Italy - electric locomotives and EMUs

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FS Trenitalia's electric locomotives, EMUs and electric locomotive pulled trains


ETR1000, also known as Frecciarossa 1000 or ETR400 is Trenitalia's newest fast train type. The type is built by AnsaldoBreda, Hitachi and Bombardier and they are in use since 2015. It is a 200 meters long, non-tilting fixed set capable of reaching 400 km/h, but whose normal operational top speed is 300 km/h. Power rating of the train is 9800 kW - a mighty figure compared with even the strongest current European locomotives. Trenitalia uses them on the routes Torino-Milano-Bologna-Firenze-Roma-Napoli-Salerno-(Potenza-Taranto)and Venezia-Padova-Bologna-Firenze-Roma-Napoli-Salerno.
Picture from Roma Termini 15.3.2019 by Markku Salo.


Another ETR1000 bullet train, here boarding passengers for a ride from Milano to Roma.
Picture from Milano Centrale 7.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.


This is the FS Trenitalia ETR 700, which was originally designed as a fast train for the Netherlands and Belgium as their V250. The project ran years late and when these trains finlally were delivered, they were only used for a short period of only a couple of weeks before they were all taken out ot use because of a long list of serious faults. It all resulted in litigation and the trains being returned back to the builder Ansaldobreda. After a long legal fight and the bankruptcy of Andaldobreda, all trains were taken back to Italy and some compensations were paid. The trains stood unused in Italy for several years before they were thoroughly rehauled and modified and after tests sold to FS Trenitalia where they are now known as the Frecciargento (silver arrow) class ETR 700.
Picture from Milano Centrale by Stefano Bressanelli from June 2019.


The Pendolino ETR 460 was The Pendolino with a capital letter. Trains of several other countries including Spain, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Finland, Portugal and Switzerland were all based on this model. They were built by Fiat Ferroviaria from 1994 onwards. It is in Italy a nine car fixed trainset with a top speed of 250 km/h and it is capable of active tilting of 8 degrees. Its power rating is 5880 kW. The original model ETR 460 shown here can operate only on 3 kV DC, but variants for different electric systems were made. Here this Pendolino is painted in the white colours of the Frecciabianca (white arrow) franchise of Trenitalia.
Picture from Roma Termini 15.3.2019 by Markku Salo.


This is a Trenitalia Pendolino ETR 470. It is otherwise the same train as the ETR 460 shown above, but this type was built for the Swiss-Italian joint venture company Cisalpino and therefore these trains got a dual electric system configuration so that these Pendolinos could run all the way from Italy via Switzerland to Germany. This ETR 470 is here still shown in the latest corporate livery of the company Cisalpino, but the picture has been taken after Cisalpino as a company was already dissolved and the train has received a Trenitalia sticker on its front. For more pictures of Cisalpino's trains, see the section Switzerland > Cisalpino on this picture archive site.
Picture from Milano Centrale station 3.10.2013 by Kyösti Isosaari.


Another Pendolino ETR 470, one which has previously belonged to the Cisalpino joint venture and which has also the Swiss electric and security systems, but which has now received a new painting in the white style of the Frecciabianca service. Only the front is still kept in silver grey as it used to be with Cisalpino.
Picture from Milano Rogoredo in March 2018 by Stefano Bressanelli.


A "New Pendolino" of the class ETR 600. These new, fast trains have been built by Alstom since 2006. Its maximum speed is 293 km/h, in service 250 km/h. This ETR 600 is a version which can operate only on 3 kV DC. ETR 610 is otherwise similar, but it can also run on 15 kV AC using Swiss security systems.
Picture from Verona in June 2019 by Stefano Bressanelli.


