FERROVIE NORD MILANO

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FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby Benny » Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:08 pm

Sorry for the lateness, here a little Christmas gift.

Starting a speech about private or "non state owned" railways, seems me a good idea to begin with the busiest one, that incidentally I know very well having lived all my youth near its main station.
Ferrovie Nord Milano (FNM), that can be translated as Railways to the North of Milan, born in 1879 as Ferrovie Milano Saronno and Milano Erba, from the names of the first ends, but yet in 1883 became FNM. The company was set up by a Belgian businessman, Mr. Vaucamps, because between 1800 and 1900 Belgian investment groups were strongly involved in local railways and tramways in various parts of Europe.
Starting with the two first lines, that still today are between the busiest ones in Italy, FNM absorbed other companies and built new lines so that, in 1928, it managed 247 km (153 miles) connecting four provinces, two regions and two nations; not bad for a local railroad.
The FNM web of lines in 1928, in its maximum expansion.
mapa.jpg

Interestingly, the Saronno to Como line born as a roadside tramway but was bought by FNM in 1888 and modified as a railway becoming one of the arms of the web.
Another really interesting line has been the so called Valmorea railway that, built to serve the paper mills along the Olona river from Castellanza to the north, was prolonged to Mendrisio, in Switzerland, with the idea of connecting the Genoa harbour with the Gotthard line and northern Europe. Unfortunately the international link only survived two years, from 1926 to 28, because the fascist government was not happy with a border transit managed by foreign investors and sabotaged the line never completing the custom services. So what remained of the line, the only one never wired of the original FNM web, has been used only for local services until the 50s, when the passenger services ceased (hamlets were far away from the stations), and the freight ones followed until mid 70s when, closed the main plants, all movements were stopped.

Given the big numbers, yet early the busiest stretches started to be doubled and now the core line, Milan to Saronno, has four tracks.
Note that FNM has its own stations and the Milan Cadorna one, the biggest, has 10 tracks for passengers movement.

Apart the Valmorea one, only the Como to Varese line has been closed (only few years afteor having been wired!) following a wave of policy against the rail. In same times (50s/60s) the Saronno to Seregno line became freight only; only in 2012 it has been rebuilt and reopened to passenger services as part of the suburban Saronno to Vermezzo connection.
Also the Seveso to Camnago short stretch became freight only in the 50s and in 2006 reopened as terminus for the shuttles from Milan.

In 1974 FNM was bought by the Lombardy regional government and slowly became its operating arm.

On the freight side, logically FNM born as a commercial carrier and until the end of the 70s there has been good freight traffic (e.g. the Alfa Romeo factory in Arese was connected to Garbagnate station and on the Saronno to Seregno line various chemical plants had sidings) but, for political reasons, from the mid 70s railways were practically dedicated to commuters and in FNM freight trains were seen only as disturbs to passenger ones so quickly disappeared for the happiness of truck drivers and the lines have been rebuilt in a metro style.

In 1992 FNM became the manager of the diesel operated Brescia to Edolo railway, previously in the hands of another company, and, in 1999, of the newly built Malpensa airport connection. When open access freight services became reality, the company has been between the first ones to start this kind of operations with the help of DBcargo (that now is the major shareholder of the freight division).
Instead the passenger branch, after various adjustments in the last years, in which was renamed Ferrovienord and then Lenord, in 2011fusioned with the Lombardy regional division of Trenitalia and became Trenord so putting the railway service (apart long distance trains) in the region under a single operator.

Hope it can interest you, very quietly I will follow with the interesting FNM rolling stock.

Ciao :wink:
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Re: FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby NorthWest » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:39 pm

Thanks, Benny, especially for the map. It is hard to find English information on the FNM and other private railways, and translator programs can be suspect.
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Re: FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby philipmartin » Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:42 pm

I appreciate your informing us about railways in Italy, Benny. Here's a link to the Wiki article on the Ferrovie Nord Milano.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrovie_Nord_Milano
Take a ride on the FNM:https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-41GWNhStCI&autoplay=1

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-41GWNhStCI&autoplay=1

Buon Natale!
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Re: FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby Benny » Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:24 pm

As all the old railroads, FNM started working with steam traction. There were various types of locos, too much to be described, but someones are worth some more words. All the steam engines were tank locomotives.

