Steam Trains In Tuscany
The train station in Bagni di Lucca has a faded decadence. When we first moved to the valley there was a rather sad bar, now there is only an ugly modern ticket machine and the ubiquitous yellow machine to convalidate one’s train ticket. However if you look up at the façade when entering you can imagine a more elegant and perhaps more romantic epoch, this feeling is reinforced when you arrive on the platform and cast your eyes to the far side of the platforms where there is a neglected garden with a decaying fountain and a couple of delapidated stone benches peeping out of the long grass under the large dark pines. The two old iron columns used to fill up the trains with vapour in the first part of the last century also add an industrial elegance.
The other day I was standing on the platform waiting for the usual little train generally made up of only a couple of carriages that rattles up and down the valley between Lucca and Aulla when the station returned to it’s rightful time
As a steam train chugged in complete with carriages and passengers.
The train driver and his mates told us they had come from Pisa carrying a group of railway enthusiasts from the UK . He also proudly announced that train reached a speed of 90KM an hour though she was capable of more but had to respect the speed limit and the train was heading up to Aulla. A lovely trip even on the ordinary train. The passengers turned out to be charming and charmed by their experience. Being a very civilised group of tourists they were stopping for lunch and no doubt a glass or two of the local vino in Piazza al Serchio.