The first railway in Corsica opened in 1888 between Bastia and Corte, with a branch from Casamozza to Tallone. The total length of line was over 125km. Because of the mountainous terrain through which it was planned to pass, metre gauge was chosen for its construction. By 1892, essentially the whole of the present day network from Bastia to Ajaccio with a branch from Ponte Leccia to Calvi was complete, as was an extension of the Tallone branch to Ghisonaccia. It was intended that this eastern branch would ultimately serve Bonifacio, but it was not until 1935 that it reached Porto-Vecchio and was never extended beyond that. That line was extensively damaged in World War II and was cut back to the section between Casamozza and Folelli-Orezza. The short section was unable to cover its costs and closed in 1953.
The remaining railway suffered a period of decline in the late 20th / early 21st centuries in competition with an improved road network on the island. However, since 2017 the local government has invested heavily in restoration and improvements, recognising the importance of the railway to the tourist industry, and for commuting in and around the major towns.
Proposals exist for extensions of the railway to serve the airports of Bastia (Poretta) and Ajaccio (Napoléon-Bonaparte).
A separate page deals with station names in Corsica.
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