Florence–Rome railway

The Florence–Rome railway is part of the traditional main north–south trunk line of the Italian railway network. The line is referred to by Ferrovie dello Stato (the State Railways) as the Linea Lenta (meaning "slow line", abbreviated LL) to distinguish it from the parallel high-speed line. The Linea Lenta is now mainly used for regional services, for the InterCity services — rather than the faster Le Frecce trains — between Florence and Rome and for the majority of freight trains. Some types of passenger train are routed on the line to serve smaller stations not served by the high-speed line or in order to improve traffic flow during peak periods or other periods of congestion.

Florence–Rome railway
Stazione Santa Maria Novella 2.JPG
Florence railway station
Overview
StatusOperational
Line number92
LocaleItaly (Florence)
TerminiFirenze Santa Maria Novella
Roma Termini
Stations10
Service
SystemFerrovie dello Stato (FS)
Operator(s)Ferrovie dello Stato
History
Opened1866
Technical
Line length314.8 km (195.6 mi)
Number of tracksDouble track
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
ElectrificationElectrified at 3000 V DC
Route map

Firenze Rifredi
314.077
Firenze Santa Maria Novella
Firenze Statuto
1896 deviation
310.112
Firenze Porta alla Croce
Firenze Campo di Marte
307.040
Firenze Rovezzano
302.089
Compiobbi
298.636
Sieci
294.479
Pontassieve
289.394
Sant'Ellero
to Saltino (closed 1922)
286.278
Rignano sull'Arno–Reggello
1935 deviation
278.726
Incisa
(old/ new)
Valdarno North junction
to the high-speed line
274.378
Figline Valdarno
266.844
San Giovanni Valdarno
261.416
Montevarchi-Terranuova
258.219
Valdarno South junction, link to the HSL
255.303
Campitello crossover
253.696
Bucine
248.888
Laterina
243.520
Ponticino
233+976
Indicatore crossing loop
232.017
Arezzo North, link to the HSL
227.370
Arezzo
to Fossato di Vico (closed 1945)
221.382
Olmo
crossing loop
219.228
Arezzo South junction, link to the HSL
215.326
Rigutino-Frassineto
crossing loop
209.614
Castiglion Fiorentino
199.093
Camucia–Cortona
192.738
Terontola–Cortona
182.725
Castiglion del Lago
175.836
Panicale-Sanfatucchio
crossing loop
Chiusi North junction, link to the HSL
Montallese crossover
Chiusi North junction, link to the HSL
line from Ellera (never completed)
164.210
Chiusi-Chianciano Terme
156.717
Città della Pieve
Chiusi South junction, link to the HSL
147.316
Fabro-Ficulle
135.462
Allerona–Castel Viscardo
130.463
Orvieto North junction no 2, link to the HSL
124.876
Orvieto
122.855
Orvieto South junction no 2, link to the HSL
117.236
Baschi
(closed in 2011)
111.974
Castiglione in Teverina
Tiber River
105.108
Alviano
96.093
Attigliano–Bomarzo
Tiber River
90.929
Bassano in Teverina
(closed in 2011)
88.378
Orte North junction no 1, link to the HSL
82.503
Orte
To Capranica (only occasional traffic)
Orte South junction, link to the HSL
Tiber River
73.837
Gallese Teverina
Tiber River
69.737
Civita Castellana–Magliano
Tiber River
60.810
Collevecchio
56.784
Stimigliano
52.835
Gavignano Sabino
48.521
Poggio Mirteto
37.130
Fara Sabina–Montelibretti
30.994
Piana Bella di Montelibretti
25.582
Monterotondo–Mentana
16.227
Settebagni
12.772
Fidene
(opened 1995)
10.330
Nuovo Salario
(opened 1981)
Aniene River
7.183
Roma Nomentana
4.505
Roma Tiburtina
Roma San Lorenzo depot
0.000
Roma Termini
Source: Italian railway atlas[1]

High-speed trains on the Florence-Rome route use the parallel Florence–Rome high-speed line (Direttissima, meaning "most direct", abbreviated DD) which was partially opened on 24 February 1977 and was completed on 26 May 1992.

