EUROPE: A workshop dedicated to the assembly of ETR610 tilting trains for Swiss Federal Railways was inaugurated at Alstom's Savigliano plant in Italy on September 20.

SBB ordered the eight Pendolino trains in July 2012, as a SFr275m option on a contract for 14 trainsets which had been placed by the former Cisalpino joint venture of SBB and Trenitalia in 2004.

Fitting out of the first of the additional trainsets has now begun at Savigliano, and the bodyshells for the second are being assembled. Testing is scheduled to begin in Germany in May 2014, followed by acceptance runs in Italy and Switzerland and the handover of the first two trains to SBB by the end of 2014. SBB intends to put the additional trains into service on the Gotthard corridor to Milano in early 2015.

Equipped to operate under 15 kV 16·7 Hz, 25 kV 50 Hz and 3 kV DC electrification, the seven-car ETR610 trainsets will have a maximum speed of 250 km/h. They will accommodate up to 430 passengers, with the reclining seats equipped with reading lights and power sockets and 'aligned with the large panoramic windows which allow passengers to benefit from natural light and enjoy the scenery'.

The trainsets are designed to be TSI compliant, and will be equipped with Alstom's Atlas ETCS signalling for use in Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Austria.