Bologna cross-city suburban service (photo Bologna municipality)

ITALY: Regional operator Trenitalia Tper has introduced cross-city suburban services in the Bologna area with effect from June 9.

Route SFM1 linking Porretta in the southwest with Pianoro to the southeast has been established by the extension of the existing Porretta – Bologna Centrale service to Pianoroa. This has eliminated a 30 min connection time for passengers travelling across the city. There are now 27 through trains per day from Pianoroa to Porretta or Marzabotto and 30 in the opposite direction, offering an end to end journey time of 1 h 40 min, plus five additional short workings between Pianoro and Bologna.

Bologna cross-city suburban service (photo Bologna metropolitan authority)

The project is being backed by the Region of Emilia-Romagna, the Bologna municipality and the metropolitan authority, national infrastructure manager RFI and regional railway Ferrovie Emilia Romagna.

The region has invested €19·5m in the procurement of three more Pop and Rock electric multiple-units from Alstom and Hitachi Rail to support the enhancement of Bologna suburban services, and will provide €5·6m per year to support the operation of SFM1. Tper regional passes are accepted on the new service.

Further service enhancements are anticipated from September 9, following the completion of summer engineering works. This will include a regular half-hourly frequency as far as Marzabotto with peak hour extensions to Porretta. Meanwhile, work began on June 10 to upgrade RFI’s Pianoro – Prato line and FER’s Bologna – Vignola branch, which are to be integrated into the enhanced suburban network.