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Società Veneta Ferrovie.

Discussion in 'International Heritage Railways/Tramways' started by Saint, Jul 4, 2017.

  1. Saint

    Saint New Member

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    Società Veneta Ferrovie was one of the names of the old "Società Veneta per l'esercizio ferrovie secondarie", a company that, after the creation of FS state railways in 1905, was left with a collection of non connected branch lines. AFAIK only an handful lines survive, The Udine Cividale, operated by FUC, Adria-Mestre, operated by Sistemi Territoriali and two (maybe some more) operated by FER, the Bologna-Portomaggiore and Parma-Suzzara.

    Today Società Veneta Ferrovie (SVF) is the name of a non profit society based in Padua like the old one. The purpose of this society is the preservation railway culture and items.

    Where does SVF operates:
    • In Padua SVF stages a couple of open days in the former signal box A. Not only you can see a 60 lever electric interlocking system - not operative at this time - and other restored and operating equipement, but you have a special view on the west part of Padua railway station and its traffic. This is a little movie showing two restored shunting signals you find in the signal box, the left one is the older model, and in this local news report you can see the signal box itself.
    • In Primolano, on the border between Vicenza and Trento provinces, SVF has the headquarter for the soon-to-start touristic train. As I said in my presentation, the train is set in the early fifties but the engine 880.001 is now 101 years old. We nicknamed her "the girl". The train has just been overhauled and the engine has been tested a few days ago and we plan to create a "living" museum in the locomotive shed area. I will publish videos of the test as soon as they are available.
    In Primolano we are currently restoring a very small diesel shunting engine built in 1943. It is a Brauer-IV pattern engine built by Antonio Badoni Lecco company (licensee). We started a crowdfunding campaign to restore this little strange engine, please visit https://www.produzionidalbasso.com/project/salviamo-la-sogliola/ to contribute.

    The society official website is http://www.societavenetaferrovie.it but, until I fix a problem with the multi-language code, we have only pages written in Italian. Pictures and movies do not require translation anyway :).
     
  2. Saint

    Saint New Member

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    Some past videos from youtube:

    This is a video from three years ago, we were working to restore 880.001 since 2006:


    Lacking machinery more than skills, we had to opt for chasing the founds to overhaul the engine. In the meanwhile some fun, waiting for the money to arrive:

    Please notice the large guy (me) in the front of the line that pretends to be the one pulling everything.

    A new hope ;):

    The engine travelled westward all along northern Italy to Castelletto Monferrato

    Teaser trailer: pre-test in the workshops in Castelletto Monferrato:

    This video was released a few days before the return of the engine to Primolano
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
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  3. Saint

    Saint New Member

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    "Cabina A"

    Signal box "A" controlled the west side of Padua raiway station. Padua had 3 Signal Box, A, B and C, the B and C were demolished some years ago when the Padua - Venice line was doubled, having now 4 tracks, two for local trains, the other for freighters and trains whose next call is Venice-Mestre.

    This is a view from above, thanks to Google while the picture below shows the electromechanical interlocking system (ACE - Apparato Centrale Elettrico, centralized electric device) and part of a more recent electronic system that performs the action of moving several levers -including facing point lock- by simply pressing one button. This electronic system is named ACEI (Apparato Centrale Elettrico a Intinerari, centralized electric device with routes since locking a set of lock in position creates a route and prevents the creation of other routes that may cross it)


    The nice pictures you see belong to the original equipment of the signal box in November 2007:), when the signal boxes were disabled and a new computer control system started to manage the entire railway station.

    Cabina A hosts some restored signals and block devices:

    Ground position signals, old electromechanical on the left (the same movie as in the firs posting... this time embedded):


    FS-pattern block instruments restored and reactivated:


    And some local news coverage of one of our openings (again the same movie as in the firs posting... this time embedded):


    The first person shown in the news report is a former stationmaster who worked in Padua, Mr. Sergio Bonantini, the second is our 'press agent' and one of the founders, Marco Bruzzo.

