Ferrari-Like Train Built in Italy


If you can’t afford a Ferrari, Italy’s new high-speed trains are the next best thing. They are called FrecciaRossa – Red Arrow – and currently serve the major cities of Milan, Turin, Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples. On a test run the Italian train broke the world “indoor” speed record at 362 kilometers an hour (225 mph). Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemoto is a major shareholder; the  cars are painted Ferrari-style red and feature a stylized hare on the side. The 25 trains in the fleet are being manufactured by France’s Alstom based on its AGVmodel (Automotrice Grande Vitesse). Italo trains will have 11 cars with a capacity of 460 passengers. The first, business, and economy classes — called Club, Prima, and Smart — will feature leather seats, free Wi-Fi, and ceiling-mounted screens in some cars.

The introduction of competition into the train market will attract more passengers to mass transit that t as ideas grab customers tired of exhausting commutes or stressful air traffic. The company has prioritized keeping train travel cost effective in the economical “Smart” class, where 45 Euros (US $60) buys a roomy leather seat in a reduced noise car on the Rome-Milan route. A “Club” seat in the four seat “private salons” comes at a high premium, lightening the traveler’s wallet by 360 Euros (US $480) on the same route.

Trains offer attractive alternatives to planes, which suffer from weather upsets, increasingly disruptive security protocols, and emit polluting contrails directly into the sensitive upper atmosphere. The high speed trains, based on the Alstom AGV technology, boast 98% recycled content in their construction. Weighing 10% less than similar high speed trains will reduce energy demand 15%, saving 650,000 kWh on 500,000km of annual travel. Also, the  Aero-acoustic design reduces drag 15% and minimizes noise both within and outside of the trains, allowing the Italo to run at 360km/h (223 mph) at the same level of acoustic comfort as the competitors at 300 km/h (190 mph).
via TreeHugger