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  • Former Central Railway Station of Siena.zoom in altra finestra
  • Plaque on the Former Central Railway Station of Siena.zoom in altra finestra

Former Central Railway Station

The affairs concerning the railway network of the province of Siena, originally called the Central Railway of Tuscany, began around the mid 19th century at the time of the greatest construction fervour of the Leopolda Railway. In 1840, governor of Siena Luigi Serristori, who already in 1838 had carried out preliminary technical studies concerning the course of the Leopolda, pointed out the necessity to link Florence to Siena by means of a connection at the latitude of Empoli. The project was carried out thanks to the efforts of a group of influential citizens of Siena and the ingeniousness of worthy technicians, especially Giuseppe Pinigiani, Policarpo Bandini and Giovacchino Losi.

On October 14, 1849, the railway stretch between Empoli and the northern mouth of the Mount Arioso tunnel, situated right outside Siena, was inaugurated in the presence of Leopold II and the grand-ducal family. The 4 years and 3 months of work needed to build this tunnel involved a long series of difficulties and expenses. The frequent collapses and landslides, owing to the great quantity of water that gushed forth inside, had considerably slowed down the realisation of the work, which was inaugurated, however, on September 18, 1850: with its 1516 metres in length, this tunnel was the longest in Italy. Once the problem of the tunnel was solved, attention turned to completing the connection with Siena’s old train station which, built as it was close to the old city walls, brought on the modification of the urban layout of the adjoining streets. In the following years, with the support of the Provisional Government of Tuscany, work also began on the line that from Siena was to reach Grosseto and thus hook up with the Maremma Railway.

Today, the Central Railway Station is no longer in operation and is instead private housing. A bit further downhill lies Siena’s current railway station where travellers can embark on itineraries that can still evoke the flavour of the past.


Texts by Antonella Gozzoli

English translation by Victor Beard

Last update 25/feb/2008