    The Signal Box is open to the visitors twice a year, in June and in October, I will report next October opening... Who knows what's in each one future.

    What we do there: It is our club-house, but we can't hold here our meeting because the rails outside the window are active and most of the member get distracted every time a train passes.
    The equipment there is inactive, but still able to show the effect of the mechanical safety devices. We are trying to map the wiring so that we can power-up again the devices and perform some simulation on the behalf of the visitors (and our fun), fully moving all the required levers.
     
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  4. Saint

    Saint New Member

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    Waiting for the engine test clips to be loaded on YouTube, let me please introduce you the Primolano Locomotive Shed and Station, our HQ in Primolano.

    History: the railway arrived in Primolano (province of Vicenza, on the border with province of Trento) in 1910 with the completion of the "Ferrovia della Valsugana" owned by "Società Italiana per la Ferrovia della Valsugana" (SIFV), a company controlled by Società Veneta :). The railway run from Bassano to Primolano and was the completing block of the Trento-Venice international railway. While the railway and the rolling stock was owned bu SIFV, the railwaymen, rules and uniforms were those of SV. SIFV owned 6 engines, two were equal to the engines of FS group 600, the other four were the same as the FS Group 871 engines.

    The shed had (and still has) two track, a human powered turntable and was connected to the main line with a Z shaped track. The station was (and still is) a large building, the joke is that the station is larger than the Primolano village, and the reason is that it was both a railway station and a customhouse. The tracks outside the station on the North side were already "Austrian".

    In 1915 Italy enters WW I and of course the line was immediately closed. After the war the service restart, and now Italian FS take over the entire line from Trento to Venice, replacing both SIFV and KKstB.

    The line begin its slow, drowsy life, WW II has no notable event to report. In 1984 FS stop using the shed, its tracks being used for the last time to host railcars doomed by the presence of asbestos. ALn 556, ALn 772 and even the ALn 442-448, the TEE double railcar known as "Binato Breda" (from the builder name), awaited the demolition there.

    Then, until 2009, nothing. There are confirmed tales of a young boy injuried when using the turntable a merry-go-round. But as you can see from the Google map images (top left), a beautiful wood overruns a large part of the area.


    In 2009 SVF obtains a first loan of use from RFI (FS has splitted up in 4 companies and RFI is the company owning and managing the infrastructure) and works begin, with the construction of our first rolling stock item from salvaged axles, the SVF 001 utility flatbed :). The picture below shows the shed in the distance and SVF 001 loaded with timber during our first attempt to clear the wood.


    But SVF had more serious plans. In 2010 contacts begin with the Cismon del Grappa municipality (Primolano is part of that municipality) and a more serious plan is borne.



    SVF draws a project to:

    1. - restore engine 880.001
    2. - acquire and restore coaches and wagons
    3. - overhaul and expand the tracks
    4. - restore the shed
    5. - build another stretch of bicycle lane (we need to raise transportation requests!)

    The Cismon municipality gladly receives the project free of charge, and with that project request founds to execute it, and the founds are finally granted. The Municipality issues the calls for tender, our volunteers providing the expertise for the railway related ones (the first 4). And finally the works begin!

    So that was the shed before the cure:
    [​IMG]

    and this is the shed after the restoration:

    [​IMG]

    Cool, isn't it ?

    And this is our Corbellini coach delivered:
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
  5. Saint

    Saint New Member

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    (continues the previous post)

    upload_2017-7-6_14-2-33.png

    The engine and the Corbellini coach in the shed
    upload_2017-7-6_14-4-56.png
     
  6. Saint

    Saint New Member

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    All the picture I published come from the Società Veneta Ferrovie website (http://www.societavenetaferrovie.it) or from its Facebook page.

