ITALY: Sardinia’s regional government and Trenitalia signed a nine-year contract for the operation of standard gauge rail services on the island on July 26. This defines the services to be provided through to 2025, and requires delivery of new rolling stock, an increase in commuter services and closer integration between rail and bus services.

The deal has an overall value of €513m, including €123m of investments of which €114m will be financed by Trenitalia and the remainder will come from the region. This includes €87·7m for the purchase of 10 Pesa Swing multiple-units to be delivered from 2018 and eight new DMUs to be delivered in 2020-21, plus €29·7m for the refurbishment of existing rolling stock and €6m for maintenance facilities.

The region will be responsible for specifying and financing the services, paying Trenitalia an average of €43m/year to operate around 180 trains/day totalling 3·7 million train-km/year and serving 43 stations. The performance-based contract is designed to take into account the higher quality standards which will be expected when the new rolling stock is delivered.