Repurposing FS assets
Like other European railway companies, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane has been involved in extensive reorganisation and requalification of unused FS property. This involves unused railway lines and unattended stations. As the latter no longer need the physical presence of railway staff due to evolution in technology, they are managed remotely via computerised devices and are therefore subject to serious risks of vandalism.
Currently around 1,700 Ferroviaria Italiana network stations are unattended and Gruppo FS wishes to loan these to associations and municipalities for social projects with a positive effect on the areas in question and the quality of services offered in these stations. Around 345 of these stations – covering a surface area of over 63,683 square metres – have already been assigned.
A new project to renovate areas for use for social and environmental purposes has commenced further to a Protocol of Intent with Tuscany Regional Council, Legambiente, AITR (Associazione Italiana Turismo Responsabile – Italian Association for Responsible Tourism), CSVnet (Centri di Servizi per il Volontariato – Voluntary Service Centres) and Legacoop Sociali.
An important example and recent renovation project to renovate corporate property entailed transformation of part of the station in Ronciglione into a home for families with children suffering from cancer. This station has been loaned for six years, has now been fully-transformed and is run by Association “Cuore di Mamma”.
We are in an age of the circular economy, of fighting against waste and reusing resources. The principle of recycling also applies to railway lines that are no longer used. FS actually has 3,000 km of disused railway lines, of which 325 km are destined to become greenways: cycling tracks and green routes which are accessible to everybody, and are reserved for soft mobility.
To systematically collect information and maps linked to these assets, FS Italiane and RFI have created an Atlas of disused railway lines. This is particularly aimed at associations, to those who deal with local policies and more generally to public administrations. The Atlas provides forms with information related to individual disused lines, subdivided into large geographical areas (North, Centre, South and Islands) and then divided from each of these into regions.
FS Italiane owns 3,000 km of unused railway lines, 325 km of which have been set aside for use as greenways: cycle paths and country walks accessible to anyone. The Group wishes to draw up a National Greenways Plan in the footsteps of other European countries, such as Spain, involving Governmental Institutions and above all the Ministry of the Environment, Regional Councils, Local Authorities and leading Environmental Associations.
An important city greenways project is currently underway on the former Rome – Cesano railway line.