HistoryEdit

Section Opened[2]
FlorencePontassieve 20 September 1862
ChiusiFiculle 15 December 1862
Pontassieve–Montevarchi 5 April 1863
Rome–Orte 1 April 1865
Ficulle–Orvieto 27 December 1865
Montevarchi–Terontola 16 March 1866
Orvieto–Orte 10 March 1874
Terontola–Chiusi 15 November 1875

The origins of the line design date back to early days of railway building in Italy, some years before the creation of the Italian State in 1859, which explains its tortuous path and its somewhat illogical route in places. While the Apennines to the north of Florence created a difficult natural barrier, the political frontier with the Papal States to the south also obstructed the development of a rail connection with Rome. The physical and political geography led to the development of a railway line from the French border, through the Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont), Piacenza, and Bologna to Ancona and eventually Brindisi. At the same time the same geography led the Papal States to develop a line from Rome to Ancona. For similar reasons the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies was developing east–west rail links from Naples to Termoli, Foggia and Brindisi.

The plan for the line between Rome, Orte and Foligno, which is common to the current lines from Rome to the Adriatic port of Ancona and Florence as far as Orte, took shape in the Papal States in 1846 shortly after Pius IX became Pope, replacing his predecessor Gregory XVI who banned railways, calling them "chemins d'enfer" (French for "ways of hell"; a play of words for "chemins de fer", French for "railways"). On 7 November 1846, the Secretary of State, authorised the construction of a railway connecting Rome to Ancona in order to reach Bologna and Modena, and connecting with the railway of Lombardy-Venetia then part of the Austrian Empire. The route chosen generally followed an ancient Roman Road, the Via Flaminia through Orte and continued over the Apennines via the pass of Fossato.[3] A concession was granted in May 1856 to a company called Ferrovia Pio Centrale (Central Pius Railway) in honour of the Pope. It was completed only ten years later and inaugurated on 29 April 1866 by the Kingdom of Italy. The project, including the sections already built, had already been absorbed in 1865 by the Società per le strade ferrate romane (Roman Railway Company).

Meanwhile, the project had inspired the Grand Duchy of Tuscany to build a railway to connect Florence with the Roman Railway Company's line. The route chosen for the railway was the natural route through the valley of the Arno to Arezzo and then continuing towards Perugia to the border with the Papal States. The concession was signed by the Grand Duchy in 1859 and confirmed by the new provincial government of Tuscany—which had just been absorbed into the Kingdom of Italy—on 24 March 1860. The company led by Augusto Pietro Adami and Adriano Lemmi, both from Livorno, obtained reconfirmation with a dictatorial decree signed by Garibaldi in Caserta on 25 September 1860.[4] On 7 July 1861, Act 96 of the Kingdom of Italy gave legislative approval for the concession to the Società delle Ferrovie Livornesi (Livornese Railway Company) to carry out construction work already started[5] for a strada ferrata da Firenze per Arezzo fino all'incontro di quella da Roma ad Ancona ("railway from Florence via Arezzo to that from Rome to Ancona").[6] The resulting line was very long and tortuous while being very useful for many formerly isolated towns and villages. The first section of slightly less than 20 kilometres between Firenze Santa Maria Novella and Pontassieve was opened by the Livornese Railway Company on 20 September 1862. In the spring of 1863 the line from Florence reached Montevarchi and was completed to Terontola on 16 March 1866.[2] The line from Terontola to Foligno was opened in December 1866, completing the link between Florence and Rome via Perugia.

On 15 December 1862, the Società per la Ferrovia Centrale Toscana (the Central Railway Company of Tuscany)—which had the concession for the line from Empoli to Siena—opened an extension of the line from Chiusi–Chianciano Terme station to Ficulle and on 27 December 1865 the line reached Orvieto. An extension to Orte on 10 March 1874, together with the Chiusi–Terontola cutoff, allowed the shortening of the route.[2] Meanwhile, following the reorganisation of the railways under Law No. 2279 of 14 May 1865 the Livornese Railway Company and the Central Railway Company of Tuscany were merged into the reconstituted Roman Railway Company.

