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Sunday, June 14, 2009

New High-Speed Rail Service in Italy

By Hilary Howard

Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori

Trenitalia, Italy's national railway, which introduced high-speed rail service between Naples and Milan last December (www.italiarail.com), will soon be getting some competition. In 2011, a new privately owned high-speed train company, Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori, will introduce a stylish, candy-apple-red fleet of 25 trains collectively known as Italo. The trains' interiors will be designed by the Italian car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro.

Called Automotrice Grande Vitesse (A.G.V.; an updated version of the French high-speed T.G.V.), Italo trains will provide service to locations between Naples and Turin. Company officials estimate that a trip from Rome to Milan, about 350 miles by rail, will last three hours and that trains will be able to travel up to speeds of 225 miles an hour. The billion-euro project, spearheaded by the head of Fiat and Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo, includes investors like the French rail company S.N.C.F., and hopes to produce trains that are mostly constructed from recyclable materials and consume 15 percent less energy than current high-speed trains.

Italo's fares will be competitive with those of Trenitalia (www.ntvspa.it), which charges $58 for a ticket from Rome to Milan.

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