Glocale Rivista molisana di storia e scienze sociali



Edilio Petrocelli

The railway Sulmona-Carpinone from the 1984 strike to its decline

The railway system built in Molise after the national unification, as a questionable solution for the local railway issue, included the railway Sulmona-Isernia. This railway, going along the traditional routes of transumanza now in decline, wasn’t able to substitute the modern commercial guiding line of the home market. The most important benefit given by this railway to the local economy was only the increase of employment due to its construction.
The Italian Society for the South Railways undertook on contract the construction of the railway for a very low price entailing a very low salary and very hard working hours for the workers. The conflict between capital and labour, quite strong at that time all over the country, led to a stately spontaneous strike in 1984 even in the railway yard in Molise.
The article describes the strike and the railway history. The leading exponent of the 1984 event was a young eighteen-year-old man born in Bologna,
Luigi Grassi who had come to Molise in search of working opportunities given by the new railway yard. At first the workers’ strike led to some results
frustrated in a short time by the forced moving of their leader.
At the beginning of the Eighties the reorganization of the entire nationalrailway system implied the closing of the Sulmona-Carpinone railway. The railway is nowadays part of social and political activities interested in its rehabilitation in the aim of a wider tourist and cultural re-evaluation of the area.