Today our focus is on watches made for Italian State Rail. A brief introduction to Italian Railway.
Italy's first rail line was the Napoli-Portici line which was built in 1839 to connect the Naples Royal Palace to the sea. Following on from the creation of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861, a project was started to connect the entire country by rail from the Alps to Sicily. Italy's State Railways (the Azienda Autonoma della Ferrovie dello Stato) was instituted on 22 April 1905 to take over the majority of Italy's railways which up until then was private.
Italy's first high-speed train was the 1939 ETR 200 which travelled from Milan to Florence with a top speed of 203kph. This allowed the rail network to compete with airlines. However, WWII put an end to this service. After armistice on 8 September 1943 Italy was divided, as were its train operations. Salerno was the Headquarters for the South and Verona for the North. The post-war era was particularly difficult as most of the rail network had been severely damaged and the rolling stock was obsolete. Almost 20,000 kilometres of new rail tracks were built by 1952. New trains were introduced with many rail sections electrified and often doubled.
After 80 years, the Azienda Autonoma delle Ferrovie dello Stato was replaced by Ferrovie dello Stato. The workforce was halved. Privitisation occurred in 1992 with the creation of Ferrovie dello Stato SpA, however, shares were still owned by the Italian Government.
Nowadays rail tracks and infrastructure are managed by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) whereas the train and passenger sections are mainly managed by Trenitalia. Both of these are subsidiaries of Ferrovie Dello Stato (FS), once Italy's only train operator.