Frecciarossa 1000

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Frecciarossa 1000
Elettrotreno ETR.400.jpg
ManufacturerAnsaldoBreda (since 2015 Hitachi Rail Italy)
Bombardier Transportation
Built atPistoia (Hitachi Rail Italy); Vado Ligure (Bombardier Italy)
Entered service2015
Number built50 (May 2017)[1]
Formation4M4T; 1 Executive car, 1 Business car, 1 Business car with a bar-bistro, 1 Premium car, 4 Standard cars.
Capacity457 (Executive, 10; Business, 69; Premium, 76; Standard, 300; and wheelchair, 2)[2]
Line(s) servedTorino-Milano-Bologna-Firenze-Roma-Napoli-Salerno-(Potenza-Taranto); Venezia-Padova-Bologna-Firenze-Roma-Napoli-Salerno , Greece: Athens-Thessaloniki
Car body constructionAluminium alloy
Train length202 m
Width2924 mm
Height4080 mm
Floor height1240 mm
Doors28 (total)
Wheel diameter920 mm
Maximum speed360 km/h, current operational
400 km/h, design[3]
Weight500 t
Axle load17 t
Traction systemWater-cooled IGBT converters and asynchronous AC traction motors
Power output9800 kW
Tractive effort370 kN
Acceleration0.7 m/s²
Deceleration1.2 m/s²
Electric system(s)25 kV 50 Hz, 15 kV 16.7 Hz (installed, but not active), 3 kV DC, 1.5 kV DC overhead catenary
Current collection methodPantograph
UIC classificationBo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′ +2′2′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′+Bo′Bo′
Braking system(s)Regenerative, dynamic, electro-pneumatic
Safety system(s)ERTMS, ETCS, SCMT
Track gauge1435 mm

The Frecciarossa 1000, also known as the ETR 400 (Trenitalia official name, as can be seen from digit 5 to 9 of the UIC identification marking) and sometimes incorrectly ETR 1000 (should be this a real definition, it would violate UIC identification marking rules) ,[6] is a high-speed train operated by Italian state railway operator Trenitalia. It was co-developed as a joint venture between Italian rail manufacturer AnsaldoBreda (now Hitachi Rail Italy) and multinational conglomerate Bombardier Transportation. Both design and production work were divided between the two partner companies.

Design work began on the train in 2008, during which considerable design work was performed by Bertone. It was heavily based on existing products, including Bombardier's Zefiro and AnsaldoBreda's V250 trains. The design was modified in order to conform with the requirements of a Trenitalia tender. In 2010, the ETR 400 was selected and a total of 50 trainsets were ordered to meet Trenitalia's needs. Upon the public unveiling of the first example of the type, it was hailed as being the fastest train to reach series production in Europe at that time.[7]

History and design[edit]

Early work[edit]

During the mid 2000s, Italian state railway operator Ferrovie dello Stato became increasingly interested in the acquisition of a new very-high-speed train for its Eurostar Alta Velocità Frecciarossa (Eurostar high speed Red Arrow) services along the Turin-Milan-Florence-Rome-Naples corridor.[8] Having become aware of this interest, Italian rail manufacturer AnsaldoBreda and multinational conglomerate Bombardier Transportation decided to partner up to produce a suitable train in 2008. It was decided to centralise design work by the joint venture at a single location, working out of an office at Bombardier’s manufacturing plant at Hennigsdorf.[8]

The emergent design was a 200 meter-long eight car non-articulated single decker train with distributed traction, capable of reaching a maximum speed of 350 km/h (217 mph); it was heavily based on elements of Bombardier's Zefiro and AnsaldoBreda's existing V250 designs.[9] According to rail industry publication Rail Engineer, Bombardier personnel were responsible for conducting the concept and detailed design phases of development, as well as for the provision of propulsion equipment and bogies, homologation efforts, testing, and the commissioning of the first five trains. Meanwhile, AnsaldoBreda developed the train's industrial design, including body, interior, signalling and other systems, in addition to performing the final assembly and commissioning of series production trains. Both firms were involved in detail design and engineering activity.[8]

Italian vehicle manufacturer and design company Gruppo Bertone was involved in the designing of the train's aesthetics and appearance.[8] It was instructed to produce a style that accentuated its elegance and speed, but would also conform with various international railway standards, such as driver visibility, crash protection, and headlight functionality. Bertone's design was reviewed by the team and subject to various tests, including the use of a wind tunnel, which proved it to be produce compliant drag coefficients and crosswind stability levels.[8] The train's design includes an active suspension system.[8]

