1902 Encyclopedia > Italy > Shipbuilding. Railways. Roads and Canals.

(Part 15)


Shipbuilding. Railways. Roads and Canals.

Shipbuilding.—The district which showed the greatest activity in shipbuilding and produced the greatest number of large vessels was that of Genoa. This industry continued to increase in importance in Italy from the foundation of the kingdom till 1869 (683 vessels, 96,010 tons); in the next three years there was a decline ; by 1875 the figures of 1869 were again almost reached, but since then there has been a very notable decrease. The number of workmen engaged in 1879 was 14,179, of whom 182 were ship-builders of the first and 70 of the second class.

Railways.—The first railway opened in Italy was a line of 26 kilometres, constructed in 1840, between Naples and Castellamare. By 1842 there were 54 kilometres in existence; by 1845, 157; by 1848, 360 ; by 1858, 1707 ; by 1868, 5679 ; and by 1879, 8340. The system is considered as consisting of the following sections (Table XXVI.):—

== TABLE ==

Thus the total cost may be stated at £100,800,000. At the end of 1879 the rolling stock consisted of 1385 locomotives, 4301 carriages, and 23,483 waggons. The total expenditure of the railways for the year 1879 was 101,088,901 lire, and the total receipts 164,672,340.

Except in the northern part of the country the Italian railway system is still far from complete. With the French system it is connected by the coast-line from Genoa to Nice, and by the line from Turin to Geneva, which passes through the Mont Cenis tunnel. With the Austrian system there is connexion by the line which runs up the valley of the Adige from Verona to Botzen and by the lines which cross the eastern frontiers at Pontebba and Cormons respectively. From Milan to Piacenza, from Piacenza to Bologna, from Bologna to Ancona, and from Ancona to Brindisi, there is free route from the north right along the eastern coast; hut the lines on the western coast take the traveller no farther south than a little beyond Salerno, and to reach Reggio from Naples involves a tremendous circuit. By the law of July 29, 1879, a great number of new lines received parliamentary sanction, the effect of which will be to complete the western coast-line, to increase the number of routes from the western to the eastern seaboard, and to furnish railway communication to numerous cities and districts which are now without it.

Roads and Canals.—It was found that on 31st December 1877 there existed in the kingdom 5151 miles of national roads, 15,596 of provincial roads, and 48,295 of communal roads—all very unequally distributed throughout the country. The navigable canals have an aggregate length of about 663 miles, and the navigable, portions of the rivers an aggregate length of 1100.

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