About me - Trainpaparazzo

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About me



Admin Trainpaparazzo

Hi Railfans,

My name is Bartolomeo Sammarco, creator of this train related fotogallery website.

I am a railfan since when I was a child, probably because of my summer train trips from Belgium, the country where I was born in 1965, to Sicily, where my relatives live.

This is back in time when the most common rolling stock of the Italian State Railways were the UIC-X coaches in the “Grigio Ardesia” livery, the E636 electric engines, the Settebello, Arlecchino and ETR401 high speed train sets and the futuristic E633 “Tigre” locomotives. Also, many steam engines were still in revenue service.

I used to travel all night long. In Basel our train normally got divided to proceed to different destinations and then it travelled through the Swiss Alps in the darkness, with the moonlight reflecting on the mountains. My favourite part of the trip started in the morning. Our train eventually reached Chiasso, at the border with Italy and from there onwards it was operated by the Italian “Ferrovie dello Stato”.
Normally, a maroon E636 charged in for the Swiss engine and it hauled the train all the way to Rome, where I got to spend the day waiting for my coincidence to Palermo. This was a golden occasion to visit Rome..and yes I’m talking about the station, not the Roman Empire monuments.

Another fascinating part of my journey was the ferry trip across the Messina Strait. It took me a while to figure out how trains are loaded on ferry boats but I finally understood that a “Truman” diesel engine divided our trains into 3-4 cars consists to push it into the vessels named Scilla, Villa or Rosalia. It was a fairly long operation, that gave everyone plenty of time to look forward to the Arancini dish we were about to enjoy once onboard. Of course, the same operations were carried out at our arrival in Messina before an old E626 locomotive could take over our section of the train and haul it all the way to Palermo.
Needless to say, none of the coaches I travelled with were air conditioned which led to various arrangements aimed at negotiating the heat of Sicily. The geeky train personnel, for instance, would walk around in an open shirt but none of the would give up their uniform hat.

Unfortunately, the beauty of this ended in the mid 1990s, when the Italian Railways adopted the English designed XMPR livery. This did not just involve a change in the livery of the rolling stock. The whole business model  of the FS changed and most of their beauty vanished. This is the time when the problem of graffiti emerged and the whole railway system fell into a degraded status.
This is what brought me to look at foreign railways and the comparison between these and the Italian Railways is often a very sad one.
Discovering foreign railways, however, greatly enlarged my railfanning horizons and gave me the opportunity to take picture of an incredible variety of trains.
Another thing that I should mention is the fact that my job (I drive touristic buses) gives me the opportunity to travel very frequently around Europe and that greatly increases my possibility of visiting new railfanning locations and publishing new pictures on trainpaparazzo.
In the following link you can access our photo archive.
Have fun!

Your admin,

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