The ETR 500 can be classified as a "bullet train" and they are used in the same fast Frecciarossa (red arrow) bullet train traffic as th the ETR 1000, ETR 600 and ETR 700 trains, but technically the ETR 500 is just two aerodynamically shaped fast locomotives with non-motorised, non-tilting "normal" express train coaches in between. The tilting ETR 460, 470, 480 Pendolino trains were not suited for speeds of over 250 km/h, so Italy needed for its new bullet train lines new, non-tilting fast trains for lines such as the Firenze to Roma line. The first ones entered service in 1995. They were built by Breda Costuzioni Ferroviarie, FIAT Ferroviaria, Tecnomasio and Firema Trasporti. There are monocurrent, bicurrent and tricurrent versions available, for 1,5 kV DC, 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC. This one is an ETR 500 AV, which is a newer version, built since 2000 and which can run both with 1,5 kV DC as well as 3 kV DC. They were totally refurbished since 2012. Its top speed is 360 km/h.
Picture from Milano Centrale 7.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The locomotive of an ETR 500 train seen from its side. This is the same unit as in the oicture shown above.
Picture from Milano Centrale 7.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Class E.403 locomotives are express passenger train machines, which are typically used with the so called Frecciabianca (white arrow) trains and therefore they are often carrying a white livery. But they are used also - like here - with sleeper coaches in night trains. They were built 2005-2008 by AnsaldoBreda. The locomotive's power rating is 6000 kW and its top speed is 180 km/h. It can run both on 3 kV DC as well as 25 kV AC, which is used on Italy's new high speed rails.
Picture from Roma Termini 15.3.2019 by Markku Salo.


A typical Frecciabianca service train in Italy consists of white older express train coaches and at one end is a coach which has been retrofitted with a driver's cab. At the other end is a white class E.403 locomotive just like seen above.
Picture from Milano Centrale 7.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.


FS Trenitalia's express train locomotive E 403 side by side with an older E 444.
Picture from Torino in May 2019 by Stefano Bressanelli.


The Italian locomotive class E.414 is essentially the same machine that is used in the ETR 500 "bullet trains", but as the ETR 500 trains typically had a set of their own specially designed coaches, some of these E.414 locomotives were also used as pairs with older standard express train coaches. They were initially used on the same prestige service lines as the ETR 500 and they were called Eurostar Italia, but now many of them have been renovated and repainted in new whitish liveries and are used in the Frecciabianca services. Originally their maximum speed was 250 km/h, but during the renovation works their top speed was reduced to 200 km/h. They have a power rating of 4400 kW per locomotive and since they are always used in pairs "sandwich style" with a locomotive at both ends, such a train can sport a mighty power rating. They were built 1994-96 and renovated/rebuilt since 2007.
Picture from Milano Centrale station 3.10.2013 by Kyösti Isosaari.


Another E.414, a slowed down version of the ETR500, with regular old express train coaches.
Picture from Milano Centrale 7.7.2019 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Class E.402B locomotives are technically more or less equivalent to the older E.402, but they had a new chassis, which is very similar to the later model E.403 shown above. This is a Frecciabianca train led by an E.402B arriving at Bologna Centrale station. The E.402B was built 1996-2000 by a consortium including Ansaldo, Firema Trasporti, ITIN and SOFER. It has also a power rating of 6000 kW (5600 kW continuous) and a top speed of 220 km/h. It can work on three different electric systems: 1,5 kV DC, 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC. 80 machines were built.
Picture from Bologna Centrale 1.12.2014 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Another class E.402B with a long Frecciabianca train.
Picture from Milano Rogoredo in January 2019 by Stefano Bressanelli.


The original class E.402 (also known as E.402A) looks like this, very different from the E.402B shown above. They were built by Ansaldo and Firema 1994-96. It is a pure 3 kV DC machine with a power rating of 6000 kW and a top speed of 220 km/h. 42 machines were made.
Picture from Bologna Centrale in pouring rain 1.12.2014 by Ilkka Siissalo.


A class E.444 locomotive in front of an express train. The class E.444 locomotives were built 1965 to 1975 and the E.444 locomotive was designed in the 1960s as the first Italian electric locomotive capable to reach 200 km/h. FS received the first machines in day to day use in 1972. This is one of the original E.444s.
Picture from Milano Rogoredo in December 2017 by Stefano Bressanelli.


