S Jul 2014

The gamble has paid off for the fast tramways of Sardinia

Sardinia has two tramway lines, created less than ten years ago and with characteristics that are in many ways innovative, making this an interesting example in integrated public transport management. The two fast tramway systems operating in Cagliari and Sassari, for which further extension works are under way, serve two fairly small cities and show how railway systems, even in metropolitan contexts of this size, if planned intelligently, can be successful. Managing the whole of public transport for Sardinia today is the ARST, the Sardinian Regional Transport Company, which also deals with road transport, both exurban and urban, and also railway transport, since it includes the Ferrovie della Sardegna (FdS – Railways of Sardinia) narrow gauge secondary network.

We have focused our attention in this first article on the birth of ARST and the creation of the Cagliari and Sassari fast tramways, and are meeting the ARST Director General, Carlo Poledrini, engineer. In the future we will describe the railway side of ARST, which is equally interesting, and the unique experience of the Sardinia Trenino Verde (Little Green Train), a really unique service for tourists using historic vehicles.

Railway Engineering: Mr. Poledrini, let’s start with ARST, the Sardinian Regional Transport Company: when was the company set up and what are its duties?

Carlo Poledrini: To give an overall picture of regional public transport in Sardinia and of the birth of ARST, we have to go back many years. We are obviously talking about road transport and the rail transport that did not belong to the Ferrovie dello Stato (formerly the Italian State Railways) in past decades and to the Gruppo FSI (currently the Italian State Railways Group) today.

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