That flash of red whizzing by you in Italy now may not necessarily be a Ferrari sports car – it could be a new high-speed train inspired by the car company’s reputation for top performance. Ferrari’s president, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, has partnered with luxury goods company Tod’s and French rail firm SNCF to launch Nuovo Transporto Viaggiatori, a new private high speed rail network. What NVT bills as Europe’s most modern train, the Italo, will debut on April 28th as service begins between Milan and Naples.

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Last Friday one of NVT’s 25 new trains made a test voyage out of Rome’s Tiburtina Station. For passengers, the journey down the Italian peninsula will be one brimming with comfort. Entering the trains’ cars will be easier with a floor that is four inches lower than most railcars.  A wider carriage will allow passengers to board and disembark with ease, even if they are lugging bulky luggage. And while travelers sit in ergonomic seats designed by Tod’s, they will enjoy more natural light thanks to the cars’ increased window surfaces.

But the “Ferrari trains” not only provide more luxury but greater energy efficiency as well. Locomotives were completely eliminated from the Italo and replaced with a system of locomotion distributed completely through each of the train’s cars. The result is a train 70 tons lighter with less turbulence and resistance than its competitors with a 15 percent reduction in energy consumption. NVT’s bottom line benefits, too, because that wasted space lost to locomotives allows 20 percent more passengers to ride each train.

Even more impressive is the trains’ reduced environmental impact. The Italo was built using 98 percent recycled materials, including aluminum, copper, glass and steel. NVT also claims that the trains will have an operating life 15 percent longer than that of its competitors. And while passengers watch satellite TV or work thanks to the trains’ wi-fi connections,  residents in the countryside will enjoy more peace: the train’s design should reduce its noise at full speed by 20 percent.


Via Treehugger

Photos courtesy NTV