RESTRUCTURING of Italian Railways has moved a step forward with the announcement of plans to complete the long-proposed separation of infrastructure management and operations. Responsibility for infrastructure will lie with the state-controlled Rete SpA company, with operations coming under the control of FS group subsidiary Italia Trasporto Ferroviario.

The change requires ITF to become a limited company, and this was agreed at a recent extraordinary general meeting. Francesco Mengozzi has been nominated as Acting Chairman, with Roberto Renon, formerly Director for Passenger Services, named as Chief Executive. ITF is to take over rolling stock and staff by the end of June. Assuming nothing intervenes to delay implementation of the changes, ITF will also embrace the activities of Cargo SI, the joint venture for freight being established with Swiss Federal Railways. Still unclear are the relationship between ITF and holding company FS SpA, and the arrangements governing the proposed divisions for long-distance and suburban passenger services and freight traffic.

Although traffic appears to be buoyant in the early months of this year, last year saw FS turn in a loss of 3050bn lire.