ITALY: Trenitalia signed framework contracts with Alstom and Hitachi for up to 450 regional electric multiple-units with firm orders for 86 units on August 3, following the announcement of the preferred bidders in June.

The Lot 1 framework agreement with Alstom covers up to 150 medium-capacity single-deck EMUs worth €900m, with an option for maintenance.

The firm order covers an initial 47 trainsets worth €240m which are to be delivered from early 2019. An 'evolution' of the Coradia Meridian family which is in service with Trenitalia, the units are to be supplied in two lengths with up to 321 seats. There will be different configurations for regional and suburban services, with wi-fi, audio-visual passenger information and entertainment and CCTV. Alstom said a 'wide range' of interiors, liveries and optional features would enable each Italian region to customise trains for local services.

The EMUs will offer 'a significant decrease in energy consumption per passenger' compared to the previous generation, despite the greater installed power required for the air-conditioning. Alstom's Savigliano, Sesto San Giovanni and Bologna sites will be involved in design and production.

Hitachi Rail Italy signed the Lot 2 framework agreement for the supply of up to 300 high-capacity double-deck EMUs worth €2·6bn over nine years. An initial €333m firm order for the Emilia Romagna region covers 25 five-car sets with a total capacity of 656 passengers, and 14 four-car units. The 160 km/h EMUs are to be produced at Hitachi's factories in Pistoia, Napoli and Reggio Calabria, with the first to be delivered within 34 months.

The new Caravaggio design 'will be a train never seen before in Europe, in line with the highest safety and comfort standards', said Hitachi Rail Italy CEO Maurizio Manfellotto. 'A vehicle that will change the Italian transport system. We are already working with a team of over 300 people to create the vehicle that, after our Frecciarossa 1000, will become another icon Made in Italy.'

Evaluation of Stadler's top-ranked bid for Lot 3 which covers the supply of diesel multiple-units is still underway.

A total of 11 bidders had prequalified for the three framework agreements, with bids for one or more lots being submitted by Alstom, Bombardier, CAF, Hitachi, Hyundai Rotem and Stadler.