Mini Frecciarossa trains proposed for Sicily connection

eastwestdivide

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Just picked up this interesting proposal (in Italian, article from September):
12 nuovi ETR.1000 per il Frecciarossa in Sicilia
Translating the highlights, it says that the preferred solution for new trains to connect Sicily to the Italian mainland is twelve x 4-car Frecciarossa ETR1000 units, running as pairs on the mainland, splitting to go on board the ferry and then continuing as separate portions to Siracusa/Palermo. The units would be dual voltage, 3000 DC and 25kV AC, plus batteries for the shunt onto and off the ferry, doing away with the need for a diesel loco to shunt.
Using HSL-compatible units instead of the current loco hauled stock would speed up journeys between Sicily and the north of Italy.
Also says they're considering fitting some E464 locos with batteries for transferring ordinary rolling stock on/off the ferries.
 
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JB_B

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This is just one of the "possibilities" - sounds a bit implausible to me.
 
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D6130

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Very interesting and seems to be a practical solution. Assuming that the much-vaunted bridge across the Messina Strait doesn't happen in the forseeable future, there is definitely a future for the train ferries....although I'm told that the amount of rail freight traffic using the ferries has decreased markedly in recent years.
 

Austriantrain

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This is just one of the "possibilities" - sounds a bit implausible to me.

Why would you say that? It is perfectly plausible - if a touch creative - and the more the Italian HSL network advances towards the south, the less it will be acceptable that Sicily day trains will not profit from it (even acknowledging that Rome/Naples - Sicily will mainly remain on the plane, but there will always be people wanting to travel by train, and their numbers will be enough to fill a couple of direct trains).
 

jamesontheroad

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Reminds me of the four-carriage ICE TD / DB Class 605, which ended up spending some of their most productive years on the Copenhagen - Hamburg route, where there shorter fixed formation was a perfect fit for the Fehmarn Belt ferries.
 

popeter45

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wonder what other routes could far well from short High speed trains?
could do some cool stuff like 4x4 car units on a LGV line then split off to provide many smaller towns direct Paris routes without resorting to 1/tpd kind of routes
 

hexagon789

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Why would you say that? It is perfectly plausible - if a touch creative - and the more the Italian HSL network advances towards the south, the less it will be acceptable that Sicily day trains will not profit from it (even acknowledging that Rome/Naples - Sicily will mainly remain on the plane, but there will always be people wanting to travel by train, and their numbers will be enough to fill a couple of direct trains).
I notice it suggests direct day trains from Venice and Milan as well (there was a sleeper from Milan to Sicily, not sure if there still is). It could also allow an increase in frequency from the present two day trains but I wonder if the shorter journey times will partly negate the need for the two sleepers from Rome? Maybe a reduction to just one perhaps if the oft seen drop in demand for a night train when the day service is accelerated rises here.
 

30907

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Reminds me of the four-carriage ICE TD / DB Class 605, which ended up spending some of their most productive years on the Copenhagen - Hamburg route, where there shorter fixed formation was a perfect fit for the Fehmarn Belt ferries.
Except that it wasn't - a pair of Danish IC3s was much better (the 605s were nice, but they cut capacity).
 

hexagon789

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Except that it wasn't - a pair of Danish IC3s was much better (the 605s were nice, but they cut capacity).
I thought that was only possible because they no longer go on the ferry. Otherwise only a single IC3 would fit?

That's the problem with short high speed trains (see also Voyagers) - 4 or 6 pointy noses in a formation is a heck of a waste of space.
Depends how pointy ;)
 

popeter45

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That's the problem with short high speed trains (see also Voyagers) - 4 or 6 pointy noses in a formation is a heck of a waste of space.
what may be a better idea is asymetric trains? one pointy end and one flat end that join up for high speed usage
 

HamworthyGoods

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I thought that was only possible because they no longer go on the ferry. Otherwise only a single IC3 would fit?

Pairs of IC3s did fit on the ferry and did operate in the intervening time between ICEs being withdrawn and the service being diverted away from the ferry.
 

D6130

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Pairs of IC3s did fit on the ferry and did operate in the intervening time between ICEs being withdrawn and the service being diverted away from the ferry.
Presumably they were split into two separate units on the ferry, loaded on adjacent tracks. The only time I travelled on that route - in 1986 - the train through from Hamburg was a single (then new) IC3 unit.
 

hexagon789

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Pairs of IC3s did fit on the ferry and did operate in the intervening time between ICEs being withdrawn and the service being diverted away from the ferry.
Fair enough, the ferry looks to have four sidings on board, so even four IC3 units could fit.

Presumably they were split into two separate units on the ferry, loaded on adjacent tracks. The only time I travelled on that route - in 1986 - the train through from Hamburg was a single (then new) IC3 unit.
Increased demand?
 

30907

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Presumably they were split into two separate units on the ferry, loaded on adjacent tracks.
Definitely not - I used the route just before final closure, many years after the 605s had been withdrawn. (Not all trains were booked 2 units.)
There seemed to be only one rail track, and the rest was well used by LGVs.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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wonder what other routes could far well from short High speed trains?
could do some cool stuff like 4x4 car units on a LGV line then split off to provide many smaller towns direct Paris routes without resorting to 1/tpd kind of routes
Renfe already use 4-car HS units on the routes out of Madrid Chamartin, CAF/Alstom build (most are tilt/dual gauge-capable) - class 120/121.
They often double up on the LAV routes, eg Madrid-Irun/Bilbao, splitting at Miranda de Ebro.
Similar HS trains serve Toledo, Salamanca, Segovia etc as single units, which are more commuter/regional than long-distance routes (branded Avant).
 

jopsuk

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Good to hear that this particular train ferry has a future.
RFI took delivery of a brand new vessel, Iginia (the second vessel to bear the name), a sister ship to the Messina launched in 2013, this year. That's quite a vote of confidence!
 

D6130

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RFI took delivery of a brand new vessel, Iginia (the second vessel to bear the name), a sister ship to the Messina launched in 2013, this year. That's quite a vote of confidence!
To be honest, this was more likely to have been a political decision to keep the shipbuilding yards in work....although, as long as the strait bridge project remains in limbo, the train ferry operation has a reasonably bright future. There are at least four other train ferries in service which are not yet life-expired.
 

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