Pisa–La Spezia–Genoa railway

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From Rome
From Collesalvetti
From Florence
0,00 Pisa Centrale
Arno river
2.00 Pisa San Rossore
To Lucca
From Lucca
9.00 Migliarino Pisano
17.00 Torre del Lago Puccini
From Florence
21.00 Viareggio Scalo
22.00 Viareggio
27.00 Camaiore Lido
32.00 Pietrasanta
36.00 Forte dei Marmi–Seravezza¬–Querceta
40.00 Montignoso
43.00 Massa Centro
46.00 Massa Zona Industriale
From industrial area and port of Carrara
50.00 Carrara-Avenza
Carrara Marble Private Railway
54.00 Luni
57.00 San Lazzaro–Fosdinovo
60.00 Sarzana
To Santo Stefano di Magra
Magra river
63.00 Romito Magra
65.00 Arcola
To Stefano di Magra and Parma
From Stefano di Magra and Parma
68.00 Vezzano Ligure
71+390 Ca' di Boschetti
To La Spezia port
72+950 La Spezia Migliarina
74+830 La Spezia Scalo
76+162 La Spezia Centrale
To La Spezia arsenal
79+474 Riomaggiore
76+837 Corniglia
73+607 Vernazza
66+402 Levanto
63+476 Bonassola
60+558 Framura
57+091 Deiva Marina
53+280 Moneglia
48+043 Riva Trigoso
Gromolo river
45+118 Sestri Levante (new) / Sestri Levante (old)
42+340 Cavi
39+856 Lavagna
Entella river
37+654 Chiavari
32+804 Zoagli
29+193 Rapallo
San Michele di Pagana
26+818 Santa Margherita Ligure–Portofino
San Lorenzo della Costa
21+744 Camogli–San Fruttuoso
Priarountil 1981 [1]
20+022 Recco
18+601 Mulinetti
Mulinetti (old)
16+463 Sori
Sori (old)
15+086 Pieve Ligure
Pieve di Sori
13+818 Pontetto
12+922 Bogliasco
Genova Sant'Ilario
10+791 Genova Nervi
Nervi river
Genova Via Cattaneo
9+140 Genova Quinto al Mare
Via Argiroffo
7+111 Genova Quarto dei Mille
Sturla river
Via Tabarca
5+551 Genova Sturla (new) / Sturla (old)
Bisagno river
2+542 Genova Brignole
0+000 Genova Piazza Principe
To Milan
To Turin
To Ventimiglia

The Pisa–Genoa railway is one of the trunk lines of the Italian railway network. It runs along the Ligurian coast from Genoa to Pisa through the Riviera di Levante and the Versilia. It passes through the cities of Massa, Carrara and La Spezia. South of Pisa the Pisa–Rome line continues along the Tyrrhenian coast to Rome. The line is double track and is fully electrified at 3,000 V DC. Passenger traffic is managed by Trenitalia.


The line was created by the connection of two separate projects. The first, between Pisa and Massa was an extension of the existing line from Pisa; the second was what was called the Ligurian railway.

Tuscan railway[edit]

On 15 April 1861, the Livornese Railway Company (Italian: Società delle Ferrovie Livornesi) opened the first 19 kilometre section opened between Pisa Porta Nuova station (now called Pisa San Rossore) and Viareggio (later called Viareggio Scalo). In the following December this was followed by a connection in the south with Pisa Centrale station and in the north a ten kilometre section from Viareggio to Pietrasanta. In 1862 two further sections were opened: on 1 February 3.5 kilometres between Pietrasanta and Seravezza and on 1 November seven kilometres between Seravezza and Massa.

In 1865, the Livornese Railway Company was absorbed by other companies and the Florence–Pistoia–Pisa and the Pisa–Massa–La Spezia lines were transferred to the Società per le Strade Ferrate Romane (Roman Railways).[2] In 1869 the Roman Railways transferred them to the Società per le strade ferrate dell'Alta Italia (Upper Italian Railways).[3]

Ligurian railway[edit]

The project for a Ligurian railway that would connect Ventimiglia with Massa (thus connecting the existing railways of central Italy) was agreed by a royal decree on 27 October 1860 but its realisation, because the rugged Ligurian coast, proved the most difficult and costly project of the period. This line was built initially by the state railway of the Kingdom of Sardinia (Piedmont), but the line was assigned to the Upper Italian Railways on its establishment in 1865.[3]

The first section of the project, 17 kilometre between Massa and Sarzana was opened on 15 May 1863 and was followed by the more difficult Sarzana–Vezzano LigureLa Spezia section on 4 August 1864. On the 23 November 1868 the first part of the northern end of the line was opened with the 36 kilometre section between Genova Brignole and Chiavari. This was followed by the extension to Sestri Levante on 25 April 1870.

On 25 July 1872 with the opening of the connecting tunnel between Genova Brignole and Genova Piazza Principe The section of line to Sestri Levante was no longer isolated and was connected over the Apennines but especially to the line to Ventimiglia, which had been completed on 25 January 1872.

Sestri Levante–La Spezia[edit]

This was the most difficult section of the entire project. The railway had to run for long distances next to the sea and follow the twists of the coast to minimise the number and length of tunnels. In addition the bad weather of the winter of 1872 caused landslides, which forced changes to be made to the route during construction. Furthermore, since long stretches of coastline inaccessible by land, requiring the carriage of materials by sea the violent storms delayed the work.

Finally on 24 July 1874 the line was opened to traffic.[3] This stretch of line was truly revolutionary because it ended the isolation of small towns of the eastern Italian Riviera (the Riviera di Levante), including the famous Cinque Terre villages, which finally had a permanent link with the rest of the world. This stretch included 51 tunnels totalling over 28 kilometres in a total length of 44 kilometres and 23 bridges with a total length of nearly a kilometre. Because of the difficult topography of the area and the harsh conditions encountered during construction, the line had been built as a single track. Duplication was completed in 1971 with the opening of the last section between Framura and Monterosso, which included the new Levanto station.

The Mediterranean Network took over the line in 1885.[4] In 1905 Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) was established and took over the line along with most other standard gauge railways in Italy.


The Genoa-La Spezia line was electrified in two phases:

  • Genoa–Sestri Levante was electrified with the three-phase system (3,700V at 16.7 Hz) in May 1925 and converted to the 3,000V DC system in February 1948.[5]
  • Sestri Levante–La Spezia was electrified with three-phase system in April 1926[6] and then converted to 3,000V DC in April 1947.[5]

FS had started the conversion of its lines to DC in 1928. The electrification of the line was badly damaged during World War II and as a result it was rebuilt as a DC line.[5]

Abandoned single track lines[edit]

Since the 1930s the line has been doubled on the section between Sestri Levante and La Spezia, leaving a long stretch of abandoned line. Today, the abandoned line, including tunnels, still exist and can be explored on foot between Levanto and Deiva Marina. The section between Deiva Marina and Riva Trigoso was converted into a one-lane road, which is now operated in alternate directions, controlled by traffic lights.


  1. ^ Notizie flash. In: ″I Treni Oggi″ nr. 7 (march 1981), p. 5–6.
  2. ^ Kalla-Bishop 1971, p. 23
  3. ^ a b c Kalla-Bishop 1971, p. 41
  4. ^ Kalla-Bishop 1971, p. 52
  5. ^ a b c Kalla-Bishop 1971, p. 104
  6. ^ Kalla-Bishop 1971, p. 103


  • Kalla-Bishop, P. M. (1971), Italian Railways, Newton Abbott, Devon, England: David & Charles, ISBN 0-7153-5168-0 

See also[edit]