(back to follonica)
When one is going to search for old lines is possible that some passages are not the easier.
This line is quite easy, but this passage is just a shortcut, fron a road below to the old railbed, that is behind a wass, at a level about 1.4 m higher. Some of our party did, other preferred to go around ...
Althought most of the line is clean there are some passages when one have to resort to another way. Here i will try to describe the points where would be problematic to follow the original itinerary.
The walk begin from the station of Follonica, after 300m on the left you see the old locomotive deposit and on your right you see the traces of railbed going to the port and to the Ferriera.
The first deviation from the original way is just 700 m after the station of Follonica, where the bridge on the "gora delle Ferriere" is no longer present. You can just turn right to reach via Roma (If you are here you can go inside the old area, now a museum for a visit)
Just follow the road to Massa marittima, pass the bridge and go ahead 300m. There you have on right a curved road. on left side of that road, between the two lines of trees, where the railway.was (see picture or right).
After the point where I shot the image the line went down (the groove have been filled recently) to underpass the FS line, you cannot dig and pass, so return on the main road, and go toward Massa marittima, underpassing the FS line.
You could go along the railway to finf\d the old ROW, but there are a lot of weeds and you have to pass across some private properties.
There is a better option, to go ahead and then turn right at the first road to the Industrial Zone of Follonica.
If you watch carefully (I have put two pictures on right to better help you in the search for the lost railway) you see that right (south) of the road tyhere is a large unpaved area: that one was the railbed of the deceased railway.
This other pictures show the point where the line arrived from Follonica.
You cannot go further, at least for a few undred
meter, since the old railbed enter in an enclosed industrial area, but
you can look the other end, with the house at the crossing with SS1.
Here you could go ahead on the former railbed, along the hills of Poggi. I did not do it since my wife did not wanted to walk too much along the main road, just remeber that the trail is not very clean and you must come again on main road before highway crossing since there is not an underpass.Then follow the Follonica-Massa road.
FYI I walked along the river Pecora for about 3.5 km (very clean and wide trail) until the former railway bridge and again to the road, where I passed the river (attention: on some map that bridge is marcked as existing, look or picture at right to confirm that it is impassable ...)
Wheter you stayed on the road, on the old railbed or lanog the river you arrive at the bridge on Pecora. Fron this point there are not many options.
From there follow the road toward Massa Marittima.
On your right after 300m past the bridge you should recognize the former station or Cura Nuova, now a private house, but retaining the FMF station style. 300m along the road and you are at Cura Nuova, where there is a road junction with the road from Scarlino Scalo.
From this point for about 1700 m the railway was along the road.
(note that it passed behind the first buildings at Cura Nuova but not much far as you can see by the position of some gates behind them )
(To see the map from this point onward click here)
On the former ROW have been made cultivations, built fences and digged ditches, as you can see on the picture at left, together with one of bus doing the service, so you must stay in the road for about 850 m.
After this well cured section the old railway was
where now there are all these threes and weeds. Il you watch in the weeds
you will found an abandoned railway house.
From this point you can walk again along the old railbed.
Just stay on the opposite site of the trees (That are on the actual site of the railway) - right looking the picture.
If you got the right way you should find this small manufact, a tiny bridge using old sleepers and a piece of decauville rails.
From this point onward the trail is almost entirely outside the main road and can be made by bike. The same trail is marked with the standar white-red signals for trails and can be made even with bikes, since is part of the Gavorrano-Massa marittima trail.
Note that in some points it do not follows exactly the railway (in particular it do not make the curve that the railway did west of Valpiana).but it allows anyway to stay outside of main roads.
Here (you can see the table behind the road) the trail is marked and follow quite closely the railway.
The railway begin to raise and tend to be elevated above the country, althought only a few meters. At a certain point there is a stepp exit, the railbed continue but there are too many trees and you cannot pass, aniway you will see on your left a tiny underpass, and enjoy the filling from a side.
After about 250m you can walk again on the railbed, until a grade crossing with the main road where again you have two option.
You can continue on the old ROW or just take the shortcut to Valpiana..
The line did this large curve to gain height, if you follow it you will arrive to the old Valpiana station from under this overpass:
Soon after it you will find the station of Valpiana (at the time - 1998-11-08 that i were there there where some works. I am not sure if in future will be possible to pass again along this section. The markeg path of the province of Grosseto is along the other side of the road).
It is likely you miss the small Village of Valpiana, so i have put here a picture of It ...
From this place for about 700 m walking along the line is an interesting experience. You will see how in mediterranean area nature reconquer the railbed.
It is also a specimen on how you can find traces old railways: In the first picture you see gravel on the road, on the second you see a straight line without high vegetation ... (in other cases you find more vegetation)
After 500 m from Valpiana there are again the indication of the path to Massa marittima and you can follow them.
Have a nice trip while going to Massa Marittima
If you will come here I will be happy to arrange a trip together