Sardegna (English: Sardinia) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, administratively a region of Italy.
The first railway in Sardegna was opened in 1871 by the Ferrovie Reali of Italy. It ran from Cagliari to Vilasor, a distance of 24km. It was built to standard (1435mm) gauge, and was subsequently extended to the north and west of the island, giving a total route length of 430km.
By the 1880s numerous communities were still unserved by rail, but it was realised that it would be uneconomic to reach them with standard gauge railways; therefore, a number of narrow gauge lines were planned. The first such line opened in 1888 between Cagliari and Isili, a distance of 77km; the gauge chosen was 950mm.
Several other 950mm gauge railways opened in the late 19th century, making up three separate networks connected with each other only by way of the standard gauge railway. A few further lines were added at around the time of the First World War, giving a total narrow gauge route length of over 600km.
Much of the original rail network remains intact. A few short sections have been closed and dismantled, while roughly two thirds of the narrow gauge network, although closed to regular services, continue to operate special tourist services.
Street trams ran in Cagliari from 1893 to 1973. In 2008, the first section of a modern tram network was opened, partly operating on sections of the 950mm gauge network. For that reason, it uses the same 950mm gauge.
A similar modern tram network operates in Sassari, also using sections of the 950mm gauge network. The first section of the tramway opened in 2006.
Photo image from the website of Il Trenino Verde