The FS locomotive type E.444R. E.444 was the first Italian locomotive type that could reach 200 km/h. They were designed in the 1960s and the first prototypes were built 1967-68. In those days E.444 still had a much more rounded frontal part. In the series production the frontal part was redesigned and the machine also got new engines and thereby a better power rating of 4272 kW. Top speed remained at 200 km/h. E.444R is a rebuilt machine. The R stands officially as "riqualificazione" (as received a new approval certificate after a thorough rebuilding) but the people working at FS read it as "Ribollita", reheated soup. The R version machines have a new driver's cab.
Picture from Lavagna by Riviera 1.7.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Another E.444R - a very dirty one - seen from its side.
Picture from Pisa 1.7.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The same E.444R as above, but seen from its front.
Picture from Pisa 1.7.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The FS type E.656 is a heavy locomotive with three bogies. It weighs 120 tons, has a power rating of 4800 kW and a top speed of 150 km/h. Altogether 461 locomotives of this type were produced. The chassis is made of two parts so that the machine can bend in the middle. The nickname of this type is Caimano (Caiman).
Picture from Lavagna 1.7.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Model E.646 is the precursor of E.656 shown above. They were built 1958-67 and also it was a machine made of two parts with a bending joint in the middle and with three bogies. It's maximum speed is 140 km/h and power rating (peak) was 4320 kW. It was a special design with 12 motors. The total number built was 295 machines and they were mostly used in push-pull passenger services until lately pushed out of service by the new type E.464 (see below).
Picture from Pisa 1.7.2002 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Another E.646, here ready to start pushing a local service push-pull train out of Trieste main station. It was a remarkably ugly locomotive. Today these duties have been taken over by modern electric multiple units or newer locomotives like the E.464. This one had been built by Savigliano in Torino in 1964.
Picture from Trieste Centrale 9.7.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.


This old steering cab coach was at the other end of the same train as the E.646 locomotive shown above. Note that at least at that precise point of time there was a metal "end of train" plate at both ends of the train.
Picture from Trieste Centrale 9.7.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.


This locomotive is of the type E.464. It is constructed for light push-pull trains with driver's cab trailer wagons at the other end. E.464 is currently the largest locomotive class in Italy with 717 machines built between 1999 and 2015. It is a 3000 V DC only machine with a top speed of 160 km/h and a poer rating of 3,5 MW.
Picture from Trieste Centrale station 12.7.2018 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Another E.464. There is a small cargo compartment instead of another driver's cab at the other end of the locomotive.
Picture from Trieste Centrale station 9.7.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.


A long rake of doubledecker coaches behind an electric locomotive. This is a typical regional train from the Roma area today where passenger numbers are huge. The coaches are old, but recently renovated.
Picture from Roma Termini 15.3.2019 by Markku Salo.


The other end of a similar long train as above. The locomotive is a quite normal E.464, but it looks very different in the newest Trenitalia livery.
Picture from Roma Termini 15.3.2019 by Markku Salo.


Another E464 locomotive freshly after a rehaul and repainting with new or newly renovated coaches.
Picture from Milano Rogoredo in June 2020 by Stefano Bressanelli.


A new regional passenger train in Italy. This is a Civity series train built by CAF in Spain and paid and owned by the Friuli-Giulia-Venezia region of Italy and operated by FS Trenitalia, Italian state railways. A total of 12 trains operates now for the Friuli-Giulia-Venezia region. Some of them are classed as ETR563 for operations only in Italy and some, called ETR564, can even cross the border into Slovenia and Austria using their different electric systems.
Picture from Trieste main station 12.7.2018 by Ilkka Siissalo.


