The foothill railway
Travelling along the Sacile-Gemona piedmont railway line allows you to cross very evocative landscapes, watercourses and environments, open to the plain and overlooking the foothills of the Alps. Conceived as an infrastructure of military interest, construction began on the threshold of the First World War, in the autumn of 1914, putting the many emigrants returning from Austria and Germany to work. In a few months the Pinzano-Gemona section was completed, while in the twenties there was renewed talk of the section from Sacile to Pinzano, also to provide employment for the many unemployed and slow down the trend of depopulation in the pre-Alpine valleys. Between 1921 and 1926 viaduct bridges were built over the Cellina, Colvera, Meduna and Cosa rivers, while between 1928 and 1930 the stations were built and the line was completed.
On 28 October 1930 the railway was inaugurated and opened to the public. The local chronicle recounts that in the villages people waited en masse for the passage of the train and welcomed it with “irrepressible jubilation”. There were various reactions: in Montereale Valcellina, it is said, a farmer threw a basket full of corn on the cob into the air, spread his arms and shouted at the sight of the train. In Castelnovo, a group of elderly women blesses the train.
The railway is used to transport people and goods, but also for military purposes. After the war, until 1965, the piedmont railway became the train of emigrants. From the mid-1960s, with the economic boom and the increase in motorisation, commuters and students were the only ones to use the train. The 1976 earthquake caused damage to the stations of Osoppo, Majano, Pinzano, Travesio, Meduno and Maniago. Many empty carriages, located near the villages, were used to meet the needs of the earthquake victims and, once again, the history of the piedmont railway crossed paths with the events of the territory. At the beginning of the 1980s, the line was upgraded to allow the transport of higher weights and speeds.
In 2012 a landslide blocked its functionality, until 2017, when it was recognised as a tourist railway and the section between Sacile and Maniago was reopened. In the summer of 2018, the historic train journeys are inaugurated, covering the entire route of about 72 km to Gemona.
The train allows you to discover the area slowly, making an experience of times gone by. Using the bicycle transport service, it is possible to combine the train journey with a trip on two wheels, along the FVG3 cycle route or discovering other fascinating minor routes.
The stations along the piedmont line are located in: Sacile, Budoia-Polcenigo, Aviano, Marsure, Montereale Valcellina, Maniago, Fanna-Cavasso, Meduno, Travesio, Castelnovo, Pinzano, Forgaria, Camino, Cimano, Majano, Osoppo.