The Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group owns not only assets that are functional for its core business, but also extensive real estate holdings that are no longer used, consisting of train stations, booths and tracks. To date, in collaboration with local bodies and nonprofit associations, 418 stations have been reassigned for activities to improve the local area or provide public services103.
Total spaces of roughly 155,563 m² have been provided, with a total value of around €233,344,000. Idle railway lines that can potentially be used for social purposes and soft mobility span approximately 1,162 km. At present, roughly 465 km of idle lines have been converted into tourist lines, cycling paths and greenways.
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.