Trains to the docks : Campania
The Campania still boasts the record of having in exercise two short particular branch owned directly from FS/Trenitalia connecting yard stations with a port or an harbour installation. If in fact in many other regions the connections with harbour areas are exercised by private societies (Serfer, CoRacFer or other ones) here are shunters of the Cargo to carry out these curious and unusual services. First in order of importance and of frequency is the line that connects the station of Salerno with the dock of the ships that transport vans and motor vehicles or containers towards all Mediterranean. The service on this line is operated every day from Monday to Friday in the first morning. Around 6.00 a.m. in fact, patrols of Municipal policeman are engaged to monitorize the presence of car on the track and the removal is immediate. When the train is approaching the street trackage is again policeman to unblock some stakes and to giving the free way to the train. This is hauled from 245 and pushed from a D.345 of Salerno depot. The train can be composed by 25/30 wagons and the D.345 - depending on the shunting done before - can be found at the rear or in the middle of the train. Once passed the obstacle of the traffic the train takes speed and in a part of reserved line along the seawalk it catches up speed in the order of the 10/12 km/h. Horning in the more dangerous points, the convoy crosses a first gate that delimits the harbour zone, then faces a curve to right between parked car and tourists attending first embarks to Capri and therefore enter with a curve on the left in a passage opened in a building housing a shipyard. From there he crosses the courtyard and gets out from another passage in another construction. Still a hundred of meters in reserved trackage and the train arrives on the dock, where it attends to shunt to the inside of the closed area, remaining still on the switches of the yard for some minutes. The two locos will shunt the loaded wagons on the correct tracks and withdraw those empty ones. The operations are executed a lot fastly, also in order to avoid the chaotic traffic that will soon begins regularly. When all the wagons have been unloaded they compose all in only one convoy - nearly always having the 245 in head and the D.345 in the middle - so the train moves on the opposite direction to the station of Salerno. The traffic is a lot regular and is knowing just in these months a good resumption, with the return of shipments of motor vehicles, suspended for months until beginning 2005. The management of this train is much fast and fluid because regular and known from all the area inhabitants. The importance of the traffic make really a few the problems with car parked on rails and so. The opposite is in the other locality object of this article: Castellammare di Stabia. Here the traffic is much irregular and is all destined to the Ansaldo-Fincantieri that operates a large company of construction of great ships just in the zone of the touristic harbor. The connection of Castellammare generates from the yard of FS station with a track to be engaged after a shunt on the full line. Once passed the gate, the railroad leads to the Fincantieri yards after 4km of semitramway trackage that has something of incredible. The train to the Italsider is existing as a consequence of the freight Torre Annunziata-Castellammare, normally on tuesday and thursday. The 245 assigned to Torre take care to lead one or more - until to a maximum of 4 - special wagons type "S": boogie lower wagons with a structure for tilted lodged large steel sheet. The train would have to arrive already to Castellammare aroubd 8.30. Then shunts and begins to engage the connection with very low velocity. The wagons are pushed from the 245 and are attended in head from two railway men equipped with the "connected gun" to the muffs of the brake, in order to command the arrest in emergency cases. The train continues along the sea on the tree-lined avenue, advances in a city park with one light curve to right. It comes out taking a short curve on the left separated from the road but however invaded from many cars and among the small shacks of fish and oysters retailers. In a square a switch still exists, once taking to the industrial dock, abandoned from years. The train still continues along a wall and - always in light curve - get out on the dock of the touristic harbor. Here it stands between small tables and beach umbrellas of the many summery premises and the crane to raise the boats that occupy the space until moving upon request of the railway men. As soon as reached the gate of the Italsider a Krupp 2 axles loco owned by Serfer makes charge of the steel sheet wagons. Here the traffic is much irregular and also the conditions of the railroad can induce in error about the use of this draft. The irregularity is also the reason for which the inhabitants are felt authorized - and nothing is made to inform them - to park too much close to the railroads or on it. The removal of a car is not fast, so a train can remain on line also for hours, in the wait of a car remover.... From the moment that the shipyard has recently gained a contract for the construction of 4 large ships, the future in next two years seems insured , but the difficulties of management and the complication of the shuntings could induce Cargo and Italsider to address to other means of transportation. Let's give word to the images, to tell two particular travels made on these connections, remained last in Italy in their kind.
Go to see the pictures!