Having been deemed suitable for presentation, the vehicle design, which had been formally designated as the Zefiro 300, was submitted by the joint venture as a response to Ferrovie dello Stato's tender for 50 new high-speed trainsets.[8] Initial specifications were for a train meeting European high-speed technical standards, with a design commercial speed of 360 km/h (220 mph), initially operated at 300 km/h (190 mph), and to be tested to 400 km/h (250 mph).[9] Other requirements included the train being suitable for a condition-based maintenance programme, while it was capable of being operated across seven different European countries, specifically the railway systems of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.[8][10]

The maximum speed specified by the tender exceeded that of the initial design, thus the design team was reassembled by AnsaldoBreda's Pistoia facility for a period of six months to revise the design to comply with the requirements outlaid.[8] Reportedly, the new top speed required a detailed reexamination of the design, and in some cases the redesign, to be performed for various elements of the train, including the bogies, power and control systems and pantograph. While the train was to only fitted with ERTMS Level 2 and the legacy Italian signalling system, passive provisions also had to be found for a number of other signalling systems that had been listed in the requirement.[8]

Selection and delivery[edit]

During August 2010, it was announced that Trenitalia had awarded the contract to the Bombardier/Ansaldo joint venture, and that the first example was set to come into revenue service during 2013.[8] The bid was determined to have been less expensive at €30.8m per train than the €35m per train cost given by the other bidder, French manufacturer Alstom; the contract value was €1.54bn of which Bombardier's share was €654m.[11][12] Marco Sacchi, Hitachi Rail Italy’s head of engineering, attributed the outcome as having been a result of the specially-developed solutions involved in the train's design that had gained Trenitalia's favour. The joint venture moved into the detailed design phase immediately following news of the selection.[8]

During August 2012, a full-scale mock up of the train was publicly unveiled at Rimini by the Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.[8][13] By this point, the train has received its official service designation, the 'Frecciarossa 1000'. On 26 March 2013, the first trainset was unveiled during a public ceremony at the Ansaldo-Breda facilities in Pistoia; this train was formally named Pietro Mennea, in memory of the Italian world record holder of the 200 metres track sprint event from 1979 to 1996, who had died five days earlier.[8]

The train underwent extensive testing in order to be certified to operate on the Italian high-speed rail network at 360 km/h (220 mph). During August 2013, testing commenced on the Genoa-Savona line, before being transferred to conducting night time runs held between Milan and Bologna.[8] On 25 April 2015, it was announced that the testing phase of development had been successfully Completed. To mark the occasion, a special inaugural service featuring various high-profile guests, including the president of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, was performed between Milan and Rome.[8][14]

Into service[edit]

Rail car at InnoTrans 2014

During June 2015, commercial services using the type commenced, having officially entered service for Expo 2015.[15] According to Bombardier, following the first three months of service, Trenitalia had reported back to them that they had experienced the easiest introduction of a new train into service in their history with the type, and that it had attained all of its reliability targets.[8] The number of services performed by the type have gradually expanded as further examples have been delivered from the assembly line; as of September 2016, a total of 36 trains were in revenue service. At one point, trains were reportedly leaving the factory at the rate of two per week.[8]

The introduction of the ETRs 1000 shall enable Trenitalia to redeploy its existing ETR 500 high-speed trains onto other routes, such as Milan – Venice and the Adriatic coast.[16] Early on, it was also declared by FS president Marcello Messori that the ETR 400 had enabled Trenitalia to compete in the international high-speed market, and that it had been approved for operation in France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Belgium.[14] On 28 October 2015, Trenitalia acknowledged that it was holding preliminary discussions between its suppliers and regulatory bodies regarding its interest in the prospective launch of an open access high speed service between Paris and Brussels; Pietro Diamantini of FS Group's Passenger Division stated that it could be the first international corridor on which the ETR 400 would be deployed.[17]

On 26 November 2015, it was reported that one of the ETR 400 eight-car sets reached 389 km/h (242 mph) during testing; however, under normal initial conditions, the trains will be limited to 300 km/h (190 mph) as this remains the maximum permitted speed on the Italian high-speed network.[16] On 26 February 2016, an ETR 400 reportedly attained a peak speed of 393.8 km/h (244.7 mph) while traversing the Torino-Milano high speed line.[18] On 28 May 2018, the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and the ANSF announced that no further tests will be carried out and the speed limit of 300 km/h will not be raised.[19]


Livraga derailment[edit]

On 6 February 2020 unit number 21 was involved in a high-speed derailment at Livraga (Lodi), on the Milan-Bologna high-speed line, operating the first service of the day. It caused the death of the two train drivers and the injury of 31 people.[20]

Classification in Trenitalia, ETR 400 or ETR 1000?[edit]

The classification chosen for the Zefiro V300 train of the Italian operator Trenitalia is ETR 400 while the same company brands the service as Frecciarossa 1000, and that caused a indeed lot of confusion, even having the manufacturer calling the train "ETR 1000" in one of its electronic brochures.

