It’s been called “the Ferrari on rails.”
But Italy’s first privately owned high-speed train – started up by Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo – seems to take a few design cues from plane cabins.
Italo trains will first rumble into service on Saturday April 28 with a First class or ‘Club’ section offering pull out touch screen TVs in every seat – a common feature on planes in exit row economy cabins.
The burgundy bullet-shaped Italo trains will offer three classes of travel – similar to airlines – and a route network connecting popular tourist destinations.
Services will run between Naples, Rome, Florence, Bologna and Milan, before being extended to Venice, Salerno and Turin by the end of 2012.
Running at speeds of up to 186 mph on Italy’s north-south train line, Italo aims to compete with domestic air travel and will bring new competition and – it is hoped – lower prices to a rail industry dominated by state-run Trenitalia.
The company running Italo – Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (NTV) – has created a tiered pricing system used by airlines, with ‘low-cost’ non-refundable fares and cheaper options for early bookings and off-peak times.
Travellers in all coaches will have access to free Wi-Fi and live TV through their portable devices such as laptops.
In the cheapest, ‘Smart’ section of the trains, films will be shown on overhead ‘cinema screens’. Drinks and snacks will be available from self-service vending machines.
‘Prima’ (Business) and ‘Club’ (First) sections will offer in-seat dining, including three-course meals, for an extra fee.
One-way journeys between Rome and Milan start from €30 (£24.50) in the ‘Smart’ coach section, based on travel dates in August, according to NTV’s website.
To find out more, visit www.italotreno.it