The Old Spoleto Norcia Railway is a rare example of abandoned infrastructure, but never forgotten by the populations of south-eastern Umbria, which at the beginning of the last century found in it the way to connect the area of Norcia and the nearby Marche with Spoleto and Terni. A perfect combination of history, memory, traditions, nature, human talent, sport and tourism. A work defined as a railway engineering masterpiece that today aims to become a driving force of primary importance for the economy of the territories it touches.
THE ROUTE OF THE OLD RAILWAY
Due to its plano-altimetric characteristics, the Spoleto-Norcia railway can be defined as an Alpine railway and represents a small gem of railway engineering. Along the relatively short 51 kilometer route, 19 tunnels were built, with the pass near Caprareccia almost 2 kilometers long, 24 futuristic engineering bridges and viaducts of great architectural value, with various sections of helical lines, similar to those which are often found on Swiss railways and slopes of up to 45 per thousand in the section between Spoleto and the Nera river valley; for these reasons it was also called the Gotthard of Umbria.
For economy reasons it was equipped with 18 kg per linear meter Vignole’s type rails. The narrow gauge of 950 mm was mainly adopted to contain the radius of curvature in many sections of the route: in this way the construction costs were kept lower than those that would have been incurred in the case of the ordinary gauge, but at the price of a very winding route.