On july 7, 2008, the newly-reopen stretch of the Roma-Pantano light rail will close again after two years of operation. (official news here and here)
Once part of an extensive network covering all the eastern part of Lazio (including the towns of Frascati, Palestrina, Fiuggi, Alatri and Frosinone), Roma-Pantano light rail had heavily suffered from cars-oriented planning choices since 1950, when the inner terminal was moved from Rome’s Central Station to Via Giolitti, an area lacking connection to other means of transport. Between 1945 and 1983, several stretches and branches have been closed, both within the city and out of town.
Some hopes about a renaissance of the line came in the 90’s, when a renovation plan for the line was made. Following the examples of french and german pre-métro, the outer part of the line was upgraded, with new bridges and tunnels and metro-like stations. Renovation works lasted from 1996 to 2006, and during that time, a substitution service by bus was implemented. Now, works for the new metro line C will require the newly-rebuilt part to be closed until 2012.
(all photos from here on are courtesy of BiagPal)
The inner terminal of Roma-Pantano light rail. Vittorio Emanuele subway station is 100 m on the right, while Termini Railway station is 800 m backwards. At the moment, there is no project to move this terminal and improve its connection with the rest of the rail network.
A section in the inner part of the line, refurbished in the 90’s
Centocelle station, refurbished in the 70’s. This station sums most of the results of poor planning choices related to this line:
– The station is in the middle of a busy road, and is accessible only via an underpass. Lack of police control in the underpass, and the low traffic in this station make the access particularly unsafe.
– Behind the station lies the dismissed Centocelle airport. This area could have been used to implement a transit-oriented development, butfinally has been developped into a park. The park is now mostly unused and a big part of it has been squatted.
The old Centocelle station, now used as for recovery and maintenance.
An abandoned branch, just after Centocelle station.
The new terminal. From here on, the line will be closed and replaced by the new Metro.
A train passes near Metro construction works
Torrenova station, which will be probably demolished.
A train approaching Pantano terminal
Some more images of Pantano Terminal.