Railways, what is really needed for the mobility of the South

Railways, what is really needed for the mobility of the South

Since 2010, for those who move to train in the south and in the islands the situation worsened. It detects it Legambiente in his report Commute 2023. From one city to another it takes hours to travel with several changes, often for a few kilometers of journey. Intermodal connections and connections remain a dream. Not to mention the age of the trains in circulation, which have only recently, and only partially, seen some progress.

Last news

Let's start with the good news. July 10th Trenitalia launched the new pair of Intercity Giorno 715/716 between Naples and Bari, which each take just over 4 hours. You can leave Bari at 7.05am to arrive in Naples at 11.15am and then leave again during the day at 6.55pm to be in Bari at 11.00pm. A further step forward, at least for the alternatives available, is registered between Taranto and Leccewhere a direct Intercity Night (ICN 785) and an Intercity Day (IC 605) travel, while with regional trains, on average 10 per day, you have to change in Brindisi.

Long journeys and suspended services

According to Legambiente, what condemns people to exhausting journeys is the total absence of direction of what happens along some important routes, even if less than the main railway network. Still today in Basilicatato move between Potenza and MateraTrenitalia only offers bus. With the Appulo Lucanian Railways at least two changes are needed and it takes 3 hours and 25 minutes. In Calabria, between Cosenza and Crotone it takes 2 hours and 46 with a change in Sibari for a distance of 115 km. The Sicilian route from Ragusa in Palermo provides 7 connections a day, of which the fastest takes 4 hours and 44, including a road section by bus to Caltanissetta and change to train towards Palermo.

In Sardinia, on the Nuoro-Macomer, 57 km narrow-gauge non-electrified road managed by Arst (Sardinian Regional Transport Company) the route is covered in 75 minutes with 6-7 trips a day on weekdays only, partially supplemented by bus services. Then there are the suspended links, like that of the Palermo-Trapani via Milo line, closed since 2013 due to hydrogeological instability (but the tender for electrification has been banned). Between Caltagirone and Gela in 2011 the Carbone bridge collapsed, now to be rebuilt. In April, however, it was reopened Andria-Corato of Ferrotramviaria, in Puglia, closed following the 2016 train disaster that caused the death of 23 people. It is now double tracked.

The remedy: a control room

In the South, in short, the rail transport suffers from a still too low quality. Which weighs on its economy in every sector, from agriculture to services, and at all levels. "What is needed now is a direction of the planned interventions between infrastructures and new trains, which allows them to be directed in order to reduce travel times on the most difficult lines and to define a coordinated timetable of the offer in the fundamental nodes between national, regional trains, local buses" reads on Pendolaria. In the context of the viability of the South, the Pnrr among other things, it provides resources for the redevelopment of railway stations and maritime terminals. Allocate 60 million to Fry for the purchase of three new passenger ships destined to cross the Strait of Messina and 20 million for the ships that will ferry the trains with hybrid power. It reserves 35 million for private fleets to spend on the renewal of vehicles. Finally, he is planning the purchase of 12 Frecciarossa trains of 4 carriages each capable of ferrying directly from Sicily to the mainland, shortening journey times. On the freight side, it is necessary to guarantee the southern railways convoys of 750 meters long, suitably equipping lines and stations.

Local mobility, a great resource

The mirage of large works often leads to the neglect of local resources. Between Basilicata and Campania, the Committee for the reactivation of the Sicignano-Lagonegro railway proposes to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the High Speed ​​railway to increase regional mobility in favor of commuters and potential tourists. For example, by reactivating the Sicignano-Lagonegro, 78 kilometers of single non-electrified track that winds along the Vallo di Diano, closed to traffic since 1987. Today the section is covered by replacement buses, but the Committee's proposal also includes speeding up, modernizing and making the railway track safe. Naples intends to connect the Av station of Afragola to the city center via a new subway. The tender, which includes the purchase of 30 trains, is worth 2 billion euros and envisages a 15.5 km line linking Afragola Av to Piazza Garibaldi, Capodichino and Piazza Carlo III. Estimated about 200,000 travelers a day and over 400 million in revenues a year. In Sicily, for the Ragusa Rfi metrorailway started the procedure for awarding the design and works of the first lot, worth 9 million euro.

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