FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

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FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby Benny » Tue May 30, 2017 1:07 am

As asked by thousands of railfans (only one), here something new.

The company known as Ferrovie del Sud Est (FSE, railways of the south east), is the biggest network outside FS but, contrary to FNM, is composed mainly of rural lines serving small towns in the Puglia region of southern Italy and only near the big cities of Bari, Lecce and Taranto there are heavy commuters movements.
Trains are actually totally diesel operated but in the last decade the Bari-Taranto line, the busiest one, has been in the process of wiring though until now it is not energized. FSE is the only non electrified Italian railroad that uses double decker coaches.
It was founded in 1931 by a group of investors and born from the merger of various smaller entities that, from the beginning of XX century, built and operated railways in this area where the need of moving agricultural goods is heavy.
After the second World War, with the expansion of road transport and the ageing of fleet and infrastructure, the company, still privately owned, received a good amount of money from the state (law of help to granted railroads) and bought new rolling stock making also some maintenance to track and buildings, but economic troubles followed and at the beginning of the 80s the company entered in Gestione Commissariale Governativa (government commissarial management), a form of management in which the owners declare themselves unable to follow on and renounce to the grant, so that management is taken in charge by state department of transportation through a person (the government commissary) that becomes the railroad boss.
In 2001, following a change in transportation politics, a FSE company was again formed, this time with sole stockholder the transportation ministry, and, after devolution of public transport to local governments, the company was taken in charge by Puglia region.
After many years of bad management, when the lemon was well squeezed and there was no more juice, the regional government asked FS to become the owner of the company.
From the end of 2016 it is part of FS group and, knowing the bad attitude of the state enterprise with local railways, probably some lines will be closed.

The FSE network. Note that Otranto is the easternmost railway station in Italy. (drawing from FSE official site)
Rete_Ferrovie_Sud_Est.png


As usual I will quietly follow on, writing about the interesting stock of this railroad.

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Re: FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby NorthWest » Tue May 30, 2017 11:55 am

Thank you! I'm excited for this!
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Re: FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby johnthefireman » Tue May 30, 2017 2:44 pm

Thanks, Benny. I don't usually have much to say in response to your posts, but I read them with interest.
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Re: FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby David Benton » Wed May 31, 2017 4:30 am

Thanks Benny, and please keep posting, your posts are read by many.
I am not sure where Philip is, he hasn't been on railroad .net since the 21st of May, I hope he is ok.
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Re: FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby Benny » Wed May 31, 2017 1:18 pm

Don't worry my friends, I enjoy sharing my little knowledge, it's only a problem of time for writing. The words about the request were only a little joke with another member of the forum.
About Phil, I hope too he is ok, though he's the king of OT :-D :-D :-D

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Re: FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby Benny » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:18 am

Steam locomotives were all tank engines, with six or eight driving wheels, suitable for rural lines that needed low axleload. These locos generally came from the companies that formed FSE, but two modern 2-6-2s came from the now closed Ferrovia della Val Seriana. More, in peak traffic times, the railroad hired and then bought FS locomotives of classes 870 and 880.
In 1960 FSE has been one of the first granted operators to massively dieselize services so steam traction became marginal and, at the end of the decade, the last "coffeepots" were turned out.

At the end of steam era, various FSE locos were sold to other operators. 316, a 0-6-0 built in 1914 by Officine Meccaniche Italiane of Reggio Emilia, was sold to a firm that made shunting in the Savona harbor area; it then passed to a scrap merchant and subsequently to a private collector.
In 2016 it has been bought by Museo Ferroviario della Puglia (Puglia railway museum) returning to its homeland to be restored as a static exhibit.
In this image of F. Comaianni/Tuttotreno (from internet) is showed the moment when the loco is put in the museum premises.
AISAF+AFS+FSE-EA13_ex_316_scarico-Lecce-2016-06-10-ComaianniFrancesco-IMG_6757_tuttoTRENO_wwwduegieditriceit.jpg


In 1961 railway historian G. Cornolo took this picture of 870.135 in Lecce depot. This locomotive, with other sisters, was bought second hand from FS when the class was phased out. Image courtesy of Photorail.
870fse1961lecce.jpg


