Probably one of the greatest spots on the Faentina: 685.196 had just climbed the northern slope of the Apenin all the way from Faenza to the  summit tunnel at Crespino del Lamone, where it passed this picturesque village. Belive it or not, but there was not a single satelite dish I had to "photoshop" out of the picture! May 9th, 2009.

"..Die Apenninen sind mir ein merkwürdiges Stück Welt. Auf die große Fläche der Regionen des Pos folgt ein Gebirg, das sich aus der Tiefe erhebt, um zwischen zwei Meeren südwärts das feste Land zu endigen. Wäre die Gebirgsart nicht zu steil, zu hoch über der Meeresfläche, nicht so sonderbar verschlungen, daß Ebbe und Flut vor alten Zeiten mehr und länger hätten hereinwirken, größere Flächen bilden und überspülen können, so wäre es eins der schönsten Länder in dem herrlichsten Klima, etwas höher als das andere Land. So aber ist's ein seltsam Gewebe von Bergrücken gegeneinander; oft sieht man gar nicht ab, wohin das Wasser seinen Ablauf nehmen will. (...) Kastanien kommen hier sehr schön, der Weizen ist trefflich und die Saat schon hübsch grün. Immergrüne Eichen mit kleinen Blättern stehen am Wege, um die Kirchen und Kapellen aber schlanke Zypressen." Johann Wolfgang Goethe, 22.Okt. 1786

Spettacolare doppia trazione con due seicento ottanta cinque - something not seen in Italy for about 30 years! With remarkable speed, 685.196 and 089 thrashed up the valley near Brisighella. The four-cylinder, superheater design of the 685 goes back to 1909. The engines reached 110km/h, but a couple of engines later modified even reached 120km/h. May 9th, 2009.
Near Strada-Casale, 685.089 and 196 interrupted the quietness in the countryside for a few moments with their heavy passenger consisting of seven 'centoporte' and a 'bagagliaio'. May 9th, 2009.
At San Cassiano, a stop was scheduled. Time to build up the fire and check the running gear before the final ascent to Marradi. Note the copped cab and smokebox door that greatly contribute to the elegance and simplicity of the overall design - resembling old Bavarian types.
From south, the 2.5% ascent to the Faentina summit tunnel starts right at Borgo San Lorenzo, where 685.196 passed this bridge. Because the Apenin mountain range marked the frontline between German and Allied Toops for a long time during the war, the line got heavilly destroyed. It was not until 1957 that some trains worked again from Firenze to Faenza. Rebuilding the last section between Firenze and Borgo San Lorenzo via Fiesole-Caldino took even longer: Before its completion in the eighties(!), all trains had to take an alternative route over Sieeci - Pontassieve. May 8th, 2009.
At Marradi on the Northern side of the pass, the train passed this old iron bridge over the Lamome river. 08.05.2009.
The Santa Eufenia station could perserve its charme and character from the steam era till present days. 685.196 and 089 just had passed a small tunnel and stormed through the halt. May 9th, 2009.
The Faentina passes no less than 47 tunnels and 167 bridges. Still, most of them are hard, if not impossible to photograph because of the dense and ever growing vegetation. A notable exception was this viaduct close to San Cassiano, where the two 1C1 stormed up the Lamone valley. May 9th, 2009.
Close to Marradi, the two elegant fast passenger engines passed this rural scenery. May 9th, 2009.
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the trip were the night shots at Faenza - Who would miss two perfectly iluminated 685 next to each other? It goes without saying that I had instantly dropped my Birra and my Scaloppine when I got news that both engines and lights had been put in position for a night session down at Faenza shed. May 8th, 2009.

(c) Markus Fischer, Zuerich