We make stations and property no longer of use to routine railway operations available to local communities to use freely: for social purposes, to redevelop the local area and to create shared value



Introducing innovative technologies has made it possible to rationalise the presence of railway staff at stations. A process of organisational optimisation that has made available many areas within passenger buildings, previously used for technical activities, leading to the so-called "Unstaffed Stations": stations that are still active from the point of view of railway operations but have no staff.

For years we have therefore been carrying out a project to recover and redevelop unused spaces, lending them out to local authorities and non-profit organisations.
Unstaffed stations. A social reuse of railway assets” is the name of the book that chronicles the social reuse of railway assets made available to local communities.

This publication, which follows on from the previous 2015 edition “Railway Stations, how to regenerate an asset”, includes 88 new cases of reuse of railway property, in 18 regions of Italy. The cases presented in the book are broken down by geographic area – North, Centre, South and Islands – and relate to four categories: corps, municipal police and civil protection; bringing people together; culture and sport; tourist promotion and environmental protection; protection of rights and solidarity.

Together with the Parent Company FS Italiane, we have signed various agreements with local authorities and 5 memoranda of understanding with Associazione Italiana Turismo Responsabile, Centro Servizi Volontariato, LegAmbiente, Lega Cooperative Sociali and Fondazione Italia Camp. The FS Group has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Banca Etica which, through dedicated banks in its crowdfunding network, will encourage the gathering of funds to support railway building social redevelopment projects, promoting cultural events to present projects and offering integrated credit and banking services.

As at December 2018, there were 1,473 loan for use contracts, with which we have made available to the community around 3,623,402 m2, including around 106,645 m2 of station buildings and around 3,516,757 m2 of land – these also include car parks serving citizens and railway customers.


Free loans for use: who can apply

Applications to use spaces owned by RFI that are no longer used for railway operations for free – inside station premises (especially if not staffed), inside and outside passenger buildings or along railway lines – can be made solely by:

  • Local bodies (Provinces, Municipalities, etc.)
  • Associations operating in the social sector
  • Non-profit organisations

The areas no longer used for railway operations are made available or free only to carry out projects aimed at offering community services to the local area on a not-for-profit basis. As a general rule, loan for use contracts have a duration of 4 years and the bailee undertakes to carry out renovation and/or extraordinary and ordinary maintenance (cleaning, safety, etc.) on the property.

How to apply

The application must be made submitted together with a detailed description of the project to be carried out, structured as follows:

1 - short description of the body making the application

2 - description of the project and its social purposes

3 - description of any partners involved in the project (institutions, local bodies, businesses, foundations, etc.)

4 - benefits/implications of the project on the local area in social, environmental, employment, cultural etc. terms

5 - location of the area requested (station or other areas)

6 - analysis of the total project costs together with an assessment of the work needed to make the requested area suitable for the initiative

7 - funds available to carry out project for the entire duration of the loan for use contract

8 - project time scale

Who to apply to

Non-profit organisations can submit their project as a matter of priority to the municipalities in which the space they are interested in is located, or to the national associations with which the FS Italian Group has currently signed Memoranda of Understanding for the development of loans for social use:


Associazione Italiana Turismo Responsabile


Lega Coop Sociali

Fondazione Italiacamp

Alternatively, the project may be submitted by ordinary mail to the RFI Local Departments responsible for the station/area of interest; or by certified e-mail to the following addresses.

Certified email addresses of RFI Local Departments
Ancona Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.an@pec.rfi.it
Bari Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.ba@pec.rfi.it
Bologna Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.bo@pec.rfi.it
Cagliari Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.ca@pec.rfi.it
Florence Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.fi@pec.rfi.it
Genoa Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.ge@pec.rfi.it
Milan Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.mi@pec.rfi.it
Naples Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.na@pec.rfi.it
Palermo Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.pa@pec.rfi.it
Reggio Calabria Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.rc@pec.rfi.it
Rome Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.rm@pec.rfi.it
Turin Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.to@pec.rfi.it
Trieste Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.ts@pec.rfi.it
Venice Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.ve@pec.rfi.it
Verona Local Production Office rfi-dpr-dtp.vr@pec.rfi.it

How is an application evaluated?

We evaluate the projects sent to us together with the relevant Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Parent Company department for relations with the Associations and social policies of the Group. The quality of the partnership and the financial plan supporting the initiatives is of particular importance in the evaluation.