Eighteen kilometres per hour: the transport revolution in Maranello

In 1893, the tramway was opened that would link Modena to Maranello for 44 years. And the town dreamt of becoming a hub between the plains and the mountains.

For Maranello, 24 June 1893 was an important day. For several years, the construction of a line of steam trains that connected the town to Modena had been discussed. The most enthusiastic looked ahead and thought of Maranello as a genuine railway junction between the plains and the mountains. After the first feasibility studies by the Provisional Committee, the Modena-Maranello project began officially in July 1892.

Considering that it was the end of 19th century, the actual construction of the tramway ended pretty quickly. Less than a year later, everything was ready for the inauguration. The final route touched Vaciglio, Montale, Colombaro and Pozza: a total of 16.36 km from one terminal to another. The date chosen for the opening celebration was 24 June.

The inaugural train left from Barriera Garibaldi in Modena at 9:10. It had a locomotive, a dining room car and five first class cars. The day after, four trains daily were guaranteed to transport people. Any goods to be transported were loaded on additional cars attached to the end.

It cost 2 lire (2 cents) to travel from Maranello to Modena on the new tramway. Cruising speed was 18 km per hour: just under an hour. A very long time for us, but at that time, it appeared to be excessive even to the inhabitants of Maranello, so much so that they began to affectionately call the convoys “treni a còoc” (push convoys). A good push was what would make them go a bit faster.

However, thanks to the tramway, in a few months the telegraphic service arrived in Maranello, further shortening the distance from the capital. And although the town would not become the big railway junction towards the mountains, starting from 1906 two connections per day to Pavullo were guaranteed thanks to a motor omnibus.

Plans to expand the tramway to Pavullo were discussed again in the 1920s, but unfortunately they remained on paper, ideas with uncertain outcomes, too burdensome for the citizens. The route opened in 1893, lacking maintenance, had begun to age and was abandoned. The Modena-Maranello tramway definitively ceased its travels on 11 September 1937, after 44 years of loyal service.

 

Bibliography

Silvano Soragni, “Maranello,  dal Feudo Calcagnini… alla Scuderia Ferrari”, Artioli Editore, 2004.