FS Class ETR 200
The original trainset of the World Record, now preserved as historical train, was re-numbered ETR 232 in the 1960s
|In service||1937–1993 (as ETR 220)|
|Manufacturer||Società Italiana Ernesto Breda|
|Refurbishment||1960, transformation into ETR 220|
|Number built||18 trainsets|
|Capacity||ETR 201-206: 35 1st class, 69 2nd class
ETR 207-218: 100 1st class
|Operator||Ferrovie dello Stato|
|Train length||62.8 m (206 ft 0 in)|
|Maximum speed||160 km/h (100 mph)|
|Weight||116.8 tonnes (115.0 long tons; 128.7 short tons)|
|Power output||1,050 kW (1,408 hp)|
|Electric system(s)||3000 V DC|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
In the 1930s, the Italian state railways, Ferrovie dello Stato, electrified the main line Milan-Bologna-Florence-Rome-Naples and needed a fast train to use on it and on other newly electrified ones. The project was started in 1934, using new technologies for steel and aerodynamics. The innovative nose of the train was developed after studies in the wind tunnel at the Politecnico di Torino engineering university. The first example was built by Società Italiana Ernesto Breda, (now AnsaldoBreda), in 1936, with three cars on four bogies, two of which had a single T 62-R-100 motor while the others were provided with two similar motors each.
The train had been designed for speeds up to 175 km/h, but the first pantographs caused problems over 130 km/h. The ETR 200 entered service in 1937 on the Bologna-Rome-Naples line. They were considered the most comfortable and fast trains in Europe, and Benito Mussolini had one sent to the Universal Exposition in New York of that year. On December 6, 1937 ETR 212 established, in the central sector of the Rome-Naples line (Campoleone-Cisterna), a new top speed record by running at 201 km/h.
On 20 July 1939, the ETR 212 driven by chief machinist Mr.Alessandro Cervellati, established a new world record running at 203 km/h from Pontenure to Piacenza (on the Milan-Bologna line). A popular myth says that Benito Mussolini himself was at the controls, but is proven to be fake.
The production of the ETR 200 was halted by World War II, and many were damaged by Allied bombings. In the early 1960s the remaining sixteen units were converted to ETR 220/230/240 by adding a fourth car and other changes. They remained in service until the early 1980s, and were later used for charter trains up until the 1990s. Unit ETR 232, former 212, has been converted as a historical train and is fully working. Another non-working unit was first stored in Ancona until its recent demolition, in September 2012.
- Cesare Carli, Severo Rissone, Gli elettrotreni serie ETR 207-214 e il primato mondiale di velocità sul percorso Firenze-Milano, in Rivista tecnica delle ferrovie italiane, 28 (1939), p. 208-225
- Cornolò, Giovanni (1990). Una leggenda che corre: breve storia dell'elettrotreno e dei suoi primati; ETR.200 - ETR.220 - ETR 240. Salò: ETR. ISBN 88-85068-23-5.
- The numbering of FS high speed trainset is historically different from the "standard" trainset codification, and is composed by a first number, identifying the group, plus a progressive 2-digit number identifying the unit. 212 is then the 12th unit of group 200. Later, the group was upgraded to group 220/230/240, and unit 212 became 232