“Molto” Chic Italian Italo High Speed Trains
Our President and CEO, Frédéric Langlois, contributes monthly to our High Speed Rail News blog series. Sharing his passion for travel and high-speed rail of which he is considered an expert. With over 17 years in the industry, Langlois sits on the Advisory Boards of the German National Tourist Office, the French National Tourist Office and hotel giant Accor. In addition, he has appeared on cable news discussing the future of high-speed trains in the United States.
Europe is all about high speed train travel and while the TGV‘s of France have reduced travel times to and from the farthest points of that country and the Spanish continue to make strides to emerge as one of the European leaders in high speed rail; the developments in Italy are just as interesting, possibly because this is a private venture spearheaded by some heavy weights in the world of transportation and fashion. Shareholders in this private Italian rail road company include Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, President of Ferrari, along with Diego Della Valle, Founder of TOD’s.
Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatore (NTV) was created in 2006 and will be the first private Italian rail company ever to operate on Italian railway lines. (Up to now, the government owned Trenitalia was the only company to own and operate trains in Italy). When NTV service begins at the end of 2011, it will also be the first operator in the world to use the new Alstom AGV train (Automotrice Grande Vitesse) which is the next generation of high-speed trains. This new generation of trains can cover distances of 600 miles in about 3 hours and will truly be able to compete with planes when it comes to covering long distances quickly, conveniently and comfortably. The new high-speed service will connect major Italian cities such as Milan, Turin, Venice, Bologna, Rome, Naples and Salerno.
NTV will call this new generation of trains “Italo” and the company’s tag line “il tuo treno,” meaning “your trains” really says it all when it comes to the services provided. Even boarding the train has been made easier for all passengers – the new train floors are four inches lower than those on tradional trains; so stepping up from the station platform onto this train will be easier. A true ergonomic machine – this train is easy on the knees, easy on the eyes and even easy on the ear drums! Thanks to the latest in aero-acoustics there is a general reduction in traveling noise on board the train and when passing through tunnels there is less air pressure and so less annoying “ear popping.”
The trains are all equipped with Wi-Fi and on demand entertainment. There is even a Cinema Carriage for those who really want to feel like they are at the movies. Classes of service offered will be Economy, Business and First and all can be booked in advance starting this Fall (2011).
Stay tuned for more news on this state of the art high-speed Italian train service.