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Re: FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby Benny » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:35 am

Just few years after being constituted, FSE bought six MAN diesel railcars to operate fast services on its main lines.
This kind of railcar was built by Officine Meccaniche della Stanga (OMS) of Padua under German license (MAN means Maschinenfabrik Augsburg Nurnberg) and was completely different from the Italian similar vehicles of the time: a squared body against the rounded shape, a single engine of 165 kw instead of two smaller ones, ability to pull one or two trailers... Finally OMS built only 22 units: 6 for FSE, 4 for Ferrovia Benevento Napoli via Valle Caudina (FBN) at the time not yet wired, 3 for Consorzio Cooperativo Ferrovie Reggiane (CCFR, building subcontracted to OMI of Reggio Emilia) and 9 to Societa Veneta (SV), a glorious firm that built and managed railways in half of the nation (an image of a SV MAN railcar can be seen in "The Bassa corridor" thread). In the immediate afterwar the FBN units were bought by FSE putting the Pugliese fleet to 10 railcars, classified as Ad 01-10, that helped very much the renaissance of the heel of Italy.
During the years, with the coming of more modern units, the MANs have been downgraded to minor services and concentrated at the Lecce depot to serve the lines of the Salento peninsula, where they soldiered on, with some modifications, until the half of 1996.
Today, the only preserved MAN sleeps, without its engine, inside Museo Ferroviario della Puglia in Lecce but, for railfans, these strange railcars have become a cult; personally I'm proud to have had rides and photographed nearly all the units of the three operators.


The first of the class, Ad 01 in the old green livery, was captured by W. Hardmeier in 1974 whilst it was arriving at Lecce station.
Ad01a.jpg


In this shot of S. Paolini there is all the atmosphere of southern Italy's secondary railways: sun, palms, squared light-coloured buildings, light tracks...
Ad 02 was caught in 1995 in Otranto, the easternmost place in Italy and terminus of the line from Maglie. Note the driver that is turning the destination board on the railcar side.
feb2005-ad02-250595otranto.jpg


The two images courtesy of Photorail.

Ciao :wink:

PS: someone has news about Phil?
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Re: FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby johnthefireman » Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:02 am

Nice looking little tank engines. Are the extra humps on top of the boiler sand boxes as per US railway practice? In UK, South Africa and Kenya the sand boxes tend to be down amongst the undercarriage rather than on top of the boiler. The advantage of being on top of the boiler is probably that the heat helps to keep the sand dry; the constraint at least in UK is that they would be too big for the loading gauge.
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Re: FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby Benny » Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:53 am

Surely the squared hump on top of the 870 is a sandbox, as is one of the two on 316; the higher one I'm not sure what it is, possibly a depurator or the tank for water cleaning additive.
In Italy normally sandboxes were on top of the boiler, to maintain sand dry but also to make it drop by gravity in case of the air moved mechanism failure.

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Re: FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby NorthWest » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:42 am

Thanks, Benny! Good looking steam locomotive.

It's interesting that they were able to buy license built cars rather than the various Fiat railcars of the period, though I suppose it is for the best, these cars seem to have long outlasted the 1930s Fiats which had problems with reliability/quality...
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Re: FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby Benny » Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:39 pm

At the time there were strong political and consequently economical connections with Germany so it's not so strange that stock projected in that nation was bought by Italian railroads; instead it should have been a manner to give work at smaller Italian industries.
Where you can see the protectionist and autarkic politics of the regimen is in the facts that to do it (and surely to study the foreign technology) were used granted railroads instead of the FS that were the official representative of the government, and that were built only 22 units though they were good horses.
About the Italian railcars of the time, I can't define myself a Fiat fan but I've to admit that its littorinas were good products, surely spartan and little more than a bus on rails but reliable and simple. In my avatar you can see ALn 556.1277, built in the 30s, still running in 1982.
Instead, the coeval railcars built by the other big firm, Breda, were more "train" but had, for all their long operating life, problems with engines cooling (and consequent overheating) and with the delicate Wilson gearbox.

