Friday, March 20, 2015

Electric Railroads of Italy . . . Who Knew?

My wife and I traveled to Italy in November for a rainy visit with our younger son, who was in Florence on a study-abroad program. The trip was a minor rail adventure--Italy's trains were a pleasant and civilized surprise. Here are some photos of electric railroads we encountered along the way . . .
Ancient cathedral in the background at the Florence station

The Italo high speed train that brought us from Rome to Florence,
next to a local commuter train. Best train ride, ever--smooth, clean,
comfortable, and fast.
That's not the fastest the Italo was going--
it crept up to 300km over several stretches
between Florence and Venice
An Italo snakes through the main Rome train station. An old-school steward/stewardess service brings red wine to your seat. Civlized, or what?
More action at the Rome station, easily one of the busiest hot spots I've ever experienced. Train watching was interrupted
by visits to various ancient ruins, medieval and renaissance architectural wonders, awesome food, and other distractions
that litter this city.

Suburban train sporting the national colors in Rome. The colors of the equipment as well as the right-of-way caught my eye--note that the rails are actually painted grey, I suspect to assist in track inspection and maintenance. 

Rome tram lines crossing in the shadow of an ancient wall in the Porto Maggiore neighborhood. The white and yellow cars on the right are meter-gauge; the green cars on the left belong to the main standard-gauge Rome tram lines.

Rome trams meet near the Circo Massimo ruins, where an excavation is underway.

Rome tram stop. The tram system is extensive and somewhat complex in comparison to Rome's subway system. Our hotel
concierge tried to dissuade us from riding the tram, but we found it to be reliable, safe, and fairly easy to use.