Italy: RFI Signs Agreement to Install ERTMS Onboard Trains

Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) has signed an agreement with Hitachi, Mermec, Progress Rail and Alstom to install ERTMS technology on board its trains.

This is being made possible via state and compatible economic incentives, which currently cover roughly 40% – 300m EUR (322.14m USD) – of the cost.

RFI launches activities for the installation of ERTMS systems on board trains
RFI launches activities for the installation of ERTMS systems on board trains

This agreement follows on from the launch of a tender in 2022 to equip over 4,000 kilometres of RFI’s rail network with ERTMS. The new contract will enable on-board train systems to communicate with the trackside instrumentation.

The manufacturers will now develop and upgrade the on-board systems for six train types currently equipped with Sistema Controllo Marcia Treno (SCMT). This will eliminate trackside train light signals and digitally transfer them to the driver’s dashboard.

RFI plans to invest a total of 13 billion EUR (13.96bn USD) into making ERTMS the standard across its entire network by 2036.

The technology has been operating on Italy’s high-speed lines for over ten years, but will now be rolled out across regional lines, freight and urban nodes.

It’s estimated that this large-scale upgrade will save around 4bn EUR (4.29bn USD) in investment and maintenance costs, as well as improve performance and provide energy savings of more than 15% for railway companies.

RFI is now in discussions with roughly 40 railway companies regarding the upgrade of the other 95 SCMT-equipped train types operating on its network.

This will then be extended out to all other similar trainsets that are compliant.

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