Various dates in 2018: 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 2018 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 2018 are advertised to see top-and-tail E626s work with vintage carriages on recurring tourist specials organised by “Fondazione FS” in the Napoli (Naples) area.  This itinerary is called the “Pietrarsa Express”, and consists of two round trips from 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).

Traction

The publicity for these workings specifies top-and-tail E626s.  However, of the four such machines that performed on these workings in 2017 – E626-185, E626-266 (both built 1927), E626-294 (1928) and E626-428 (1939), two of them suffered serious vandalism damage.  Both ‘266 (27th February 2017) and ‘185 (4th August 2017) were robbed of their copper – leaving just ‘294 and ‘428 operational.  In the event of either being unavailable, I would expect E646-028 or E646-196 to substitute.

Tickets

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.

Times and Dates

The diagram is as follows:

96059 11:12 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano
96058 13:54 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Centrale
96061 14:35 Napoli Centrale to Portici-Ercolano
96060 17:33 Portici-Ercolano to Napoli Centrale

Operating dates for 2018 are advertised as:

Sunday 7th January 2018
Sunday 21st January 2018
Sunday 4th February 2018
Sunday 18th February 2018
Sunday 4th March 2018
Sunday 18th March 2018
Sunday 8th April 2018
Sunday 22nd April 2018
Sunday 6th May 2018
Sunday 20th May 2018
Sunday 3rd June 2018
Sunday 17th June 2018
Sunday 1st July 2018
Sunday 15th July 2018
Sunday 5th August 2018
Sunday 19th August 2018
Sunday 2nd September 2018
Sunday 16th September 2018
Sunday 7th October 2018
Sunday 21st October 2018
Sunday 4th November 2018
Sunday 18th November 2018
Sunday 2nd December 2018

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