When FNM absorbed the Novara to Seregno RR the locomotives of the last one became part of its rolling stock; between them the seven 040 class 200 built in 1883 and used for light trains and shunting. The last units survived until the 70s and one of its, 200.05, in 1974 has been returned to its original state joint with three old coaches to form the FNM historic train.

Sometimes the historic train made trips outside the company's borders. Here is seen on the Alessandria to Cavallermaggiore FS line.
20005-230900nizzamonferrato copia.jpg


Typical of the Valmorea line was the class 270, also because of the light axleload admitted. This 7 units class was composed of 060 engines built between 1888 and 1902 and one of its is now plinthed in the main FNM depot, in Novate Milanese.

270.04 plinthed in Novate depot to remember at railwaymen the roaring times.
27004-xx0603dlnovatemse2.jpg


In 1895 FNM received a 12 units class with a 440 wheel arrangement. Around 1936, needing more powerful engines, the untire class was sold, partly for scrap, partly for private sidings and partly to the Monza Molteno Oggiono (MMO) railroad, where they demonstrated to be very suitable because of the curvy route and became class 20. When the MMO was absorbed by FS one of these units, 22, was preserved for a future museum and, after nearly half a century, it is now exposed in National Railway Museum in Pietrarsa.

After MMO was absorbed by FS, its rolling stock has been dumped for a time at Milano Smistamento freight yard. Here is seen an unidentified class 20 waiting the scrap.
1961 mmo 20 smista.jpg


The three images by S. Paolini courtesy of Photorail.
It will follow....

Ciao :wink:
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Re: FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby Benny » Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:06 am

At the beginning of the 20th century FNM received a series of 080 locos, classified as 400 and then 240, that resulted good horses for freight services. In the 50s,with the progress of wiring, the entire class was sold to other operators or for scrap. In the 80s 240.05 has been recovered from the Savona port authority, where it worked 30 years before being dumped, and slowly returned it to service. Today is the second historic loco of FNM, although there are not consistent coaches and its use with the first historic train is ridiculous.

IMG_6493 copy.jpg

240.05 caught during a photographic train on the Saronno to Seregno line, at the time dewired.
Image by S. Paolini courtesy by Photorail

The most peculiar steam locos of FNM were the 20 units that composed class 280. These were 2 cylinders superheated locos with 460 wheels arrangement which were built between 1909 and 1927 and resulted the best suitable, being powerful and reliable. The last units were used until the end of 50s, when the entire class has been sold, partly to scrap traders and partly to SFEN, another private railroad that managed the Biella to Novara line. Unfortunately, few years later, SFEN has been absorbed by FS and its motive power alienated, so no one of this interesting class has been preserved.

2.jpg

Measures are in mm
Drawings from "cento anni di storia delle FNM" by G. Cornolo, Globo 1979.


The 8 machines that composed class 420 (then 220) were really imposing freight locomotives. Built in 1924, they had 280 wheels arrangement, used superheated steam to feed the 2 cylinders from a boiler of 5.9 ft diameter and were very powerful but too much heavy. Because of it and as the wiring displaced steam to lines with a lighter axleweight that cannot permit their transit, in the 30s some units were sold to SFEN and, after WW2 recovery, the entire class was eliminated.

Last but not least, the most powerful and fast tank engines that ever ran on Italian tracks, the 4 locomotives that composed class 290 and that, personally, I think are between the nicest Italian steam locos.
Built in 1931 from a german project, they were 264 three cylinders engines with a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) destined primarily to the heavy morning and evening trains between Milan and Laveno/Como and, in the wired stretch, because of the good acceleration they not only can maintain the EMUs timetable but even run faster.
Unfortunately their characteristics condemned themselves: with the progress of electrification on the main lines they cannot be displaced to lighter ones and so, in 1955, the four FNM queens were sold to scrap traders.

