Past Italia: The Railways of Italy

The development of a national rail network in Italy coincided with the unification of the country

Italian steam train

The first railway line in Italy ran (and indeed still does) between Naples and Portici in what was then the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. That opened in 1839 and the development of a pan-Italian rail network, which was largely achieved in the 1860s, coincided with the later Risorgimento and the creation of the modern state of Italy. This particular train is in Piedmont, where Italy’s second railway was inaugurated, under Austrian rule, in 1840.