Rome–Formia–Naples railway

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Rome–Formia–Naples railway
Type Heavy rail
Status in use
Locale Italy
Termini Rome
Owner RFI
Operator(s) Trenitalia
Line length 214 km (133 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 3 kV DC
Route map
0.000 Roma Termini
Belt railway
4.257 Roma Casilina
to Cassino and Naples
12.195 Torricola
23.950 Pomezia-Santa Palomba
33.500 Campoleone
to Nettuno
39.874 Caranountil 1941 [1]
49.780 Cisterna di Latina
61.018 Latina
from Velletri (until 1958)
70.221 Sezze Romano
to Priverno (until 1958)
from Priverno (until 1985)
85.391 Priverno-Fossanova
to Terracina
Mont'Orso (7531 m)
102.901 Monte San Biagio
109.616 Fondi-Sperlonga
Vivola (7321 m)
122.502 Itri
from Gaeta (until 1966)
128.423 Formia-Gaeta
138.478 Minturno-Scauri
to Sparanise (until 1943)
to Sparanise (1949–1957)
153.456 Sessa Aurunca-Roccamonfina
164.832 Falciano-Mondragone-Carinola
173.090 Cancello Arnone
Villa Literno
to Napoli Gianturco
5.860 Albanova
9.556 San Marcellino-Frignano
to and from Foggia
see Naples–Foggia railway
197.540 Napoli Centrale

The Rome–Formia–Naples railway—also called the Rome–Naples Direttissima in Italian ("most direct")–is part of the traditional main north-south trunk line of the Italian railway network. It was opened in 1927 as a fast link as an alternative to the existing Rome–Naples via Cassino line, significantly reducing journey times. High-speed trains on the route use the parallel Rome–Naples high-speed railway, which was partially opened in December 2005, and fully in December 2009.


Problems with the Rome–Naples line via Cassino led to proposals for the construction of a new line nearer the coast as early as 1871. When the Papal States planned the Cassino line, it was not designed just as a direct connection with Naples, but also was intended to connect with smaller localities on the way. Partly as a result, it had a tortuous route which, especially in the valley of the Sacco River, was subject to frequent disruption by floods and landslides. The old line was built to the avoid the coastal route through the Pontine Marshes, which was still swampy and malarial. As a result, its route is hilly and in parts mountainous, creating problems for the under-powered steam locomotives of the period.[2]

The construction of a coastal line was authorised by legislation on 29 July 1879 on condition that it was coordinated with the Terracina–Priverno and the Gaeta–Formia–Sparanise lines. The commitment was confirmed by legislation on 5 July 1882 and during the reorganisation of the Italian railways in 1885. The project was always controversial: it is supported by railway engineers such as Alfredo Cottrau[3] but opposed by politicians such as Francesco Saverio Nitti.[4]

The final design of the line was drafted in 1902 and approved in 1905 when responsibility for the project was assumed by Ferrovie dello Stato (the State Railways). Construction began in 1907 but was not finished until 1927 because it was necessary to dig several long tunnels, including the Monte Orso and the Vivola tunnels, both of which are about 7.5 km long.



  1. ^ Ordine di Servizio 107 - 1941
  2. ^ Taverna, A. Storia delle ferrovie italiane (History of the Italian railways) (in Italian). 
  3. ^ Cottrau, Alfredo (1883). La direttissima Napoli-Roma; studiata in modo da usufruire di alcuni tratti dell'attuale linea ferroviaria Cottrau (in Italian). Napoli. 
  4. ^ Nitti, Francesco Saverio (1903). Napoli e la questione meridionale (in Italian). Pierro. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Winchester, Clarence, ed. (1936), "The Rome-Naples Direttissima", Railway Wonders of the World, pp. 1332–1336  contemporary illustrated description of the route

Media related to Rome-Formia-Naples railway at Wikimedia Commons