High-speed rail in Italy: Wikis


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Italy's high speed rail network
A Frecciarossa high-speed train at Milan's Central Station
The interiors of the Frecciarossa

Italy opened what is often regarded as Europe's first high-speed rail route, the Direttissima, which from 1978 connected Rome with Florence (254 km/158 mi); however, the major works were only finally completed in the early 1990s, long after France's faster TGV network was established. The maximum speed of the Italian line was 250 km/h (160 mph), giving an end-to-end journey time of just over 90 minutes with an average speed of 200 km/h (120 mph).

Since then, Italy's high speed network has grown. Services are provided by Trenitalia using both Eurostar Italia (ETR 4xx, better known as Pendolino, which was developed by Fiat Ferroviaria), and more recent ETR 500 series trains (Italian "Eurostars" are unrelated to the Eurostar trains operating between the United Kingdom, France and Belgium).

Treno Alta Velocità SpA (a subsidiary of state-owned Rete Ferroviaria Italiana which manages the Italian railways) is building a new high speed network on the two main axes Milan-Bologna-Florence-Rome-Naples-Salerno; and Turin-Milan-Padua-Venice-Trieste. Some lines have already opened while others are under construction. International connections with France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia are underway, though most of these will use conventional lines.

Italy built two high-speed lines before the Second World War: between Bologna and Florence; and between Rome and Naples. With maximum speeds of around 180 km/h they would not today be considered "high speed" rail lines.


Rolling stock

Eurostar Italia is a system of trains operated by Trenitalia on the routes connecting the main Italian cities and towns. Several types of high-speed trains, belonging to three major families, carry out the service:

  • ETR 500 (ElettroTreno 500 Frecciarossa - non-tilting, speeds up to 362 km/h/225 mph) used as the Eurostar Italia.
  • ETR 600 Frecciargento (tilting, speeds up to 250 km/h/160 mph)
  • ETR 480 (tilting, speeds up to 250 km/h/160 mph) for other services used as the Tbiz a business class-only train.

Secondary stock:

New Pendolino (ETR 600/610) are being introduced to the Italy-Switzerland route. In addition, TGV trains run on the service Paris-Turin-Milan, and in the future possibly between Paris and Rome. By 2011, Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori plans to operate next-generation TGVs, the so-called Automotrices à grande vitesse (AGV).


Existing lines

The following lines of the TAV system are already in use.

"Direttissima", the first TAV line (construction started 1970, first stage opened 1978, finally opened in 1991). Trains on the line use 3 kV electric current.
Construction of this line started 1994, and it opened on 19 December 2005, except for the final 25 km from Gricignano di Aversa to Napoli Centrale, which opened on 13 December 2009. Trains on this line utilise 25 kV 50 Hz power.
The Turin-Novara section of the line opened in 2006. Construction of the Novara-Milan segment started in 2002 and opened on 13 December 2009. Trains use 25 kV 50 Hz current.
23 km (14 mi), it was built by RFI S.p.a. and opened in 2007. The line uses 3 kV current.
  • Milan–Treviglio section of the Milan–Venice line
23 km, it was built by RFI. Opened in 2007, the line has 3 kV current.
After starting construction in 2000, this segment entered service on 13 December 2008.[1] and cut travel time from Milan to Bologna from 103 minutes to 65 minutes; it reduced Milan-Rome travel times by about half an hour.
Construction of the line started in 1996 and the first train ran on 5 December 2009. A regular passenger service began on 13 December 2009.

Future lines

Network of high-speed trains in Italy when the system is completed
  • Milan-Venice
Although the project was approved in 2006/7 , construction on the Verona-Padua line has not yet started. The Milan-Verona line was approved in 2003, but construction has not started on that, either. The Milan–Treviglio and Padua-Mestre lines will become part of the Milan-Venice line.
The project was approved in 2006; no construction work has taken place.
The Lyon-Turin railroad would connect Lyon, Chambéry, and Turin, and join the French TGV and Italian TAV networks. It would take over the role of the current Fréjus railway.
A route connecting the Italian TAV network to Switzerland and Germany would do so through Swiss project AlpTransit, which includes the Gotthard Base Tunnel and the Lötschberg Base Tunnel.
The Brenner Base Tunnel will link Verona, Innsbruck, and Munich, and thus connect the Italian, Austrian and German railways. The Brenner tunnel is the most important link in a series of projects that will create a single connection from Berlin in Germany to Palermo in Sicily as part of the Trans-European Transport Networks. In December 2008, Antonio Tajani, the European commissioner for transport, approved funds totalling €1.7 billion to finance 11 railway projects that together should establish two major north-south routes across the continent.
A connection with Ljubljana would encourage development of rail into Eastern Europe and link the Slovenian Pendolino and Italian TAV networks.

Fasted travel times

Line Current travel time[2] Travel time on future line
Turin-Milan 1 h 22 min 1 h[3]
Milan-Bologna 1 h 5 min 1 h 5 min[4]
Bologna-Florence 58 min 35 min[3]
Florence-Rome 1 h 36 min 1 h 20 min
Milan-Naples 4 h 10 min[5] N/A
Milan-Rome 2 h 45 min[5] N/A
Rome-Naples 1 h 21 min 1 h 10 min[3]
Padua-Milan 1 h 51 min N/A
Line Distance Current travel time[6] Travel time on new line
km mi
Milan-Venice S. Lucia 262 163 2 h 20 min 1 h 25 min
Milan-Genova Terzo Valico 54 34 1 h 32 min 1 h 32 min[7]

See also


  1. ^ Reuters Italy launches Milan-Bologna high speed train link December 13, 2008
  2. ^ Official timetables for 2009 from www.trenitalia.com.
  3. ^ a b c (Italian)Il Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato - Vantaggi
  4. ^ (Italian)Trenitalia - Eurostar Italia Alta Velocità
  5. ^ a b "Italian north-south high speed line completed". Railway Gazette International. 2009-12-09. http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/single-view/view/10/italian-north-south-high-speed-line-completed.html.  
  6. ^ Official timetables for 2009 from www.trenitalia.com.
  7. ^ The Terzo Valico dei Giovi is a capacity expansion, especially for freight traffic.

External links

Specific projects

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