Ferrovie autlinee regionali ticinesi - Description

Description | Pictures | Route map and facts | Index
Neighbor railway SSIF: Description | Pictures


The Italian Vigezzina (SSIF) and the Swiss Centovallina (FART) formed an international railway connection with even a supra regional meaning. The line from Domodossola to Locarno is the shortest connection from Wallis to the Tessin. Up to the initialization of the Furka Basistunnel it was the only meaningful connection in winter.

Because of the close connection of the two railway companies they are described here both together. Early local politicians agreed with plans for railway connections into the valleys of the Tessin. One of these first lines unfortunately stopped in the 1960's in the Maggia valley. Although there were plans to connect the two neighboring countries from Domodossola in the Italian province Novarra to Locarno in the Swiss Tessin, it took almost a quarter century to complete the railway line. Both companies were troubled several times by financial problems. The Italian section in particular threatened from time to time to go under. The Swiss had to intervene here with financial help more than once. In the last 15 years the position changed by a new law in Italy which permits a better national support of the smaller railway lines.

The largest disaster in the history of the railway was the tempest from August 7th, 1978. Within one night the Italian part of the line has been destroyed at some places. Four bridges were heavily damaged, so they had to be completely rebuilt. With generous financial assistance it took more then two years to make the whole line passable again.


Starting with the opening both companies have bought their rolling stock in common orders. They are using also a common number pattern. Until today there are still some of the eight ABFe 4/4 11-18 (today ABDe 4/4) on duty. They are used as service railcars or for nostalgic travels. Another point of the cooperation is the exchange of vehicles between both companies, usually towards Italy. Briefly also steam engines were used: during the building of the lines two 2-wheeler for 750 mm or 1 m-track.

Also the two G 3/4 7 "Chur" and 8 "Thusis" from the Rhaetian Railway were used as a temporary help during the re-electrification of the line Locarno - Ponte Brolla. In 1959 the FART got its first modern vehicles ABe 8/8 21-24, which are today owned by the SSIF. A shorter version of this railcar was built in 1963 as ABDe 6/6 31-32. The SSIF has taken over three railcars Be 4/6 10-12 from the FLP and converted them to the ABe 6/6 33-35. In 1961 the underground station in Domodossola was opened with two tracks and direct access to the FS station.

In 1978 the FART as well as the FLP and SZB/VBW (today RBS) have ordered some (in comparision to the original version shortened) railcars Be 4/8 41-42, which were transferred to the FLP after some years.

The most current vehicles are Be 4/6 51-56, Ae 4/6 57 (FART) and Be 4/6 61-64 (SSIF). Apart from the continuous trains with mainly touristical meaning there are also regional courses on the stages Locarno - Camedo and Domodossola - Re or Olgia.

Next Page | Index
Copyright © 1997 Manfred Luckmann, last change on 2001-02-13