There is a railway company in Tuscany which has resisted all the cuts to regional railways over the past decades, which has changed its company structure and organization several times, but which has always continued to serve the populations of the two most characteristic valleys in the Arezzo area – the Casentino valley, north of Arezzo itself, towards Stia, and the Val di Chiana in the south-west towards Sinalunga and the hills of the Crete Senesi.This is a railway that has been an attraction in recent years for enthusiasts from the whole of Italy and abroad, because its historic rolling stock coming from all over Italy travelled along its tracks, giving a regular and problem-free service; however, it has recently modernized its fleet by equipping itself with the same trains that are in operation with Trenitalia. La Ferroviaria Italiana is a unique case in the scenario of former Italian railways operating on a concession, and still today, as we shall see in the interview with its operations manager Mario Banelli, it stands out because of its unusual choices and projects. Mr. Banelli welcomes us into the offices at Arezzo Pescaiola station, headquarters of the company and of the depot for locomotives and rolling stock. On the wall, perfectly framed, is a technical drawing of the former Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) 640 steam locomotive, together with other historic relics, while through the open window we can see the ultra-modern Alstom electric trains and the new Bombardier E464 electric locomotive, standing in the depot.
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