Posting in Cities
The new high-speed "Ferrari train" made its first trip out of Rome on Friday.
While Ferrari has been known mostly for its sports cars, the Italian automaker's chief has recently taken on another high-speed venture. Last Friday the first new "Ferrari train" rolled out of Rome's Tiburtina station. The luxurious, red-painted train is one of 25 such trains to be produced by the privately-owned Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (NTV), founded by Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo along with Diego Della Valle and French train organization SNCF.
Seats on the trains range from 45 Euros (US$60) to 360 Euros (US$480) for the Rome-Milan route. Amenities include personal media centers, power outlets, tunnel-proof WiFi, as well as cinema carriages, which will show new releases on large screens.
The NTV trains are based on Alstoms' AGV technology, built from 98 percent recycled content. The trains are 10 percent lighter than their typical high-speed trains, a move which will in turn reduce their energy consumption by 15 percent. Thanks to an aero-acoustic design, the trains run at 360 kph (223 mph) with the same acoustic comfort level as other high-speed trains at 300 kph (190 mph).
The venture took shape after the European Union moved to liberalize the train market in 2006. The company hopes to break even within three years, taking on 20-25 percent of the train passenger market from government-run Trenitalia. Service begins for the public on April 28 in cities along the Naples-Milan corridor. All 25 NTV trains should be operational by the end of the year, extending service to Salerno, Turin, and Venice.
It is too early to determine the company's success, but with rising gas and airline prices, efficient train travel has environmental as well as financial advantages. Doubtless many Americans would be pleased to see such initiatives on this side of the Atlantic.
Photo: Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori
Apr 23, 2012
The red painted Ferrari train is very attractive and fast speed that I have never seen or heard before, keep updating me about this. http://www.tyre-shopper.co.uk/tyres/winter
It will take the USA another two to three generations before we can even build the track systems needed for high speed rail and this is not a joke. We have been trying for close to 30 years to build such a track between NYC and Boston and guess what, we still can't get it right and this was to handle the much slower trains built back then. If we ever do get there then we will certainly have to have the trains built elsewhere, that is unless we add high speed rail to the military focus of this nation. If that is done we could have the fastest train system in this world but can we get the taxpayers and their reps to believe that a train can become faster than a bullit?
Funny, I thought of "private" train the way I think of "private jet" i.e. one owned by an individual. These are really "public" trains run by a private company. By the definition used here, all jets in the US are "private jets" because they are not run by the government.
The track you ask for once existed. During the highway construction boom of the 1960s and 1970s the US government facilitated the decommissioning of thousands of miles of express rails that crisscrossed the country. This extensive network of rail lines allowed steam engines in the 1940s to make the Boston to NY and NY to DC runs in times that would put the billion dollar Acela, the closest thing to HSR in the US, to shame. Sadly many of those routes have seen their rails removed and the land retasked for everything from local roads and highways to hiking and skimobile trails. The sad joke is the same environmental groups that fight highway expansions, like the Interstate 93 widening from the Massachusetts line to Concord NH, will not give up their trails to reopen train service as an alternative to expanding the highway. The NY High Line project is a great example of this short sighted thinking. While LA is talking about making people drive 100 miles outside the city to get to a HSR station, NY is cutting off a section of their downtown from ever having rail service. The cost of upgrading existing rail beds is always less costly than land takings to create a right of way.
Prior to the 1950s trains, and urban mass transit systems in the US were privately held. Government policies favoring automobiles, trucks and buses forced many private mass transit companies into bankruptcy where they were taken over by federal, state or local governments. The General Motors streetcar conspiracy in LA was by far the most public display of what many felt honestly was a national conspiracy to put mass transit out of business. Europe went government owned during the rebuild after WW II.