Various dates in 2017: 1920s-built E626 power in Italy

Italy has had a fascinating array of electric locomotive types over the years; some of the pre-war classes even lasted in main line service until the 21st century, but these are all now just museum pieces.

Happily, a number have passed into preservation, so they have not totally disappeared.  One of the most famous classes of “prehistoric” electric loco in Italy are the E626s, and there are numerous opportunities through 2017 to ride behind them on relatively cheap specials.

The above is a link to a YouTube video of E626-266 in action last year, uploaded by Michele D’Alterio.

A series of Sundays right through 2017 see top-and-tail E626s work with vintage carriages on recurring tourist specials organised by “Fondazione FS” in the Napoli (Naples) area.  These are on two itineraries – firstly, the “Reggia Express” which sees a simple out-and-back run from Napoli to Caserta, a town approximately 30 miles north that contains a UNESCO world heritage site in the form of its Royal Palace (the train ticket includes entry here), and also the vaunted Caroline Aqueduct.  It has also been the filming location for parts of various movies in the Star Wars and Mission:Impossible franchises.

The “Reggia Express” departs from Napoli Centrale at 10:00 and arrives back at 18:05.  A return ticket costs €18 adult or €9 child, single fares are half that.  Under 6s go free.

The other itinerary is the “Pietrarsa Express” which is more of a day of shuttling up and down along the coast of the Bay of Naples, rather than a true out-and-back to a single destination.  This shuttles between Napoli Campi Flegrei, through Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, calling at Pietrarsa en route which is home to the Italian national railway museum.  The train ticket includes entry here, which looks well worth a visit (list of exhibits here).

A return ticket on the “Pietrarsa Express” costs €12 adult or €6 child, single fares are half that but do not include museum entry.  Under 4s go free.

Tickets for these can be purchased in advance from the Trenitalia website, where they are listed alongside normal service trains, but with the annotation “Treno Storico”.  Some dates have already sold out; others are not yet on sale.

Four machines have worked on these trains during 2017 so far – E626-185, E626-266 (both built in 1927) and E626-294 (1928) and E626-428 (a mere youngster, dating from 1939!) – although, obviously, only two of them on any given day.  To note, the loco on the back in each direction is pan-down, so if you want them both for haulage, you need to travel in both directions.  Edit: ‘266 was sadly robbed of its copper on the night of 27th February 2017, so is currently out of action.  Further edit: ‘185 was similarly violated on the night of 4th August 2017.

Here is a list of forthcoming workings and links to more information (in Italian):-

Sunday 04/06/17

10:25 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, 12:49 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei, 14:20 Napoli Campi Flegrei to Portici-Ercolano and 17:50 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei.  “Pietrarsa Express”.  Link.

Sunday 11/06/17

10:00 Napoli Centrale to Caserta and 17:05 return.  “Reggia Express”.  Link.

Sunday 18/06/17

10:25 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, 12:49 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei, 14:20 Napoli Campi Flegrei to Portici-Ercolano and 17:50 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei.  “Pietrarsa Express”.  Link.

Sunday 02/07/17

10:25 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, 12:49 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei, 14:20 Napoli Campi Flegrei to Portici-Ercolano and 17:50 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei.  “Pietrarsa Express”.  Link.

Sunday 16/07/17

10:25 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, 12:49 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei, 14:20 Napoli Campi Flegrei to Portici-Ercolano and 17:50 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei.  “Pietrarsa Express”.  Link.

Sunday 06/08/17

10:25 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, 12:49 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei, 14:20 Napoli Campi Flegrei to Portici-Ercolano and 17:50 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei.  “Pietrarsa Express”.  Link.

Sunday 20/08/17

10:25 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, 12:49 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei, 14:20 Napoli Campi Flegrei to Portici-Ercolano and 17:50 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei.  “Pietrarsa Express”.  Link.

Sunday 03/09/17

10:25 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, 12:49 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei, 14:20 Napoli Campi Flegrei to Portici-Ercolano and 17:50 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei.  “Pietrarsa Express”.  Link.

Sunday 10/09/17

10:00 Napoli Centrale to Caserta and 17:05 return.  “Reggia Express”.  Link.

Sunday 17/09/17

10:25 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, 12:49 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei, 14:20 Napoli Campi Flegrei to Portici-Ercolano and 17:50 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei.  “Pietrarsa Express”.  Link.

Sunday 01/10/17

10:25 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, 12:49 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei, 14:20 Napoli Campi Flegrei to Portici-Ercolano and 17:50 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei.  “Pietrarsa Express”.  Link.

Sunday 08/10/17

10:00 Napoli Centrale to Caserta and 17:05 return.  “Reggia Express”.  Link.

Sunday 15/10/17

10:25 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, 12:49 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei, 14:20 Napoli Campi Flegrei to Portici-Ercolano and 17:50 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei.  “Pietrarsa Express”.  Link.

Monday 12/11/17

10:25 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, 12:49 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei, 14:20 Napoli Campi Flegrei to Portici-Ercolano and 17:50 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei.  “Pietrarsa Express”.  Link.

Sunday 12/11/17

10:00 Napoli Centrale to Caserta and 17:05 return.  “Reggia Express”.  Link.

Sunday 19/11/17

10:25 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, 12:49 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei, 14:20 Napoli Campi Flegrei to Portici-Ercolano and 17:50 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei.  “Pietrarsa Express”.  Link.

Sunday 03/12/17

10:25 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, 12:49 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei, 14:20 Napoli Campi Flegrei to Portici-Ercolano and 17:50 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei.  “Pietrarsa Express”.  Link.

Sunday 17/12/17

10:25 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano, 12:49 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei, 14:20 Napoli Campi Flegrei to Portici-Ercolano and 17:50 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Campi Flegrei.  “Pietrarsa Express”.  Link.

 

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