The Sila Train in Calabria, the perfect idea for a family outing
On board in a natural reserve
The Sila National Park is one of the most beautiful natural reserves in Calabria.
The special narrow-gauge railway reaches an altitude of 1400 meters and connects the Moccone station and that of San Nicola passing through Camigliatello Silano. In between, you cross the natural landscape on board carriages that look like something out of an old film.
A steam train from the last century
The Sila Train started once again to puff steam and screech on the tracks a few years ago in 2018. After a long recovery this important feature from the last century returned back to the landscape. The railway was originally built at the beginning of the 1900s, now as it climbs and whistles between valleys and mountains, the tourist train gives the opportunity to discover the Sila National Park from a new perspective.
When to travel on the Sila Train
You can take a ride on the historic steam train every Sunday and in summer even on Saturdays. It starts from Moccone at 1299 meters above sea level or from Camigliatello Silano at 1271 meters to arrive at the Silvana Mansio station. After a stop break, it heads back.
The departure time is set at 10:30 from Moccone and about 15 minutes later from Camigliatello. The arrival in Silvana Mansio is scheduled for 11:30. The return is faster, it starts at 13:00 and arrives at 13:35. In the middle there is a break for a walk or a picnic.
Tickets must be booked at least a day before on the trenodellasila.it website. The perfect period for a ride on the Sila Train is summer, when the weather is nice and you can also enjoy a picnic on the grass, but it would also be beautiful in autumn admiring the foliage colours, or in winter enjoying the snowy landscape.
What a view from the Sila Train!
For a while you coast the provincial road, until you immerse into the wilderness. From the end of the impressive Camigliati viaduct, 166 meters high, you plunge into the Silano woods and begin to climb up to the heart of the Sila plateau.
Croce di Magara station is at 1354 meters, you then begin to descend slightly after crossing the Neto river.
The last section is very scenic: you can see the Crati valley and the man-made Cecita Lake as well as a series of curves and counter-curves that lead to the highest railway station in Italy at an altitude of 1404 meters.
A Slow journey in a world that rushes
When the train arrives you first see the lights and puffs of steam, then the black and red colours of the 353 locomotive from 1926. Finally the green of the wagons emerge from the green of the woods. However, even before that, the whistle is heard. It is the signal that you are about to enter another time, slower than the rhythm of contemporary life.
Taking a trip on the Sila Train is a fantastic opportunity to rediscover life at a slower pace, as it once was, enjoying the journey without thinking about the destination. Sit on the wooden seats and enjoy the show. Or better still on the running board of the first carriage, with the wind in your hair: a front row seat.