Thursday, 29 October 2009

Inauguration of the Naples-Portici Railway in 1840

Sarah recently blogged about the reopening of Museo di Pietarsa, the museum dedicated to the first railway line from Naples to Portici. By complete coincidence I just came across this painting by Salvatore Fergola of the inauguration of the railway, which is apparently now in the storerooms of the Palace of Caserta. It must have been an amazing event to witness!


Eugene Dwyer said...

A brief search reveals that the Naples-Nocera line, with a spur to Castellammare was the first line in Italy. There appears to be a notice, or an article on this in Annali Civili 1839. I came to this information while attempting to ascertain the actual date of a letter written from Pompeii and published in My Journey to Italy Ten Years Ago: or, Extracts from Letters to a Younger Sister (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1849), 197-205, in which the anonymous author notes that she arrived in Pompeii by train. I had thought that a date of 1839 was impossible, but it seems that it may have been possible. Can anyone supply the correct date for the inauguration of the railway line to Pompeii? 1839? 1840? or later?

Eugene Dwyer said...

Annali Civili 1839 (Achille A. Rossi, "Strada Ferrata da Napoli a Mocera con un Ramo per Castellammare," vol. 21, fasc. 41, pp. 41-62 [pdf 368-389])is available through Google Book Search. The article on the opening of the railway line from Naples to Granatello di Portici took place on 3 October 1839 [pdf p. 381]. The month of October saw 131,116 passengers [388]. The line to Torre del Greco, Torre Annunziata, Pompeii, Castellammare, etc. was still under construction and was expected to open in the following year [388].

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