    [​IMG]

    This one is the current title picture in the Facebook page, is our locomotive on the testing day, with the consist almost complete. Another van arrived few days later, a ferry van like the PLM one preserved in York. As you see, there are no markings except for the engine. We will get fun painting them. Speaking of markings, the van in York has some circulation limits on the network of the Southern painted (in the picture are those on the right, unreadable). I forgot to take a clear picture of that sign (we could use it on our ferry van), can someone help me?

    And now let me talk about our "Sogliola" (sole fish). "Sogliola" was the nickname this engine received by railwaymen.
    [​IMG]
    It was not classified as a full fledged locomotive, I suppose to allow it to be operated by men having not the "F" (railway) driving license. Differently from the other similar engines of the same tyope, ours was retrofitted with westinghouse bracke. We have already exposed the engine to allow its removal for restoration:
    [​IMG]

    We already began to strip the old paint, and those pesky graffitti are no more thnks to a knotted cup brush... The history of our "Sogliola". She was built in 1943 by Antonio Badoni Lecco company
    [​IMG]
    She served as industrial engine for several industrial spurs in eastern Emilia and Romagna, the last owner being the Ferrovia Casalecchio-Vignola.

    The works we need to restore it to full functional status are:
    - engine overhaul, mostly the valves. The other parts of the engine seems in good conditions. Seems...
    - the air tank and the brakes
    - electric circuits
    - buffers and draw gear
    - suspension
    - paint job

    We made an estimate of 8500€ and therefore we launched a crowdfunding in https://www.produzionidalbasso.com/project/salviamo-la-sogliola/. (please share the news around, thank you).

    And now a couple of picture of our turntable, a 14.65 meter Austrian build turntable, the only one of this kind in Italy



    And this is a 1946 draisine. Please note the wooden weels... Even when we had something like 40 yards of tracks on festering sleepers, this one allowed us to offer a little ride to our visitors, for some even a cab ride :)
    [​IMG]
    (as usual the copyright on these photos belongs to the original authors and SVF)
     
  7. Saint

    Saint New Member

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    I can finally post the clip of our engine in her first test! I apologize, but my home connection seems to go on wooden rails...



    (the rest of the post was deleted due problems in submitting the pictures)
     
  8. ilvaporista

    ilvaporista Part of the furniture

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    So good to see her back home after her little rejuvenation trip in Piemonte. I shall try and get over before too long.
     
  9. Saint

    Saint New Member

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    A bit of history of our engine.

    The Gr. 880 (Gr. is for "Gruppo" -group- the Italian word for the English "Class") is an evolution of the pre-existing Gr. 875, a saturated steam engine for branch line duties. The innovation was the use of super-heated steam, and this was a common and often successful practice in F.S. steam engine design. The two classes look almost identical, the most evident difference is in the distribution: the 875 class used a sliding valve gear, the 880 a distributing cylinder. The differences where more. The boiler was slightly bigger, and the 880 class has 84 smaller 45×41 tubes (875 class had 213) and 60 larger 70×64 tubes, each one hosting 2 of the 4 steps of the super heater. And a larger boiler meant a different seating and changes in the water tanks on the sides (a third water tank is inside the frame).

    The picture below shows the freshly restore smokebox.
    Surriscaldatori.jpg

    At the time of the design adding a super heater was a common practice in Italy, nevertheless not all technicians thought that the move would have proved successful on a small engine whose service required a lot of stops. Therefore the first order, placed in 1914, was for just 12 engines, and of these engines 6 (001 to 006) used one type of super heater, the other six another. These 12 engines were tested to see which of the two technician parties was right, and the 12 engines proved worth the order of 48 new engines, so in 1922 there were 60 880 numbered from 001 to 060. In the early thirties, wen it was time to overhaul about 115 engine of the 875 class, the overhauling turned into a transformation and they new running numbers were 102 to 117, possibly the old running number increased by one hundred.

