Third marathon of railway tourism
A train roundtrip from Rimini to Brindisi
In Italy dozens of minor railway lines connecting cities and towns still survive. They have a lot to tell: these minor railway lines promote tourism in marginal areas, support local transport and have a sustainable ecological function. Maybe one day they might get more useful again, as they were a century ago, when they have been built.
From March 1st, the association Co.Mo.Do. aims to realize a trip-report to demonstrate the great potential of some of these small railways in the route from Rimini to Brindisi, with intermediate stops in Ancona, Pescara, Foggia. Taking all the time needed, checking the backboards times, stopping at all stations, looking at the scenery, stopping in waiting-rooms and buffets, entertaining the crew and the passengers.
The rail system arrived to Brindisi in 1865, after the Italian unification, only 150 years ago. A few years later, following the opening of the Fréjus tunnel (1871) and of the Suez Canal, the famous international train “The Indian Mail” connecting Paris to Brindisi was launched. It was conceived to shorten the journey of colonial officials and British romantic wanderers, who started from London, crossed Europe by train to embark in Brindisi to the Indian subcontinent. Travelling is different nowadays, but the train still has a role of communication between different people and cultures, who need to know each other and talk to avoid conflicts and dangerous misunderstandings.
Therefore Co.Mo.Do. has decided to propose again in 2015 (European Year of Industrial Heritage) the third Railway Marathon! Two days along the stretch of the “Indian Mail”, from Rimini to Brindisi (March 1st-3rd). This railway trip cross several Italian region: Emilia Romagna, Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, Apulia. Co.Mo.Do. aims to make institutions and people aware of the need to safeguard Italian railway, threatened by the public finance cuts. And it aims to propose the train as a common thread, a fil rouge, to discover both the priceless natural and artistic wealth, and the forgotten treasures of industrial archeology, a still unknown resource.
From the Adriatic line, between Rimini and Brindisi, there are also several secondary lines that allow you to explore the area behind the coast. Some have been abandoned since long time, waiting for some reconstruction interventions or the recovery of the track, at least. Others are still working, but they deserve to be rethought for tourism and cultural purposes. Some lines have already been modernized, so they could be positive examples for the revitalization of rail transport in Europe (the Foggia-Lucera and Barletta-Bari lines, for example).
The triumph of slow tour and slowness! Let’s take railway tourism seriously, following other European countries. Don’t forget that Sunday March 8th will be National Day of Forgotten Railway Lines.
More on the official website of Forgotten Railway Lines