So, what is the correct classification? A bit of history may help here. The first Italian high speed electric train was the ETR 200, whose first example was built in 1936. After the second World War other ETRs were built, and the number was always increased to denote a newer and better train. So the ETR 300 ″Settebello″ delivered in 1952 was newer and better, both in size and comfort, than ETR 200 but the ETR 250 despite being ″newer″ (delivered in 1960) was not ″better″. Then we had a single ETR 401 tilting train, followed by ETR 450, ETR 460 and ETR 480 and finally the ETR 500. After a few years from the delivery of ETR 500, Italian railways were re-organized and divisionalized and thus, what once was the task of a single body (i.e. running trains, classifying trains and ensuring their safety) was now split among several companies and authorities.

At the time of the deliveru of the new Zefiro V300 safety and classification the traction rolling stock was under the responsibility of ANSF (Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza delle Ferrovie), and they choosed ETR 400 for their own reason, clashing with tradition, common sense and desire from the train operator to market the service as a strong and bold improvement of the high speed train services brought by the V300 trains. To display this improvement the operator choose to double the "500" of the previous high speed train, branding the new train service as "Frecciarossa 1000". And, since the 500 number was present both in the classification (ETR 500) and service branding (Frecciarossa 500), here it comes the confusion.

Why ETR 1000 is ″wrong″[edit]

ANSF, the ruling body, issued on 17-08-2009 the ANSF 04658/09[21] document to comply with UIC identification marking for tractive stock, current since 2007. The UIC marking has an international part, whose format is the same for all UIC members, and a national part that allows to incorporate the previous national classification in the new international classification. This block is 7 digits long.

Italian classification uses 6 digit, the first 3 identify the class, and the last 3 are the number of each engine within the class. Needing 7 digit to complete, ANSF decided that the 7 digits would be formed adding a digit before the class, and this digit denotes the type of the vehicle, and 1 means "tractive only rolling stock" that is a powered vehicle that lacks driving cab.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Industrial Plan 2017 - 2026". Archived from the original on 3 July 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Frecciarossa 1000 roadshow". Leonardo-Finmeccanica. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Frecciarossa 1000". Finmeccanica. Retrieved 2014-09-03.
  4. ^ "FRECCIAROSSA 1000" (PDF), (in Italian)
  5. ^ AnsaldoBreda data sheet
  6. ^ "ETR 1000 | Hitachi Rail Europe". Retrieved 2019-03-20.
  7. ^ "'Fastest series-built train in Europe' unveiled." Railway Gazette, 27 March 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Wordsworth, Nigel. "Collaborating on the Red Arrow." Rail Engineer, 4 November 2016.
  9. ^ a b "AnsaldoBreda and Bombardier combine to offer V300 Zefiro". Railway Gazette International. 9 June 2010.
  10. ^ "Trenitalia unveils Frecciarossa 1000",, 20 August 2012.
  11. ^ "Trenitalia awards contract for 50 high speed trains". Railway Gazette International. 5 August 2010.
  12. ^ "Trenitalia signs V300ZEFIRO high speed train contract". 30 September 2010.
  13. ^ Chiandoni, Marco (30 August 2012), "Trenitalia unveils ETR 1000 mock-up", International Railway Journal
  14. ^ a b Chiandoni, Marco. "Trenitalia launches Frecciarossa 1000." Rail Journal, 27 April 2015.
  15. ^ "Nessun ritardo nel piano Etr 1000", Il Tirreno, 4 March 2015.
  16. ^ a b Chiandoni, Marco and Keith Fender. "ETR 400 sets new Italian rail speed record." Rail Journal, 26 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Trenitalia planning Paris – Brussels high speed service." Railway Gazette, 28 October 2015.
  18. ^ "Il Frecciarossa 1000 è ancora da record". 2016-02-26. Retrieved 2019-06-01.
  19. ^ "Alta velocità, addio ai 350 all'ora: il ministero blocca i test". (in Italian). 2018-05-28. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
  20. ^ "Italy train crash: Two dead in high-speed derailment". BBC News. Retrieved 8 Feb 2020.
  21. ^ Linee guida per l'immatricolazione dei rotabili ammessi a circolare sulla infrastruttura ferroviaria nazionale (Guidelines for the registration of rolling stock admitted to circulate on the national railway infrastructure)

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