Ferrovie Appulo-Lucane S.r.l. was born as independent society on 1st January 2001.
The society has taken over from the Governmental Commissioned Management of Ferrovie Appulo Lucane and Autoservizi Integrativi established in 1990.
Law n. 160 of 5th May 1989, by separating the different regional catchments, had grouped in two distinct organizations the lines transferred in 1963 from the State to the Governmental Commissioned Management Ferrovie Calabro – Lucane.
The railway network, on narrow gauge (0,950 m), had been built in the first half of the century by the Italian Society for Mediterranean Rail Ways with the goal, later vanished, to connect the tirrenian belt to the jonic one and to merge the two coastal directions with internal locations of Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria.
The railway routes assigned to Fal S.r.l. society are located in Puglia and Basilicata and are divided in three lines:
● Bari – Altamura – Matera
● Altamura – Avigliano Lucania
● Avigliano Città – Potenza
The Bari-Matera route, 76 km, was started on 9th August 1915 by the Italian Society for Mediterranean Rail Ways. In 1928 and in 1932 the route was extended respectively up to Miglionico and Montalbano Jonico, reaching a length of 142 kilometers. The routes Altamura – Avigliano Lucania and Avigliano City – Potenza have been opened afterwards, between 1930 (at the same time was also opened the branch line Avigliano di Lucania – Avigliano City, length around 8 km) and 1934. Between Avigliano di Lucania and Potenza S. Maria, FAL have used, with interposed track, the base of the line FS Foggia – Potenza. In the seventies, the modernization and development of road network, also due to the industrial settlements, caused the progressive ceasing of railway service until the current situation of the transport network was determined. Today’s transport network, reorganized and modernized with improvements to the original route – in 2001 was completed the variation of Marinella in the line Altamura-Matera – has a fundamental role in the growing development of the involved areas.
Territory, demand and railways role
The network of Ferrovie Appulo Lucane involves three provincial capitals (Bari, Potenza and Matera) and a good portion of territory of the provinces of the Lucania area. The route of direction Bari – Potenza goes through a not homogenous territory that can be divided in multiple routes:
● Bari – Modugno: metropolitan area of Bari;
● Modugno – Gravina in Puglia: area with towns that have a relevant population size (around 10.000 citizens) spreaded along the line, and two regional poles (Altamura and Gravina) with a population of 40/50.000 citizens, directly served from the railway;
● Gravina – Avigliano Lucania: montainous territory territorio with small towns (1.000/6.000 citizens) spreaded even up to 10 kilometers from train stations;
● Avigliano – Avigliano Lucania – Potenza: montainous territory; the town of Avigliano, with considerable population size (around 11.000 citizens), is not equipped with good road connections with the province capital and the railway route represents a good alternative, expecially in winter months.
The route Altamura – Matera goes through a territory without any intermediate urban settlement and thus is considered as a two-point connection. In Puglia, the line goes across a territory which is mostly made of plains and goes in parallel with road SS 96 up to Gravina. The served user basin is around 700k citizens, whose 80% is concentrated in a radius of 30km from Bari. In Basilicata the railway goes through am almost entirely hill territory; from Altamura to Matera it goes in parallel with the road SS 99. The user basin, whose 70% is in territory of Potenza, is around 250k citizens. The traffic is made almost exclusively by outliers. Demand is mostly concentrated in suburban regions of Bari and Potenza and on connections between Matera-Bari, Gravina-Bari and Altamura-Bari. The road network has a coverage of more than 1000km, of which around 250 are in Puglia:
● north-west of Bari, on a route parallel to the railway line, along the directions Bari – Altamura – Matera and Bari – Altamura – Gravina;
● south-east of Matera, in Valbasento, along the direction Matera – Pisticci – Montalbano (pre-Metapontino area);
● west and north of Potenza;
● south of Lagonegro, toward the massif of Pollino, in parallel with the highway A3.
A new line with a length of 40 km connects the locations of Atena (Salerno) to Marsica Nuovo and Villa D’Agri (Potenza) in Val D’Agri. A notable service in inter-region connections is done by the direct road line Potenza – Matera – Bari. The lines in Puglia, which provide service for a very high demand, have an important role in integrating the railway services. The lines in Lucania have their maximum user concentrations on directions Montescaglioso – Matera and Pisticci – Ferrandina – Matera and on directions Laurenzana – Pignola – Potenza and Castelluccio – Lauria – Lagonegro.