Who doesn’t love a train ride? Are you in Calabria and want to do a different tour? Are you with children? Then you can get ready to embark on this super fun adventure: steam train ride in Sila! Are you ready for it? Here at Traveling to Calabria you make the trip of your dreams!!! Are you staying in Calabria? Looking for a hotel? Click here and discover best accommodation options in Calabria!
A Little About Calabria…
Calabria is one of the regions less visited by tourists, but it is home to attractions, history, monuments and many other incredible attractions that deserve to be known. One is the famous Sila’s Steam train! It is so interesting that it is difficult to put into words what it is like to go for tour here, you have to see it by yourself!
But where is Sila?
Sila is a vast mountainous area in southern Italy. The city is located in the north-central region of Calabria, and extends over 150,000 hectares, passing through the provinces of Cosenza, Crotone and Catanzaro. Sila is, in fact, divided from north to south, in three parts: Sila Greca, Big Sila Grande and Small Sila and characterized by the presence of several mountain peaks, plateaus, thick wooded areas and deep lakes.
The National Park and its attractions
It is here, immersed in nature, that we find the most incredible and oldest national park in Calabria: the Sila National Park. It is one of the oldest in the country and has more than 73,000 hectares of protected area! The place is a splendor and can be explored in both, summer and winter, as it has great ski resorts! Today, however, we are going to ride the famous Sila train! That’s right! Sila has a historic and very charming train that will transport you to other eras!
1) Sila’s Steam Train: YES! KNOW THE TRAIN ROUTE
It all starts with the loud sound of the train whistle, “warning” that it is leaving! The locomotive soon starts to run, and when we see a cloud of dark smoke appearing around the train, we know that it is already leaving Moccone behind! Locomotive 353 travels from Moccone to San Nicola Silvana Mansio, passing through Camigliatello Silano, Ringhio, Sculca and Croce di Magara. Wonderful panoramas, surrounded by nature, peace and fun! It is difficult to try to choose the most beautiful section, or the one that offers us a more intense forest smell: everything looks magical, different, and unique!
A trip from Moccone to San Nicola Silvana Mansio passing through Camigliatello Silano on board a historic steam train from the beginning of the last century seems something so simple, but it will transport you in time: that time when we could still open the windows to feel the breeze in the face, that time when everything was simpler, and so delightful!
2) Sila’s Steam Train: YES! KNOW A LITTLE OF HIS STORY
Today, sixty years after the completion of the section between Cosenza and San Giovanni in Fiore, the train from Sila is still enchanting! That’s right: the Silana railway left Cosenza and reached San Giovanni in Fiore. It was opened in sections, during 1916 and 1956. In 1997, the passenger service between San Giovanni and Camigliatello began to be suspended, and began to expand again only in 2008, in Spezzano, and then in 2010, in Pedace. This section included the stations still visible on the way from Pedace, Serrapedace, Celico, Rovito, Santo Janni and San Giovanni in Fiore; some of them are abandoned, others have become private homes.
The Original Locomotive
The locomotive is from 1926 (yes! It is still the original!), and was manufactured by the company Borsig (German manufacturer). It is not the most economical in terms of consumption, because to go back and forth it consumes an impressive eight tons of coal and three cubic meters of water! The train was assembled and disassembled, restored and today reaches 40 kilometers per hour, with 800 horsepower, but – for safety reasons – it is not uncommon for the train not to exceed 15 kilometers per hour, which gives us the chance to enjoy every inch of that beautiful path!
3) Sila’s Steam Train: YES! STAY ATTENTION TO HOURS
The train leaves Moccone at 10:30 am, but we suggest that you arrive at least fifteen minutes in advance. After 10 or 15 minutes, we are at the Camigliatello station and finally arrive at Silvana Mansio at 11:30 am. The ride is faster, about half an hour, but no less interesting! The return train leaves at 2 pm. Time is short, but it is enough to eat something quickly.
When you arrive at San Nicola Silvana Mansio, the highest gauge station in Europe, 1400 meters high, the attraction is accompanied by many spectators: the water supply of the locomotive and the change of direction that occurs when turning it on a rotating platform with the only arm force! It’s incredible!
Tickets can be purchased online and, I suggest, you buy them in advance, but you can also buy them in loco, remembering that there is no guarantee that you will find them – especially in high season (specially summer). The values change slightly for those who buy them online and for those who buy them directly at the box office: buying online you pay 15 euros for adults and 8 euros for children from zero to 12 years old; at the box office, the price increases only two euros, for both adults and children. The train has 120 seats, I mean: it fills up very fast!
- Avoid wearing light colors clothes! Remember that the train is a steam train, which means that dark dust flies everywhere! Yes! You will get out of there a little dirty!
Steam trains always cause us frisson! Fun, interesting, it seems like they transport us in time: it’s incredible! If you have children, definitely, a must-see program! They will love it! And all of you will have lots of fun! During the trip, observe the landscape, breathe the fresh air – which mixes with the odor of coal creating an unforgettable aroma – and remember to take photos: not only with the camera or cell phone, but with your heart and with the memory, that will be with you forever!
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