[IT] Trenitalia: infamous V250 trains return to service on Lecce – Rome – Bari

La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno reports: Starting next June, Trenitalia wants to introduce the sidelined V250 trainsets between Lecce, Rome and Bari. Reportedly, Trenitalia has to take-over the V250s from Hitachi Rail Italy (formerly known as AnsaldoBreda) due to “industry-political reasons” and has now selected the line where they will be operated.

Update 02.03.2017 1:25 pm (Berlin): Ferrovie.it brings the news that the Italian railways strongly deny the plan to start services next June with the V250s. The FS Group states it would take more time than just 4 months to adjust the trains for revenue services in Italy.

Biggest issue however is that the V250s will replace ETR 485 trains with tilting technology. True, both types of trains have a topspeed of 250 km/h, but the V250s can only reach their maximum speed on the highspeed line section of the route. The ETR 485s are faster (up to 25 km/u) on the more curvy, classic lines. So, introducing the V250s means the journey times will increase (now it is 4 hours and 12 minutes). Trenitalia wants to solve this issue to call less frequent, skipping intermediate stops on the route. The trains will no longer halt at Foggia for example, you can imagine that the local politicians are furious…

The V250 trains are sidelined since January 2013. They were withdrawn by the Dutch (NS) and Belgian (NMBS) railways after only one month of revenue earning services. Technical shortcomings, safety issues and the general unreliability of the V250s made the NS/NMBS decide to not only withdraw the trains, but to return them all to the manufacturer.

Ferrovie.info provided an overview last month on the whereabouts of the nineteen V250 trainsets that have been built:

  • 16 sets are parked at Interporto di Prato
  • The coaches of one set are with SITAV after being used for test runs by Trenitalia
  • The coaches of two sets are in Pistoia, where Hitachi Rail Italy has a factory

Check out the images of the V250s in the Netherlands on Trainspo.com