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The contract was given to Messrs. Brassey and Co.; Messrs. C. M. Jopling and C. Jones acting as the principal agents. The first sod was cut at Leghorn by Baron Ricasoli, on the 28th day of February, 1861, and nearly 100 miles of the line were made in less than two years; the contractors executing all the working drawings, subject to the approval of the Government, Engineers - at one time upwards of ten thousand men were employed upon the works.
Completed in 1865.