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Tramway Pescia to Lucca (Tuscany, Italy)

We were on holiday in Italy and enjoying the Italian way of life in all its aspects and I was really not thinking about railways whatsoever. We walked through the streets of Pescia, a town usually unjustly skipped by tourists and tours alike, when I found a short piece of metre gauge rail in the road surface. This roused my interest and I dived into the internet to find out more

Short history

(Source of text and diagram: wikipedia)

When the Lucca-Pistoia railway line opened in 1848 the railway station in Pescia was situated some 2 km outside the city centre, keeping the city in its relatively isolated position. This led to the establishment in 1906 of a committee to "the granting of installation and operation" of a tramway that would follow road number 435 connecting Lucca to Pescia and continuing up to Monsummano. The project was approved on 15 March 1905 and was granted a concession of 50 years. The line was built rapidly and opened in 1907 . The tramway had meter gauge and was fed with 850V DC. The official inauguration took place on July 20, and opened to traffic for the sections Lucca-Pescia and Pescia-Monsummano on 5 and 18 August respectively. The tramway served an estimated 172,000 inhabitants in the area and an additional estimated 50,000 tourists per year. Freight traffic was genereated from the many agricultural activities in the area, mainly olive oil. In the first years of operation high profits were achieved . Two further short service branches were added on 1 July 1908 in the Pescia area. A further extension, Lucca-Ponte San Pietro-Maggiano, was completed 29 June 1911. The total systeem measured 38 km.



The deep economic crisis in the thirties did not spare the company, which found itself in trouble against the need to upgrade its installations. Services were reduced to work with the available resources. The advent of the automobile added to the difficulties and urban services of Pescia - Monsummano were suspended from 1934. Freight services ended on Lucca-Pescia by Ministerial decree of 9 November 1938.

The company changed its name to TLP, Tramway Lucca-Pescia. Between 1930 and 1940 the TLP promoted an extensive renovation of the facilities and rolling stock. These suffered considerable damage by air raids during WWII which led to the temporary suspension of the service. Despite the increase in demand and advanced projects for the restoration of the link with the Pescia Railway Station, the financial situation of the operator company would not allow the necessary increase of the rolling stock. Bus services were opened to complement the tram . The tramway was now seen as an antiquated system. The TLP requested and obtained permission to permanently replace the tram service with buses. The final closure took place on 22 July 1957.



Year of construction


Power (kW)


1 to 2, 4 to 8


Carminati & Toselli


initially with open platforms

9 ÷ 18






Carminati & Toselli


19 to 20


Carminati & Toselli


for freight service

21 ÷ 25


Carminati & Toselli



Some pictures to compare

The tram at the main square of Pescia. Source: Pescia Antica (request for permission pending)

A picture from almost the same location today (May 2016)

The depot at Pescia. Source: Pescia Antica (request for permission pending)

Not quite from the same angle and location. Obviously the four stall depot building was later extended with another three stalls. The building is now in use as part of an Esselunga supermarket.

A view inside the original four stall shed.

And the three stall extention.

The rear end of the shed.