Questions? Curiosities? Next time (veeery quietly) I will start to describe electric rolling stock.

Ciao :wink:
Last edited by Benny on Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby philipmartin » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:16 am

Colorful consists, that is the cars in the trains; red, yellow, grey, green.
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Re: FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby Benny » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:12 pm

philipmartin wrote:Colorful consists, that is the cars in the trains; red, yellow, grey, green.



When FNM decided to rebuild some old carriages as they were originally to form a train to be coupled with 200.05, the idea was to recreate a 1880 consist.
At that time each wagon was painted according to the class or use (first class green, second yellow, third red and freight grey).
This is one of the reasons because the use of loco 240 with this convoy is not.historically correct (from the new century became on use the green painting for coaches).

Ciao :wink:
Last edited by Benny on Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby george matthews » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:10 pm

I notice that the third class was nearest to the stink of the steam loco.
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Re: FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby philipmartin » Wed Dec 28, 2016 6:36 pm

Benny wrote:

When FNM decided to rebuild some old carriages as they were originally to form a train to be coupled with 200.05, the idea was to recreate a 1880 consist.
:

What a nice idea. Mille grazie, FNM.
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Re: FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby philipmartin » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:09 pm

Here's an extensive article on the Menaggio Porlezza Railway, Ferrovia Menaggio-Porlezza, from "Richard's Treasure Chest," and it seems to be a real treasure. https://richardjnz.wordpress.com/welcom ... a-railway/
A short YouTube of scenic photographs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ou8cyih9ICk
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Re: FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby Benny » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:23 am

george matthews wrote:I notice that the third class was nearest to the stink of the steam loco.



In the railways early days what you told was correct but, according to what I read it was more because of the dirty smoke than of bad smelling.

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Re: FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby philipmartin » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:12 pm

Soot, yes; stink, no. That's just George's hyperbole.

Here are home movies, made by the late Jerry Robertson, of a fan trip in the 1950s, in New Jersey. People all around the steam engines, none of them seem to notice the "stink," to use George's imaginative term.
I've posted this video here before. I like it so much, in part because you see the railroaders hanging on the camelbacks, riding them around the yards.

http://youtu.be/u3IhC65QbQM
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Re: FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby NorthWest » Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:27 pm

It is interesting that the express locomotive is a 4-6-0... FS and other Italian railways tended to eschew the 4-wheel pony truck after a method was devised to help steer the first driver into curves. All of the tendered classes seem to have full length vestibule cabs which are usually associated with colder climates.
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Re: FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby philipmartin » Thu Dec 29, 2016 7:55 pm

Those camelback 4-6-0s were Jersey Central engines and pulled commuter trains. The CNJ was a small and always a somewhat impoverished railroad, running in New Jersey and part of eastern Pennsylvania.
My impression is that most steam road engines in North America had four wheel pilot trucks.
The film also shows a lot of the Pennsylvania Railroad's K4s Pacifics laying over in Bay Head; it's a weekend. They are real express locomotives. They pulled high speed trains between the east and the mid west. Here's a photo of one, the 389, from http://prrsteam.pennsyrr.com - The pilot is different from the ones in Bay Head, but the Pennsy had 425 K4s', so there are minor differences.
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Re: FERROVIE NORD MILANO

Postby george matthews » Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:04 pm

Benny wrote:
george matthews wrote:I notice that the third class was nearest to the stink of the steam loco.



In the railways early days what you told was correct but, according to what I read it was more because of the dirty smoke than of bad smelling.

Ciao :wink:

I am sure it was unpleasant to be near a coal burning loco, and the administration wanted to put their poorest passengers near it. Probably true throughout the world.
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