    Our engine served in FS until the mid seventies, the picture below (a bad picture of SVF 2017 calendar, © G. Grisilla) shows her in Cervignano in 1974, when she run the services on the spur between Cervignano and Monfalcone shipyards.

    UltimiServizi.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 1:50 PM
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  10. Saint

    Saint New Member

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    Again our freight vans...

    Merci.jpg

    The farthest van is a F type van that is special for being a rare double spring suspension. Furthermore it is equipped with connecting passage that was fitted when the van was assigned to parcels transport.
    The middle one has something a British eye should spot immediately. It is the manual brake lever, and the van is a special "Sagoma Inglese" (English loading gauge), a ferry train van suitable to run on the UK railways. These two vans need only the markings to be fully restored. By the way, does someone know about regulations in painting the handbrake lever?
    The nearest van wears the dark green livery of Società Veneta rolling stock. There are very few surviving freight cars of the former SV, this one has been covered and awaits restoration. (*"brazen-faced marketing person" mode engaged*) We are shunting them using volunteers, if you want to help them, they have already started a crowdfunding campaign.
    :Stig:
     
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  11. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    Thanks for posting all the information and photos, very interesting.
    The convention on painting handbrake levers seems to be black with the handle in white.
     
  12. Tim Light

    Tim Light Active Member

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    Ciao!

    I notice that the coaches are in Castana and Isabella colours. When were these colours used for coaches on FS? I well remember these types of coaches in the 1970s, but they were dark green at that time.

    Grazie ...
     
  13. Saint

    Saint New Member

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    Thank you very much, going to purchase some strong white paint :).

    By the way, the PLM van preserved in York had some limitations on the Southern network (picture courtesy of the Search Engine of the Railway Museum in York)

    Ferry_Van.jpg

    Does someone known if these restrictions were still present in the early fifties, and if so, if the wording of the notice needs some change? If it is historically appropriate, it could be nice on our van and could introduce some further explanations to our visitors.

    (I assume that the yellow for the lever comes from some educational purpose)
     
  14. Saint

    Saint New Member

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    Do not take me as an authoritative source, but as far as I recall, FS liveries for passenger coaches were:

    From 1905 to 1935 the livery was a shade of dark green that in italy is knows as "Verde Vagone" - wagon green, it's a shade you find even today in DIY stores-. The underframe was black and the roof gray. This is the livery inherited from Rete Adriatica, the most advanced Italian railway in 1905. I think that RA played in FS the same role that LMS played in British Railways. Today only an handful of 'centoporte' coaches wear this livery where the class is marked in Roman numerals. The picture from Wikipedia shows one of these coaches:

    [​IMG]
    (Roman numerals are the original correct way to express ordinals in Italian, now the Arabic numeral with a superscript 'o' or 'a' -male/female- is also accepted)

    In 1935 the livery was changed to the bicolor Castano/Isabella one, and this livery lasted to 1960. Underframe was Castano and roof alluminum. The Roman numerals are replaced by Arabic ones.

    In 1960 the livery was simplified dropping the Isabella. Since our younger coach was built in the early fifties, this is the oldest livery we can use on our train (and now is 'de facto' standard livery for older heritage coaches).

    In 1964 the Castano was replaced by a dark shade of gray called "Grigio Ardesia" (slate gray)

    In 1980 the slate gray was replaced by a lighter shade of gray and a what is called "Rosso Fegato" (liver red)

    This picture, always from Wikipedia, shows ligt gray and liver red X-type coaches, while on the extreme right there is a tiny example of Grigio Ardesia.

    [​IMG]
    The preserved X-type coaches wear now the Grigio Ardesia livery.

    As for the coaches you seen, they could have been Grigio Ardesia, but you are sure of the Dark Green, these could have been one of the so called "Concesse" railways, private companies running minor branch lines. SV could have had green coaches in services, FNM (Ferrovie Nord Milano) had some too - now they are preserved by SAFRE in Reggio Emilia- and some line in Emilia bought center door coaches from Swiss SBB-CFF-FSS and they could have retained the Swiss dark green livery.
     
