It is said that at the end of the 19th century an administrator of Vico del Gargano, to persuade a Minister of Public Works to support a project of the Gargano Railway under development at that time, had sent him a bunch of eighteen oranges grown on a single twig, of the total weight of 8 kilos. The accompanying letter read: «... evidence of vast production and wealth, which remains worthless due to the lack of convenient and speedy transport routes». To talk about the history of the Ferrovie del Gargano it is necessary to go back to those years when the Gargano populations began to ask for a quick and safe connection with the rest of the Capitanata and the country. In fact, for several centuries the populations of the "mountain of the sun" have been isolated with the rest of Italy so much so that the Gargano was reached only and exclusively by sea. A heavy discomfort for travel and for trade, further underlined by the construction of the railway line from Bologna to Brindisi, known as Adriatica. Committees were created on site for the construction of a railway project, which held meetings and presented several projects, some even approved, but all this  impacted the limited availability of the state budget. But it was necessary to wait for the period between the two wars because something started to move. During the years of the first conflict, the construction of a military line was started connecting a base for seaplanes on Lake Varano with the Adriatica Bologna-Brindisi line, after which this route was included in the San Severo-Peschici line. On September 17th 1925, Mussolini signed the concession to the Syndicate for Railway Tracks that provided for the construction of a 75,700 km line that connected San Severo to Peschici, for the construction of a narrow gauge railway 950 mm and steam traction from San Severo to San Menaio.

Subsequently the Engineer Nicola Romeo , in 1926, took over the first concessionaire "Union for the railway tracks of the Gargano", which had lived various circumstances on the verge of bankruptcy, and transformed its name into "Ferrovie e Tramvie del Mezzogiorno" (FTM) which became “his” railway in which he invested his best energies. Romeo requested and obtained the authorization for the variation of the standard 1435 mm gauge line, the displacement of the terminus in the Calenella plain and the operation by means of 3000 V DC electric traction, which in that year was installed on the Foggia - Benevento, and slightly longer route: 79 km. These changes have led to the creation of a continuity between the Adriatica line and the Garganica, allowing direct connections to Foggia with no transhipment, as happens today.

The laying of the first tracks begins in 1930 and will take place using part of the remains of the military railway junction while the works, entrusted to the company Pietro Cidonio, ended almost a year earlier than expected so as to allow the official inauguration on the 27th October 1931, with a solemn ceremony at the station of Rodi. The first official route left from the station of Rodi Garganico to San Severo in the presence of one of the leading authorities of the time, Costanzo Ciano count of Cortellazzo then Minister of Communications. The inaugural route, however, took place with steam traction, as the tests of the electric line were not yet completed. On November 15th 1931 the railway was officially opened to the public and exerted with electric traction. After the Second World War, the company "Ferrovie e Tramvie del Mezzogiorno", on the verge of bankruptcy, passed into the hands of the Scarcia family who set up the current "Ferrovie del Gargano" in Bari by Dr. Sante Scarcia and his son dr. Vincenzo Scarcia. The Ftm in the person of its president, Eraldo Ribourt, who succeeded Nicola Romeo, ceded in 1962 the concession of the Gargano Railway to the "Ferrovie del Gargano srl".

From those years onwards, the company was relaunched with a series of initiatives aimed at giving new impetus to rail transport in the Promontory. To date, the company is the most important public transport company in the Capitanata, and operates not only as a manager of the San Severo-Peschici and Foggia-Lucera railway lines, but also as a railway company carrying out services on the RFI  lines San Severo- Foggia-Bari as part of the service contract signed with the Puglia Region.

Over the years, the Ferrovie del Gargano have also developed a dense network of urban and interurban road connections, also at a national level, with services from the Gargano promontory centers to the main Italian cities. The road transport division is part of the Cotrap consortium (Consorzio Trasporti Aziende Pugliesi).


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