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Italian railways showcase 'stunning' new Frecciarossa

Top speed 360 kph

14 February, 16:07
Italian railways showcase 'stunning' new Frecciarossa

(By Alina Trabattoni).

(ANSA) - Rome - Ferrovie dello Stato, Italy's state-owned railway company, this month presented its new technological gem, the high-speed Frecciarossa 1000 train, to President Giorgio Napolitano at a ceremony in Rome.

The top-end masterpiece was created by Italian train-maker AnsaldoBreda in conjunction with France's Bombardier. It is now touring Europe in a promotional roadshow that is slated to end when operational tests will start.

The Frecciarossa 1000 was built as part of a wider 5 billion-euro investment plan aimed at modernizing the railroad comapny's fleet, also though the investment of 1.5 billion euros in the production of regional trains. It can reach speeds of as high as 360 kilometres per hour. The machine is billed as "the most stunning high-speed train in the world" by its owner, Ferrovie dello Stato's passenger transport unit Trenitalia. The model boasts a metallic snake-like body that showcases flexibility and style. Its red and grey colours travel up the aerodynamic body with elegance and style, and its interiors showcase comfort and design.

"Frecciarossa 1000 is unique in the international scenario owing to its technological innovations, technical performance, interoperability, design, quality and safety", Ferrovie dello Stato said in an emailed statement. It is "set to raise the current technical, environmental, external and internal aesthetic standards, while guaranteeing maximum performance and travel comfort". It was released from the AnsaldoBreda production plant on March 26, and has since started its whirlwind promotional tour.

Ferrovie dello Stato has commissioned a total of 50 Frecciarossa 1000 models to embellish the tracks that criss-cross Italy. The company currently has 60 ETR500 Frecciarossa trains running the tracks across Italy, reaching speeds as high as 300 kilometres and bringing passengers swiftly and safely to destination. It operates the ETR610 Frecciargento model - the so-called "Silver Arrow" train - mainly used to connect up the capital city of Rome with the prime time tourist destination of Venice, through speeds of as high as 250kmh.

Prior to arriving in Rome for the presentation to the Italian president, the technological gem was showcased to admiring audiences in other cities such as Berlin, Naples, Milan, Bologna and Rimini, where Italian caretaker Prime Minister Mario Monti was present.

The 1.5-billion-euro project took three years to come to fruition, after Ferrovie dello Stato held a public tender in 2010 for the works that was won by AnsaldoBreda and Bombardier. The very first model was dedicated to Italian Olympic Champion and politician Pietro Mennea, who recently died, and is slated to start operational tests very soon. It is forecast to start carrying passengers at the end of 2014 or in early 2015. Trenitalia also has some 70 regional trains under production as part of a separate project won by French power-equipment and train maker Alstom. AnsaldoBreda is owned by Finmeccanica, Italy's state-owned defence company. Bombardier is the world's third-largest planemaker, and also owns train producer Bombardier Transportation.