  15. Tim Light

    Tim Light Active Member

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    Perhaps my memory is playing tricks (again). I was sure it was a shade of green, but if you say it was grey than I must be mistaken. I don't have many pictures in colour. This is Roma Termini, 20/12/1981.

    x194.JPG
     
  16. Saint

    Saint New Member

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    Beautiful picture, I love the Gr. E646 engines in gray and green livery (Ialian names "Magnolia" e "Grigio Nebbia" -fog gray-). It served as heavy express train engine
    The coach behind is a "Piano Ribassato" -low floor-, a short-distance, commuter coach that was quite new then. And the livery is the "Grigio Ardesia" one.
     
  17. Saint

    Saint New Member

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    About Primolano. It's worth to spend some more words on the place that hosts our activities.

    Primolano is a small village, someone could joke that the railway station is larger than the village. In Primolano crossed the ancient Padua-Trent way, the path to the Asiago plateau and the path to Feltre and Cadore. Being a crossing point it was important enough to be reported on the frescoed map of Veneto in the Maps Gallery in Vatican Museum. It had been under Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, being on the border with the Bishopric of Trent, then passed with the whole republic under the Austrian domination (many thanks, Mr. Napoleon!). During the third Italian independence war general Medici occupied Primolano and at the end of that war the Veneto region was re-united to the Italian Kingdom. At that time there were railways in several parts of Italy and in the northern part a single company, the Società Ferrovie Alta Italia - SFAI - run the main routes, but there was no railwain in Valsugana.

    The Austrian Empire was still fearful of a possible Italian invasion through Valsugana, and only in 1896 the railway reached Tezze Valsugana from Trent, as the Austrian stretch of the international Trent-Venice line. The works on the Italian side started 10 years later and were completed in 1910: SIFV built the Venice-Bassano-Primolano line and the KKstB build the last stretch from Tezze Valsugana to Primolano.

    The first world war stopped the service on the line in Valsugana. First the Italian army did a brief advance and Primolano became an important logistic node, with an electric freight trolley bus departing from there to climb the "Scale di Primolano" (Primnolano staircase), a bendy road that climbs up to the Feltre area Piave Valley. Then the Straffexpedition pulled back the Italian army and the advancing imperial army demolished the two Italian fortresses near Primolano, Forte Tombion, that closed the valley south of Primolano - there was even a steel gate blocking the railway line - Forte della Tagliata (Fortress of The Cut) cutting the road above the "Scale di Primolano". Near the end of the war, an Austroungaric supply train, loaded with artillery ammunition, was hit by Italian artillery fire, causing massive detonations. I have no clue if the train was meant to reach Primolano, but the episode left behind this strange testimony (preserved in Rovereto war museum):

    sala_di_tezze_small.jpg

    This is not modern art. It is an unexploded artillery shell driven trough some inches of cast iron...

    The end of First World War meant the end of the border. The customs offices left, part of the building was demolished never to be rebuilt and the station began its drowsy life as a branchline station, enliven only by the activity in the shed, from which left the first morning train toward Trent and the Veneto plains. This did not change until SVF arrived there. For a brief time several old railcars, included Breda TEE dual unit, awaited there asbestos removal and subsequent demolition. These were stored in sidings and in the locomotive depot yard. They were the last trains to run on the yard rails until we built SVF 001 from scratch.

    Could you fancy a trip in Northern Italy in early September this year, on Sunday September the 10th there is the "Scala dei Sapori" festival, a yearly happening where the "Scala" road is closed to the traffic and visitors can enjoy a walk with stops at several stands. Please book your tickets there . We will open the shed and expose our train. We hope that this will be the last time that we will expose our train inactive, but we still lack ANSF certificate.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017 at 1:53 PM

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