Good Practices - Italy
Revitalization of the Gemona Sacile railway line
The Gemona del Friuli-Sacile railway is a railway line operated by RFI using railway lines built at different times: the Sacile-Pinzano line (activated in 1930) and Gemona-Casarsa line (in part activated in 1914).
Railway connection Pinzano - Sacile
The Sacile - Pinzano railway line, already designed before the First World War for military reasons, in defense of the border with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was activated on October 28, 1930 and together with the section Pinzano – Gemona was served by diesel trains until 2012: it represented an important connection for commuters of the foothill areas of Pinzano, Maniago and Sacile. In 2012 a landslide provoked severely damages to the line and, for this reason, the Sacile-Gemona railway was closed.
Figures old railway connection and infrastructure on Sacile - Pinzano railway line
3. Challenges and barriers in implementing /introducing selected good practice and respective ways used in order to overcome or limit risks
Considering the importance of this railway service for the population living in the area (the railway line was mainly used by students and workers), a local committee was created in order to promote the revitalization of the railway line (property of the Ministry of Infrastructures). Thus, in cooperation with the Region FVG, an official request was sent to the Ministry in order to transfer the ownership of the railway line from the State to the Region FVG.
Region FVG (in cooperation with RFI and the Foundation Italian FS) then promoted the revitalization of the railway line (maintenance works were completed in 2016) with the aim to enhance the service to commuters, sustainable tourism and intermodal freight transport in the area.
The first train that served the railway line was operated on June 2018, 24 and – thanks to the cooperation between RFI, Region FVG and the Foundation FS - the line was served by an historic steam train.
The official inauguration of the railway line as it was planned for July 2018.
The Sacile-Gemona railway line will be the first Italian railway that will be used both for passenger transport (for now limited to the Sacile-Maniago line) and for the touristic project of the FS Foundation called “Timeless tracks”. The line has also been included in the list of 18 railways of tourist interest by the Italian Law n. 128/2017.
Many touristic trains are planned for 2018: in addition to the inaugural trip on July 29th, there will be 12 other historical trains that will travel from 5 August to 8 December, promoting the great events in the area and the opportunity to discover the beauty of the foothills.
The tourist railway undoubtedly expresses great potential, as demonstrated by the recent successes of the historic train recently organized (June 2018), which have not only sold out but also registered an unexpected overbooking.
4. Funding mechanism, cooperation schemes developed and institutional reforms made
The strong cooperation between FVG Region, Local Commuters committee and the municipalities of the area as well as the strong involvement of Italian railways Foundation (Fondazione FS) and RFI guaranteed the preconditions for signing – in 2016 - a specific framework contract between Region FVG and RFI.
Based on this agreement maintenance works were realized and the set up of the service (that will be included in the regional plan of Public transport) guaranteed.
5. Factors of success
- Strong involvement of local authorities (municipalities) and population
- High demand
- Great potential of the area in terms of touristic attractiveness
6. Recommendations, transferability
Based on this positive experience, the Region FVG is planning to extend this best practice to the revitalization of other “minor” railway lines (mainly for touristic purposes).