ETR1000 high speed trainset

ITALY: Trenitalia is assessing the possibility of ordering a shorter variant of its Frecciarossa ETR1000 high speed train which could use the train ferries between the mainland and the island of Sicily.

The Ministry of Infrastructure & Transport envisages ordering a fleet of 12 four-car mini Frecciarossa ETR1000 trainsets in conjunction with the renewal of the port and railway infrastructure in Messina, Villa San Giovanni and Reggio Calabria. It believes that this could speed up rail connections over the Strait of Messina as soon as late 2023.

Messina train ferry (Photo: AlessandroSquassoni/Pixabay)

Suitable for 300 km/h operation, the four-car sets would be 103 m long and equipped to operate under both 25 kV 50 Hz and 3 kV DC electrification. They would be fitted with batteries for low-speed operation, avoiding the need to use diesel shunting locos when embarking and disembarking from the ferries

The trains would operate a combined Venezia/Milano – Roma – Palermo/Siracusa service, with the short sets joining and splitting en route.

The overall cost of the project is estimated at €180m, which would be financed through the country’s Recovery & Resilience Plan.

The ministry is also developing a €6m project to equip 16 of Trenitalia’s Class E464 electric locomotives with batteries for shunting other trains on and off the ferries.