By 2011 Italy will have its first privately-owned high-speed train, Italo. European network of high speed trains to grow much faster.
With the European airline industry becoming more and more complicated, travellers more often turn to the rails to make their journeys a lot more bearable. Regulations concerning the transport of liquids, baggage problems, delays, security problems, incessant waiting at airports and the lack of comfort are constant menaces in today’s air travel sector.
Air travel is, naturally, the quickest way of travelling from A to B over large distances, yet Europe, especially one country, is the perfect size for trains, which eradicate most of the problems mentioned above. Another important factor is that trains, unlike cars, are not detrimental to the environment. They seem to be perfect solution to everything whilst being relatively safe.
In Italy the state-owned Eurostar Italia Alta Velocitá operates its Freccia Rossa (“Red Arrow”) high speed services between several cities. By 2011 however Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (NTV) plans to launch their new Italo train on key intercity routes and thus become the first privately-owned high-speed train operator in the country. The plan is to start with a fleet of 25 units, before expanding depending on the success of the introductory period. The French company SNCF is expected to be the first partner for the project, meaning that the Italians could spread the high-speed train project all over Europe.
From a passenger point of view, the trains clearly make sense. However, there are a number of hidden advantages to the whole project. Firstly, there shall be 20% more space aboard the new trains and so crowded trains could turn to be a thing of the past. Furthermore, there should be 15% less energy consumption and 98% of the trains’ materials shall be made from recyclable materials.