South of the Alps - 9: Steam along Lago Iseo I (50 p.) is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


Proud Earthling

We will now enter some of the areas stricken hardest by the pandemic. Of course I am still donating along with the trip reports to help locally.

To the previous part of the series:
South of the Alps - 8: Nostalgic Tri-Border Region (50 p.)

The video for this part:

April 28 2019

After the short night in a couchette compartment I enjoyed my comfy hotel room and breakfast at the hotel. At eight o'clock, we walked to Verona station and took a train to Brescia. It was an operating day of the "Iseo Express" steam charter, which already had departed. I met a photographer on the platform and had a friendly conversation - but I could not get the information which way the steamer was turned. We boarded Trenord R 28 Brescia - Breno, a Stadler GTW DMU, like all trains that Sunday. The Trenitalia online live timetable tool does not work on this line, so I was surprised by the conductor telling us that the section Sale Marasino - Pisogne was closed due to a large fire wrecking a Marone textile factory right next to the tracks a week before. Additionally, "Iseo Express" would terminate at Iseo not going along the lake at all.

At first, Iseo was our destination anyway. The others walked to the lakeside promenade, I had to hurry as "Iseo Express" was due. It took the line via Rovato, so our regular service on the direct connection from Brescia had overtaken it. A view back from the modern footbridge at the lovely ensemble featuring R 28 and R 33 towards Brescia meeting at 10:30 a.m.

"Diving glass" diesel DE 520-016 (ex Czech ČD 753.362) at the historic loco shed.

I reached a spot where the railway split from the the main road, just as FS 740.278 (Officine Meccaniche (Milano) #701 / built in 1920) rolled downhill - after FS 728.022 and SŽ 25-026 the third 99-year-old engine under steam in four days!
To the right in the background you can spot the protected wetlands Torbiere del Sebino south of the lake, not the lake itself.


As always in Italy: a wonderful rake.

More nostalgic treasures at the depot, including a line of three class D145 shunters, as I had encountered in operation at Tarvisio Boscoverde the day before.


Modern trainsets: GTW (since 2011) and Polish-built PESA Atribo (2008 - 2015, permanently parked due to engine damage).

Spaghetti western.

The steam loco shunted past the shed.



The staff confirmed: the train would stay here until evening.

740.278 is based at La Spezia Migliarina depot of Museo Nazionale dei Trasporti della Spezia.


The old water crane was only decoration anymore, so a hose had to help out taking water.

The engine moved back in front of the train and stayed there for more than six hours.


You always take what you can, at least the scene was very picturesque - and you get images you normally would not have.





I hurried due to emerging clouds and hunger, so these last few photos were taken within four minutes.

Next, I also walked to the lake shore.

Swimming lesson.

Bergamo and Brescia as closest bigger cities are situated only a few miles away.



Dark clouds above the lake.

Time for a tasty lunch accompanied by an exclusive beer served in an ice bucket.

Iseo offers nice old town streets and squares.

The others left on an excursion to Pisogne, partly by bus. The timetable did not allow me to join and return in time.

I walked along the shore, but there were no properly good views of the railway to be found. Back at the station, the weather had improved.

Società Nazionale Ferrovie e Tramvie (SNFT) operated the line from 1907, this concrete trough obviously dates from 1911.

More about the railway (in Italian, please select translate):



The diving glass diesel returned with its gourmet special "Treno dei Sapori" (literally: "train of tastes") consisting of two formerly Swiss SBB "central entrance" carriages and one goods wagon for supplies.

These cars had been used in regular traffic on this line until 2010.

I walked to the viewpoint away from the highway. R 71 to Brescia passed by on time at 5:31 p.m.

740.278 thundered up the grade past an olive grove punctually at six o'clock. The spectacle compensated for the missing lakeside images, you can enjoy it with sound on video at minute 18:47.




R 77 took me to Brescia, from where I returned to the hotel in Verona. Both cities will be treated in a separate report part after Lago Iseo.

September 15 2019

I came back to Brescia in September following the first part of the series "Through the Alps by Steam - 1: Across Gotthard Pass". I had reached Northern Italy Saturday evening via Chiasso and Milan and stayed overnight at a hotel across the square from Brescia station. The plan fitted perfectly as the "Elephant" steamed up Gotthard Pass on Saturday and the last "Iseo Express" Brescia – Pisogne - Brescia of the season operated on Sunday. So, I hoped to catch up with the missing lakeside pictures. The line was clear, but another drawback: the additional steam trip Pisogne - Iseo – Pisogne after noon had been cancelled for that day. Oh well, you always have to work with what you can get.
And it did not start badly: Class ALn 668 were in operation. R 6021 arrived at 9:03 a.m. from Iseo as R 22 was waiting for departure to Edolo.

"Iseo Express" was hauled by heritage electric E646.158 (Breda / built in 1964) on the mainline Brescia - Rovato, also followed by a local young videographer.

I entered the Fiat railcar which would depart at 9:58 as R 28 towards Breno.

It took me to Toline, one station ahead of Pisogne at the northern end of the lake. R 39 Edolo - Brescia passed by at 11:08 in still quite hazy mood - the weather was about to clear up during the day.

Through Toline village.

Another photographer showed up, 740.278 appeared in the distance at half past eleven... more next time - including sunny lakeside photos! :)
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