ITALY: Construction of the Marconi Express monorail linking Bologna Centrale main line station with Marconi Airport began on October 31. Works are due be completed in 36 months, with passenger services expected to begin in 2019.

The 5 km route will be built at up to 7·6 m above ground level and will have an intermediate stop at Lazzaretto. STS Bologna has carried out engineering design, with architectural design undertaken in association with Iosa Ghini Associati. Steer Davies Gleave is acting as consultant.

Intamin is supplying the power supply, platform screen doors and three driverless vehicles, each with capacity for 50 passengers. Regular services will require two vehicles. At times of increased demand, two of the vehicles could run as a coupled pair.

The end-to-end journey time would be 7 min, and services would run every day from 06.00 to midnight. Peak frequencies of up to 7½ min give a capacity of 420 passengers/h per direction using two vehicles. If three vehicles are used, headways would be 8 min, giving a capacity of 560 passengers/h per direction. It is estimated that 1 million passengers would use Marconi Express in its first year of operation.