The Picture of the Month February 1997 shows one of the new Italian high-speed trainsets class ETR.500 in the Central Station of Milan in November 1996. The train is ready to leave to Rome Termini station.
The ETR.500 is the best and newest train of the Italian Railways (Ferrovie dello Stato). It has been built by the TREVI - Treno Veloce Italiano or Italian High Speed Train - association, which comprises Ansaldo (pantograph and information system), Breda (frame, interior and car assemblage), Fiat Ferroviaria (engines and brakes), ABB (traction systems) and Firema. The trains consist of two power cars and intermediate trailers, just like the ICE in Germany. Every power unit has four 1100 kW 3-phase engines, giving a total of 8800 kW for a trainset. The overhead wire voltage used is 3000 V DC.
The prototype has entered the test phase in 1988. On 25 May 1989 it achieved a
speed of 316 km/h on the "Direttissima" high speed line between Valdarno Sud
and Valdarno Nord (near Florence), breaking the record for the Italian
Since 1996 the class is in regular service between Milan Central Station and Rome Termini station, with intermediate stops in Bologna Central Station and Florence Santa Maria Novella station. Travelling time is 3h 55min, and this will be improved to 3h in 2002. The regular maximum speed on the "Direttissima" high speed line is 250 km/h.
Photo by Marianna Lopizzo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Scan by Stefano Bertolotti (email@example.com)