ITALY: Trenitalia has selected a joint bid from Bombardier Transportation and AnsaldoBreda for a contract to supply 50 high speed trainsets.

The board met on August 5 to approve the order, which should see a prototype completed within 300 days and entry into service by 2013.

As well as getting a higher technical score than Alstom's rival submission, the joint bid came in cheaper at €30·8m rather than €35m per eight-car trainset.

'A good race ended with high scores by both competitors', said FS Group Chief executive Mauro Moretti, who has been critical of the quality of trains delivered in Italy in recent years (RG 7.10 p66). He added that the order was an important milestone. 'This shows that there are various ways to buy trains: go to the dealer and buy sight unseen, or, as we did, strongly support innovation.'

Derived from Bombardier's Zefiro platform as supplied to China but heavily adapted to meet European TSIs, the 200 m long non-articulated trains will have distributed traction and be suitable for running at up to 400 km/h, although the planned maximum speed in revenue service will be 360 km/h.

They will have space for 600 passengers and be suitable for working across borders; Moretti says Trenitalia is looking towards 'the German block, the French block, and also Great Britain and Spain.'