An history of success


  • 1898
    With the vision of a communication route linking Locarno with Domodossola - through the Centovalli and the Vigezzo Valley - and later the St Gotthard railway line with the Simplon railway line, the history of our company formally begins. On 30 September, Francesco Balli, the mayor of Locarno, submits a formal application to the Federal Council for the concession of a railway network, which under the name Ferrovie Locarnesi, comprises three lines: Locarno-Bignasco, Locarno-Ribellasca and Locarno-Valmara. A Vigezzo committee was formed to promote the creation of the Locarno-Domodossola railway and on 28 December 1898 the concession was granted.
  • 1909
    On 18 November the Ferrovie Regionali Ticinesi (FRT) is founded.
  • 1913
    Construction work begins, slowed down by financial problems and the First World War.
  • 1919
    On 12 November the final agreement is signed. Operation is assigned to the Società Subalpina di Imprese Ferroviarie for the Italian section and to the Ferrovie Regionali Ticinesi for the Swiss section.
  • 1923
    On 25 November the Locarno - Domodossola railway line is officially opened. A success achieved thanks to the determination of Balli, Sutter, Falcioni and Testore who were able to overcome technical and financial difficulties. Also in 1923 the Tramvie Elettriche Locarnesi and the Locarno - Ponte Brolla - Bignasco (LPB or Valmaggina) railway line were taken over by the FRT.
  • 1924
    The FRT obtains the navigation concession on the Swiss side of Lake Maggiore, using the boats of the Società Subalpina. The concession ends in the early 1950s.
  • 1957
    The FRT obtains the federal licence for the Locarno-Ascona and Brissago bus lines and connected lines. The new lines become operative on 01.01.1962
  • 1958
    FRT concludes an agreement with the municipalities of Locarno, Muralto and Minusio to replace trams with buses. The FRT also takes over operation of the Verdasio-Rasa cableway.
  • 1960
    On 30 April the tram service ends and is replaced by buses.
  • 61-68
    Ferrovie Regionali Ticinesi becomes Ferrovie Autolinee Regionali Ticinesi. In April 1964 the Locarno-Cugnasco line and the Monte Verità - Ascona Posta - Lido - Sonnenhof line became operational. Our Travel Agency opens in Piazza Grande in Locarno. On 15 November 1965 the Locarno-Bignasco railway, the Valmaggina, ceases operation. From 29 November 1965 the road service starts operating. From June 1966 our company takes over the management of the Locarno hillside bus services.
  • 1976
    The Cooperativa Funivia Intragna-Pila-Costa, the Canton and FART enter into an agreement: the Canton becomes the owner of the cableway managed by us.
  • 1990
    Inauguration of the underground railway tunnel between Locarno and San Martino and of the underground station at Locarno Muralto. Expansion of the bus sector with the introduction of 5 regional lines.
  • 1993
    8 new ABe 4/6 electric trains placed in service.
  • 2003
    Inauguration of the Ponte Brolla factory.
  • 05-07
    In 2005 the Ascona-Locarno-Minusio line was extended to Tenero-Brere. 2007 saw the start of a renewal plan for the bus fleet: new, more environmentally friendly vehicles equipped with the SIGE computer system. "La Biglietteria" opens in Muralto.
  • 2011
    Complete renewal of 4 electric trains renamed ABe 4/8 "Centovalli Express". Inauguration of the new headquarter.
  • 2018
    Renewal of the bus fleet with 13 new articulated buses. Approval of preliminary application for the purchase of 8 new trains.
  • 2019
    The "Centovalli Express" are equipped with audio guides. Modernisation work on stations begins.
  • 2020
    With the opening of the Ceneri Railway Tunnel and the resulting revolution in mobility in Ticino, our company also expands its public transport network with an enhanced timetable, the hiring of more than 60 new drivers and the purchase of 36 vehicles.