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Re: FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby Benny » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:11 am

At the beginning of the 50s, Italian private or granted railroads were in a bad situation because of fault of investment to modernize the service , war damages and rubber tyred transport politics.
The first attempt to reduce cost and give a better service on the FSE low patronized lines was made buying two couples motor+driving trailer of the so-called Macchifer railcars.
Two words of explanation for who doesn't knows these vehicles.
After WW2, german railways were too in the need of modernize and drastically reduce the high costs generated by steam traction on secondary lines.
The answer came from the Uerdingen firm, that proposed what then became famous as Schienenbus, namely bus on rails. This is a lightweight 2-axle bidirectional railcar that can be coupled with a driving trailer; it's layout is open space and is moved by a 96 kw engine through a mechanical gearbox. Classified as VT 95 and then as 795, they became ubiquitous on DB minor lines until the 80s.
Italian company Macchi of Varese, being in good relationship with German industries (they were licensed for Bussing road vehicles), set up a trains division (Macchifer, that gave the nickname for these railbuses) and was authorized to use the Uerdingen patents but only had two orders: five motors and two trailers for CCFR of Reggio Emilia and two motors and two trailers for FSE.
Life of these smart vehicles during their thirty years career has been very quiet, a daily work, especially in the southern part of the network, without highlights but also without major problems until the retirement in the half of the 80s.
No FSE units were preserved but an identical motor from Reggio Emilia is now in the hands of a preservation society and resides at Iseo Trenord depot, available (when the engine run) for charter services.

Motor Ad 21 and driving trailer Rp 221 were caught entering Lecce depot in 1982.
Ad21Rp221Lecce291282.jpg


After retirement,the same couple was shooted in 1987 dumped in a dead end track of Novoli station waiting for their sad doom.
ad21erp221-221287novoli copia.jpg


The two images by F. Capezza courtesy of Photorail.

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Re: FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby NorthWest » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:57 am

Thanks, Benny! They look just as good in green as they do in red.
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Re: FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby Benny » Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:44 am

In the second half of the 50s FSE received a substantial economic aid from Italian State through a law made to help the granted railroads, that were generally in a technical and financial sorry state.
The biggest new that came with this money has been the batch of 30 railcars (Ad 51-80) and 22 driving trailers (Rp 551-572) that is generally referred as Breda stock and that permitted, with other new vehicles, the phasing out of steam traction. Really Breda drawn the project and produced engines and transmission but bodies and trucks were built by Aerfer, a Breda controlled plant in Naples, as well as the assembly was made there.
Following the know how of the time, the railcars had only one 395 kw 12 cylinders boxer style engine that moved the two axles of a truck through a Wilson gearbox; the ensemble engine-transmission was the same that equipped the Trans Europe Express DMUs provided to FS.
This stock took in charge nearly all passenger trains and for half a century run up and down on the FSE network giving a good service to the Puglia people. The main problems of these units came from the heavy trailers, that provoked gearbox wearing and engine overheating in the warm southern Italy weather; because of it, trailers were often used as normal coaches pulled by a diesel loco.
During the 2000s these railcars were progressively retired and now only the last one, Ad 80, is still serviceable; the hope is that it can be preserved but the disastrous situation of the company leaves few illusions.

In a sunny day of September 1990 the couple Ad 59+Rp 557, fulfilled of people returning from the Otranto beaches, was captured by F. Capezza running across the country towards Maglie.
ad59er557-250990cogiurdig copia.jpg


In 1995 S. Paolini caught a little sketch of daily life: taking advantage of the wait for a crossing train, the Galatina station master and the crew of Ad 53 have a brief chat.
feb2005-ad53-270595galatina.jpg


The two images courtesy of Photorail.

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Re: FERROVIE DEL SUD EST

Postby Benny » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:04 am

Just for laugh (for not cry): The Otranto-Maglie line will be closed all the summer (many thanks from the users of beaches) because of supposed works on track (renewed two years ago). Traduced from the bureaucratic language: it´s a test for the definitive closure.
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