"CAMIGLIATELLO - UP THE BIG HILL FROM COSENZA" Camigliatello Silano by AsturArcadia
Camigliatello Silano Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 3 photos
Highest in Italy
From Cosenza, there are two FC journeys to be made – to Camigliatello and to Catanzaro, the junction between the two routes being at deeply rural Pedace, 7 km south of the city. The line to Camigliatello Silano must surely rank among the most scenic rail journeys in Europe, as it winds upwards on gradients as steep as 6 % through a neverending succession of tunnels and over innumerable stone viaducts, with glimpses of Cosenza lying far below for well over half the 47 km run. There is even one location where one can look back on the railway at two different levels far below. At Redipiano, high in the Sila mountains, the guard sprints from the train to operate the level crossing gates and unlock and lock the station building!
From five train pairs to San Giovanni in Fiore in 1983, the service has dwindled to two and these only as far as Camigliatello, regular trains east of here having been withdrawn in 1997. As far as Spezzano Sila there are six train pairs a day. On the morning I travelled there were few other passengers either way – though a surprise awaited me at Camigliatello, where Borsig 0-8-8T 353 of 1926 was in steam to head a school charter to San Nicola – Silvana Mansio (at 1404.5 m above sea level the highest station in Italy) and back. FC maintains three steam locomotives and four 1920s carriages for tourist services. During the ski season the ‘Treno della Neve’ is operated, while on Sundays between May and October there is the ‘Ferrovie della Calabria Express’. The ‘Treno del Parco’, from Camigliatello along the line towards San Giovani in Fiore, is a charter service, provided on request, as is the steam operation between Catanzaro Città and Soveria Mannelli.
Camigliatello, the main tourist centre for La Sila natural park, is, like most such communities, a bit of a disappointment – essentially it is a single long street of gift shops and refreshment providers. A more frequent train service would tempt one off at some of the intermediate stations, adjacent to some very appealing old villages crowning the mountainside spurs.
Continued on my Catanzaro page.
I was fortunate on the morning of my visit. A school had chartered the steam train! The crisp mountain air made for some super steam effects . . .
The only pity about this line is the sparse service, sparsely patronised, too. It would be super to charter a train for the day and have time to hop off to explore some of the hillside villages en route. Photography from the train windows is a bit uncertain - on account of the movement. The track is in good condition, but the ride of the railcars is lively!
The preserved diesel was used for shunting the stock of the chartered train. The diesel railcar used on the regular service to and from Cosenza is in the background, on the right.
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