[passenger] In the picture: The Railjet 2 driving trailer

Since 08.05.2024 the new generation of Railjet trains have been in regular service in Italy. Much has been said about this new convoy, but we can still add some curiosities (and have a good excuse to show some good portraits of the driving trailer!):

New Railjet testing in the small ring of Velim with 193 679 and 193 400 on 09.05.2024 © Henk Zwoferink
  • Later than planned

The start of regular operation came almost six years after the framework contract was signed in August 2018. At that time, it was planned to start operations within three years, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and general authorization challenges, another three years were lost. One must realize that the DANI Railjet 2 trains are very different from the first-generation Railjets from 2008, both technically and construction-wise: they are partially low-floor to provide barrier-free access.

  • No red stripe

The driving trailer with the Vectron cab module has no bright red front section. This typical Italian feature has been abolished for new types of trains. According to RFI, red on the front enhanced the train’s visibility. Today, modern lighting has taken over in Italy.

The new Railjet passes Großkarolinenfeld on its way to Kufstein on 11.05.2024 © Henk Zwoferink
  • A driving trailer is currently of little use

A new Railjet train can only be pulled as the driving trailer has not yet been approved for push-pull operation. This results in considerable time losses during journeys. For example, the train coming down from the Brenner Pass bound for Bologna has to change locomotive in Verona Porta Nuova. For this reason, trains stop here for 17 minutes. Shorter travel times are for 2025.

  • Taurus, not Vectron

It would be an excellent match for the Vectron-style driving trailer, but instead of Vectron locomotives, ÖBB Taurus locomotives are used to haul the Railjet 2. ÖBB has Vectron locomotives, but these are equipped for and assigned to freight duty only and limited to 160 km/h. The second-generation Railjet can reach a maximum speed of 230 km/h but is currently limited to 200 km/h.