The first italian law on Touristic Railways was approved by Senato della Repubblica commission on 2nd August. The First approval from the Camera dei Deputati was given last January. After more than two Years of hard work (meeting with the Transport Commission in Rome) and Parliament lobbying, FIFTM (Federazione Italiana Ferrovie Turistiche e Museali) was able to apply some useful changes to the first text.
This is the result of the increasing interest in Italy for Touristic railways because the transport associations and politicians have realized the potential value of closed and abandoned railways for local territories. The law includes articles about the registration of touristic and heritage vehicles both for main lines and touristic line uses and the Ministry of Infrastructure can collaborate with FIFTM and Fondazione FS Italiane for classifying and drafting registers of engines and rolling stock.
Main line operations are considered strategic for touristic system and the law considers that the infrastructure manager must allow and support main line operations. The use of “velorail” is included and will be submit to special rules. About this point a commission of the Italian Board for Unification UNI approved an internal rule for “velorail” certification and FIFTM worked inside this group. The next step is the drafting of the working decrees to apply the law in all its aspects.
FIFTM is mentioned clearly in the legal text and this means that it is officially recognized by the Italian Republic with a position very close to the Government Ministry, Agencies and Offices. The approval of the law is very important goal for FIFTM because it establishes the high level of input, thanks to the collaboration with several FEDECRAIL members that have given help and advice by supplying their rules and laws as examples.