Chiusi–Terontola cutoffEdit

On 2 November 1864 the final section of the Porrettana line opened between Pistoia and Pracchia, reducing the travel time over the Apennines between Florence to Bologna from 14 hours (by road) to only 5 hours. This fact together with the transfer of capital of the Kingdom from Turin to Florence moved the main traffic flow from the Ancona route to the new line to Florence. However, it was quickly realized that it was inadequate and obsolete especially after the transfer in 1870 of Italy's capital to Rome, which meant that most trains now travelled on the line. While the journey included many curves through beautiful landscape and the ancient towns of Narni, Terni, Spoleto, Assisi and Perugia, in 1871 it meant that a train leaving Florence at 8.05 arrived in Rome at 17.40, that is it took 9 hours 35 minutes to cover 372 km.[7] It was therefore decided to shorten the route by bypassing Perugia. On 15 November 1875[2] a new cutoff was opened between Chiusi–Chianciano Terme and Terontola across generally flat land west of Lake Trasimeno, shortening the line by about 58 kilometers and avoiding the tortuous line through Perugia, which was reduced to being a secondary line. During the reorganisation of the railways in 1885, the line became part of a new concession, the Società Italiana per le strade ferrate meridionali (Italian Company for the Southern Railway)—known as the Rete Adriatica (Adriatic Network)—which had its headquarters in Florence.

UpgradesEdit

The line was originally built as a single track and operated with steam traction; it was doubled in stages and then electrified at 3000 volts DC in 1935. However, the line remained slow, not allowing travel at over 100 km/h. After World War II work started on a project—which had been partly developed before the war—for the quadrupling of certain sections of the line that were already approaching saturation. In the early 1960s work slowly started on its implementation, which had developed into a project consisting of a new line with advanced features and a number of interconnections making possible the operation on the same track of both high-speed trains and trains stopping at intermediate stations. The new line is now known as the Direttissima.[8]

RouteEdit

The current route connects the stations of Firenze Santa Maria Novella and Roma Termini via Arezzo, Terontola, Chiusi and Orvieto with a total length of 314 km. It follows the valleys of the Arno, the Paglia and the Tiber rivers. The index of tortuosity, according to UIC standards is very high at 68%, which is determined in large part by the presence of five major curves: Fara Sabina, Orte, Ficulle, Arezzo and Pontassieve. Because of the reduced radius curves for 40/50% of the line, the maximum speeds are not more than 95–105 km per hour.

The line is double track and electrified at 3,000 volts direct current and has interconnection with the Direttissima at:

  • Valdarno North
  • Valdarno South
  • Arezzo North
  • Arezzo Sud
  • Chiusi North
  • Chiusi South
  • Orvieto North
  • Orvieto South
  • Orte North
  • Orte South

The integration of fast and slow trains on the two double lines, known as Linea Alta Velocità/Alta Capacità (high speed/ high capacity line, AV-AC) is similar to that adopted for high-speed lines in Germany.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Railway Atlas 2017, pp. 52–3, 58–9, 64–5, 69, 145, 147, 149.
  2. ^ a b c d Prospetto cronologico 1926.
  3. ^ Ministero del commercio e dei Lavori Pubblici, Ragguaglio di quanto è stato operato dal 1859 al 1863 (nella sezione delle strade ferrate) (in Italian). Rome: Reverenda Camera Apostolica. 1864.
  4. ^ Vita di Garibaldi (in Italian). 2. Naples: Perrotti. 1862.
  5. ^ Annali universali di statistica (Statistical year book) (in Italian). pp. 318–323.
  6. ^ Raccolta Ufficiale delle leggi e dei decreti del Regno d'Italia (Official record of laws and decrees of the Kingdom of Italy), anno 1861 (in Italian). 1.
  7. ^ Ascenzi, Salvatore. "La Roma-Firenze tra cronaca e storia (The Rome–Florence line in chronicle and history)". Voci della Rotaia (Voices of the Rail) (in Italian). Ferrovie dello Stato.
  8. ^ "La direttissima Roma-Firenze". Tutto Treno Tema (in Italian) (22). 2007.

SourcesEdit