Borgo S. Lorenzo to Faenza.
In the sixties also the line from Livorno to Collesalvetti and the other NG line from Pracchia to San Marcello saw his end, and in 1972 was again closed the S.Piero a Sieve-Borgo S. Lorenzo Line..
From 1976 to 1992 in section the new line from Firenze to Roma was opened (althought the dedicated pair of tracks entering Firenze have been opened only in may 1996), as the 1500m link to the Pisa Airport (it was the first of this kind in Italy).
Also the nineties were "anthagonist" : The Poggibonsi-Colle
val d'Elsa line was closed and the Pisa-Collesalvetti-Vada
has been closed for repairs ... after 5 years
the line is still closed ... (althought sporadically used for exceptional
load since it have a wider loading gauge than the coastal line).
The good news are that in these years 12 km of double track have been built on the Empoli-Poggibonsi and there are work in progess to double the line from Spezia to S. Stefano Magra (This would have as a conseguence the closing of the 8 km link from Sarzana, to use the same two track from La Spezia - The opening had to be in may 1998 but currently (dec 1998) the trains are still running on old track , there are works to double ( or quadruple as some prefers to say? How do you say upgrading from 2 to 4 tracks? ) the line from Firenze to Empoli, and more interesting the reopening of the last section of the Faentina from Firenze to Borgo S. Lorenzo whose complete rebuilding is now completed and official reopening was done on 9 january 1999 .
See the enclosed map for trackage. All lines are standard gauge. The lines Lucca-Aulla , Pontassieve-Faenza, Empoli-Siena-Sinalunga-Montallese-(Chiusi), Siena-Monte Antico-Montepescali-(Grosseto) and Cecina-Saline di Volterra are diesel operated (in red on the map), while all other lines are electrified 3000V DC (in red) (The lines marked as closed or freight only are not electified, or used only with diesels). There is a link to an on line schedule on wich you can find the frequency for most of lines.
In Pistoia there are the plant of Breda Ferroviaria, where are build Train , LR equipment and bus. Also the ETR500, the italian HST, is build there. (in the picture a brand new loco in station of Pistoia on 17/7/97)
Currently (30/8/99) there are works around Firenze: On the line to Empoli
is under construction a link (To be used also for metropolitan service)
to Osmannoro, where have to be transferred
the maintenance shop currently in the old station of Porta
al Prato (that will became a museum)
The tracks on the Faentina have been completely laid on july 1998 and the line have been reopened on 9 january 1999. The section from S.Marco vecchio to Pellegrino, of about 700 m, allowing a direct entrance in the central station of SMN is expected to be opended in 2001 possibly with a reduced operation even in 2000. The works on the high speed line to Bologna have begun and many artifacts (entrance of tunnels) can be seen .
The line from Asciano to Monte Antico have been closed three years ago, due very low local traffic. Since it is a very scenic line on Sundays of May-June-July and September there is a train ( '50 vintage DMU or steam) that travel all around (Siena-Buonconvento-Monte Antico-Asciano-Siena) so one can jump up and down the train, walk a little, then get next train or going to another station, and come back the evening (You can carry bicycles on this train).
The Livorno-Collesalvetti Line closed
in 1962 have seen in 1995 a very special operation for recovering some
cars abandoned to be scrapped, when a judge stated that old vehicles are
special waste, and to be threated ... (all the line except a paved grade
crossing is in site. until 1996 1 or two times a month was used to connect
an industrial siding halfway, at Guasticce. Now is closed, but is expected
to be reused for the new transfreight platform in guasticce)
The spur from Gavorrano is for service of a quarry.
The one at S. Giovanni Valdarno was built to feed a coal power plant, in 1986 it became a "deluxe" spur , electrified, grade crossing with barriers, and a daily intenational scheduled train. In 1992 the plant was changed to gas, so the service was closed, but the tracks remained in case of very heavy loads (They had an accident at beginning of 1997 when someone was hit by a train on that line, having no knowledge of such operation).
I will post a page every two or three weeks: Look In the main page for
appearing of new active links ...
I have on hand most of the stuff ... please write me so i can post the most required informations. Next lines are just a summary.
You can do two things here: One is to walk around a existing line, to cross the mountains and regain the place of starting by train. There are a lot of interesting one day treks in the area from Ronta to Crespino or Pietrasanta to Barga, Piazza al Serchio to Equi terme, or in the Casentino (Arezzo-Stia) or the Porrettana around Pracchia. From this site you can use a bicycle to go to Maresca, Gavinana, S. Marcello, Mammiano along the old ROW of the Ferrovia Alto Pistoiese and come back via Bagni di Lucca to Lucca.
The second is to walk on the railbed of removed railway.
Very interesting are the Marmifera at Carrara, it is a ring from the border of the city to the marble quarries, Now is used by truck that carry the marble to the port (once done by train) . The trail is of course well paved, and can be made better by bicycle (althought there is a small section out of the railway on a unpaved road very steep: Since this is the section to close the ring and is passed from empty trucks is not a problem for them that are loaded down, on the less graded railway bed ... anyway is only 450m long so you can push walking) but with lights, since there are some galleries.
Otherwise there is the Saline di volterra to Volterra, you are in the country, in the hills, very calm and good trail. When you arrive at the top you find the old railway station (now a BUS station) and the etruscan city ... (again for cyclists: better come down on the opposite site of Volterra, throught the "Balze" on the road to Pontedera.
Historycal note, since the line is now completed: The third recommended trip is to walk along the renowed Faentina from Firenze to Borgo S. L. (and coming back by train on the Sieve valley line) or stopping at Montorsoli and coming back on the Terzolle valley (it is about 7 hours walking) . (the cover image is taken there, in the section where tracks have been laid). However is a very fine walk going from Firenze Rifredi to Cercina, Montorsoli Basciano, Caldine on secondary roads, always in view of railway, and come back if you are tired by bus or rail [since june 1999 there are shuttle train from Campo marte to Mimmole and Cercina so you can go there and come back walking].
If you will come here I will be happy to arrange a trip together