Italy launched Europe’s first private high-speed train service this week.
The trains have gold edging, panoramic windows, leather seats and wider carriages than the classic French TGV trains. They offer three different coach classes and travel at a top speed of 224 miles per hour.
Power sockets and tunnel-proof Internet connectivity is everywhere, and some trains will even feature dedicated “cinema cars” playing first-run movies on immersive screens.
The high speed trains, based on the Alstom AGV technology, boast 98% recycled content in their construction,” Treehugger reports.
“Weighing 10 percent less than similar high speed trains will reduce energy demand 15 percent, saving 650,000 kWh on 500,000km of annual travel.
Nonetheless, the Italo is the first very high speed train to meet European safety standards, protecting passenger safety in case of a train crash.”
‘Italo has arrived, the competition has kicked off … bringing real advantages to all those who travel,’ NTV told its first passengers as they admired interiors styled by celebrated design house Italdesign Giugiaro.
The new company, called NTV, or Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori, starts service between Rome and eight other Italian cities on April 28 and will eventually have 25 trains – a new type of locomotive-free rolling stock that has an engine under each car to increase capacity.
The project is one example of the new ambitions of the eurozone’s third largest economy under Monti, a former EU competition commissioner who plans to shake up a sluggish economy heavily influenced by protectionist traditions.