Seeking to offer customers hotel train service, Italian State Railways will take delivery of the first of 20 Type MUn air-conditioned sleeping cars from Costamasnaga at the end of this month (PP 5.96 p5). Destined for international operation at up to 200 km/h, each car can accommodate up to 23 passengers in seven conventional compartments with 1 to 3 bunks and a single ’suite’ compartment with a double bed. Each compartment has an adjoining private bathroom with shower, washbasin and toilet; the closed-circuit system on each car carries almost 2000litres of water, which is purified to drinking standards by ultra violet equipment.

With the compartments prepared for overnight use, each passenger has an individual reading light, an alarm clock and an intercom to call the car attendant. The suite has a video player, equipped with remote control and headphones. At one end of the car is the attendant’s office, incorporating a reception desk, galley with fridge, microwave oven and storage space for food service trolleys and a bunk. The reception area has a sofa and small table; like the corridor and suite, it is lit by fibre-optic ’stars’ which form part of the design strategy to create a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere for overnight journeys.

Security features include in-car CCTV, control of end and side doors (normally locked at night) by the attendant, and security locks and spy holes on the sliding cabin doors. Fire detection is fitted, and care has been taken to select fire-resistant construction materials that do not produce smoke or toxic fumes easily.

Power for the car’s electrical equipment is supplied by an RIC-type static converter with a maximum output of 65 kVA, fed by the train’s high-voltage supply when hauled by an electric loco. On-board equipment runs off the converter’s 380V 50Hz AC output, including a charger for the car’s 24V batteries which power low-voltage circuits. An underfloor diesel generator set provides power when the car is detached from the train supply or operating on a non-electrified route. o

CAPTION: The MUn’s double-bedded suite compartment will be marketed as ’Super Luxe’ class