As this picture was taken, most of these four coach electric multiple units had already been taken out of service. They are early precursors of the Civity train shown above. This type was the ALe.801-Le108-Le108-ALe.940 combination, built by Breda, Ansaldo and Officine Marelli 1975 to 1979. 65 trains were built in two series. It is a further development of a very similar, older series ALe.601. The very last ones were taken out of service when enough new Minuetto and Civity trains emerged.
Picture from Trieste main station 9.7.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The front of an ALe.801 electric multiple unit. This one was still in active duty in 2007.
Picture from Trieste main station 9.7.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.


The same ALe.801 electric multiple unit as above. The motorised units at the fronts were classed as ALe.801 (main unit) and ALe.940 (the other end) whereas the unmotorised middle coaches were known as class Le.108. This was always a fixed four coach electric multiple unit.
Picture from Trieste main station 9.7.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Three train "faces" seen from far away. From left: electric locomotive of the type E.402, a Minuetto diesel multiple unit and an ALe.601 electric multiple unit. The E.402 was built by Ansaldo and Firema for fast express trains 1994-96. It has a top speed of 220 km/h and a power rating of 6000 kW. For the diesel Minuetto, please see the Italy > diesel section of this archive. The ALe.601 on the right is a rarity already. Very similar but older than the ALe.801 shown above, it was originally designed as a fast express train. Several units could be coupled together using doors that were already here removed, leaving only the door windows to be seen. They were built since 1961. 67 trains in 3 series were built by the companies Casaralta, Ocren, Mater/Alce, Macchi, Elettromeccanica Parizzi and Asgen. It was a very fast train in those days. Depending of the variant, its top speed was from 180 km/h to 250 km/h, which in those days was spectacular. When this picture was taken in 2007, they had already long since been pushed to not so important regional routes and were being replaced by newer trains.
Picture from Trieste main station 9.7.2007 by Ilkka Siissalo.


Trenitalia ETR425 "Jazz" is a new electric multiple unit type based on the little earlier made model called Minuetto. Jazz comes in four (ETR324), five (ETR425) and six coaches (ETR526) long versions. The trains are built by Alstom and they have a top speed of 160 km/h. They work only with 3 kV DC. A total of 100 trains have been built since 2014.
Picture from Roma Termini 15.3.2019 by Markku Salo.

Mercitalia Rail (former FS Trenitalia Cargo)


What used to be FS Trenitalia Cargo is now called Mercitalia Rail. This is Mercitalia Rail's brand new Bombardier TRAXX of the newest, 3rd generation of Bombardier's TRAXX locomotives. In Italy this is called class E.494. This is a TRAXX version which is intended only for 3 kV DC electricity, but Bombardier has also very similar TRAXX3 machines with multiple electric systems capabilities.
Picture from Milano Rogoredo in October 2019 by Stefano Bressanelli.

Old, historic locomotives and electric multiple units


This ETR 200 fast train is an early precursor of the present day Pendolinos and other so called bullet trains. ETR 200 or Elettro Treno Rapido 200 was originally designed in the 1930s and taken in use in 1937. In 1960 the then remaining 16 trains were rebuilt and partly redesigned and they became the class ETR 220. One of the ETR200 train units reached the speed of 203 km/h in 1939 and that was by then the new world record. This train in this picture is exactly that unit. These trains were designed for operational speeds up to 175 km/h, but in practise their pantographs did not work properly in speeds over 130 km/h.
Picture from Milano Centrale station 3.10.2013 by Kyösti Isosaari.


This ETR 401 was a trial prototype train built as only one copy. It is considered to be the very first Fiat Pendolino train. It had already an active tilting mechanism. It was built in 1976 and since it was just a trial train, it only had four coaches. ETR 450 was the "real" type built based on this prototype and it had eight coaches. The top speed of ETR 401 was 250 km/h and it had a power rating of 2000 kW.
Picture from Milano Centrale station 3.10.2013 by Kyösti Isosaari.


An old electric locomotive of the class E 652 together with old, historic coaches. These locomotives were built 1989-1996. It is a 160 km/h fast passenger train locomotive designed for fast express trains. This one is kept now in its original livery.
Picture from Domodossola from September 2018 by Stefano Bressanelli.

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