The Railway
PONTE SUL TEVERE - 1900Storiche archivio

Bridge over the Tiber 1900

edited by Simona  Bellucci

After the unification of Italy, rail projects arose in abundance, also because  the construction of the national network was in full swing and all the municipalities saw in the railway connections the possibility of getting out of isolation. In 1866 a Florence-Perugia-Rome railway was inaugurated, which placed Umbria on the main railway axis. It passed from Terontola to Umbertide and Perugia. It did not last long, because as early as 1875 a railway from Terontola to Chiusi was inaugurated that cut off Perugia and Terni from the main axis. From here began the disasters for the railways of the region, because that stretch was abandoned. Alongside the main lines, the government also financed the secondary ones, which is why in 1880 a consortium was formed in Arezzo between various municipalities  for the construction of an Umbrian-Arezzo railway, of which the municipality of Città di Castello was diligent advocate, a commitment that gave the hoped-for results in a short time, as already in 1886 the section of the Arezzo-Fossato di Vico Central Apennine Railway was inaugurated with a length of 133 km. The narrow gauge railway that passed through Sansepolcro, Citta 'di Castello, Umbertide, Gubbio, fulfilled an important function of connection between the Tyrrhenian and the Adriatic. In fact, it was connected to the line for Florence on one side and for Ancona on the other, but the winding route with  considerable slopes, meant that it was not so useful. However, it continued to carry out its function until it ceased its service during the Second World War due to the damage it suffered.

PASSAGGIO A LIVELLO - 1901Storiche archi

Railway line in Umbertide in  1901

Umbertide, however, felt the need to connect also with the most important neighboring city and capital of his province: Perugia. The municipal council wanted to commit itself to this, also because interest was growing on the part of other centers, in fact Terni also wanted to connect with Perugia. In 1899 a conference was held in Terni on the project of a railway line up to Umbertide, passing through Perugia, after which a few years later in 1911 the construction of the railway began and on 12 July 1915 the line was inaugurated. From the initial steam traction, in 1920, we moved on to electri fi cation. Umbertide was an important connection center, because there was a coincidence  between trains coming from Perugia and direct or towards Arezzo or  towards Ancona.

 Railway station  railway in Umbertide in about 1910 and construction of bridges and toll booth in Montecorona in about 1935.

The two railway lines passing through Umbertide, the Arezzo-Fossato di Vico line and the Umbertide-Terni line, although not particularly efficient, especially the first, nevertheless fulfilled a fundamental function of connection. He became aware of this especially in the last phase of the war period, when both interrupted the connections due to the damage caused by the bombings carried out by the Allies, in order to make the retreat of the German army more difficult and for the collection of rolling stock. by both the Germans and the Allies. The rolling stock and sleepers were used to rebuild temporary bridges, to restore the minimum necessary connections.

The two lines suffered different fate after their destruction.

The whole railway from Umbertide to Terni had been damaged. The first section put back into operation was the southern one to connect Perugia with Terni and only later work was resumed for the northern section, that is from Perugia to Umbertide. However, the latter reopened quite early, in 1948, and once again fulfilled its important liaison function. 

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IMG_5054.JPG

What remains of the railway line in the section between Gubbio and  Umbertide.

There are two tunnels under the current route of the Statale: proceeding from Umbertide in the direction of Gubbio, immediately after the town of Camporeggiano, the first one you meet is on the orographic right of the Assino, then  crossing the river on the pipeline bridge  you meet the second on the orographic left.

Photos and information:  Eugenio Baldinelli lawyer

In addition to the workers in the workshop, the people of Umbria also boasted a high rate of employment among the traveling staff and train drivers. The railway therefore represented an important and quality source of employment in the local context, with about 150 employees.  

The railway also had two dormitories at the terminus of Sansepolcro and Temi for the  traveling personnel, in operation since the nineties. It played an undoubtedly modern factor in an area which, isolated from the motorway network, was unable to escape from its isolation even when a late construction of the E7 motorway was prepared.

The company that took care of the railways was the FAC until the war period, after the war the  "MUA",  then it was replaced by the "FCU", then by "BUS Italia" and now it has passed to the "Rete Ferroviaria Italiana". Today the railway network is fully back in operation after the problems on the line of the last decade.

In a difficult period, many came to hypothesize the possible disposal of part of the railway structure. A young architect from Umbertide, Alessandro Venturelli, worked on his degree thesis on the possible reuse of the railway workshops  with internal technical tables at the time that it was feared for  its disposal:  City Market Museum of Umbertide. Restoration and reuse of an abandoned railway area ", academic year 2012/13at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Florence.

The link refers to the thesis page. The image allows you to access the thesis with the tables that Alessandro has made available.

https://www.umbertidestoria.net/tesi-di-laurea

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Sources:

- Simona Bellucci: Umbertide in the 20th century 1943-2000, Nuova Prhomos, 2018.

-  https://www.trenidicarta.it/aperture.html

- Umbria-Apennine Railway Photos and information - Avv.  Eugenio Baldinelli

- Photo: historical photos of Umbertide from the web and from various private archives  to which  we applied the " umbertidestoria " watermark  in this way we try to avoid that the further disclosure on our part favors purposes not consonant with our intentions exclusively  social and cultural.

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