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ITALY: FS Group freight subsidiary Mercitalia has announced plans to order 400 electric and bi-mode locomotives, and 3 600 next-generation wagons.

The company says that 80% of the investment in what it calls the ‘FS Group Logistics Hub’ is to be used for the renewal of the fleet, within a budget of €2·5bn. A further €70m is to be spent on upgrading existing rolling stock. FS Group’s Industrial Plan has set a target of doubling rail freight volumes by 2030.

The investment programme is intended to bring down the average age of rolling stock to seven years from the current 30. The new locomotives and wagons together are expected to cut the operator’s energy consumption by 25% compared to the existing fleet; Mercitalia has recently ordered 20 Alstom Traxx DC3 electric locomotives for delivery in 2024. By the end of the year 160 new wagons for intermodal and international services are also to be put into traffic.

By 2031, Mercitalia Shunting & Terminal will also add 32 locomotives to its fleet for use in yards and at ports. The company is also in the process of overhauling around 240 Sgnss wagons.