• The FS light electric vehicles

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by Benny
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In first assigned to Bologna, Rome and Naples for "Rapido" services along adriatic line, Rome-Reggio Calabria, Rome-Foggia-Bari and Rome-Ancona (also with a strange Rome-Ancona-Rimini-Bologna), from mid-60s our railcars were displaced to Turin, Milan and Mestre (Venice) depots and covered a large web of" Rapido", "Direttissimo" and "Diretto" services on nearly every electrified line of northern Italy, sometimes mixed with other classes. Here a direct Turin-Savona service at Santuario, on the descent to the Liguria Coast
Instead the Bologna units became a typical sight on the "diretto" services to Ancona, Genoa and Venice.
With the progressive coming of new classes, ALe 540/660 lost the most important services but were still useful and very valued by passengers. In the 80s the Turin units were transferred to Trieste (services on the triangle between there, the Tarvisio border and Vicenza), as can be seen in this image of a Udine-Vicenza service,
and Leghorn (all around the region); an interesting service made by the tuscan units was the "Freccia dell'Elba" (Elba arrow) that connected Florence with the ferries to the island at Piombino Marittima and gave them the opportunity to arrive on the boarding pier (and one time the train, luckily empty, made splash!).
From 1990 all units were concentrated in Mestre and Bologna and used until the new millennium. The few remaining motors were then used singly for a little time more on the short lines around Novi Ligure and from 2002 the last brown railcars were extinct, apart ALe 540.010 and 030 that, jointly with a Le 840, were used by Trieste railway museum for tours along the "unknown tracks" of the city until the end of the permitted mileage; they are now in the museum area, the old Campo Marzio station, waiting for an unlikely overhaul.

As a curiosity, during the service from Mestre depot, as trailers were used too some strange vehicles with luxurious interior and without cabs. These ones were no less than the intermediate trailers of the ALn 442/448 TEE DMUs. Originally they had to be a M+R+M rake but, after testing, it appeared that trailers were too much heavy for the steeply lines to the borders and so the four ones built were converted into electric trailers, repainted in brown and assigned to Mestre depot as Le 602.001-004.
Images courtesy of :
Photorail.it, probably the best Italian site for railroad photography
Stefano Paolini
Franco Pepe

Ciao :wink:
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  by Pensyfan19
I believe an ETR 250 has recently been restored two days ago. Can anyone confirm that this was restored on July 1st, or has it already been running for sometime before this?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ernesto_i ... 065121383/
  by Benny
It has been presented on June 27 at Roma Tiburtina station.
I don't know the later movements but surely before of that day it ran various test journeys.
Next chapter of this topic will be precisely dedicated to the "harlequins".

Ciao :wink:
  by NorthWest
Is it weird that I prefer the blunt-end version?
  by Benny
NorthWest wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:03 pm Is it weird that I prefer the blunt-end version?
Me too.

Ciao :wink:
  by Benny
To cope with high level tourists coming in Italy for the 1960 Olympics, Breda built four "elettrotreni", classified as ETR 251-254.
ETR 250s Fi-Rm 60s.jpg
These ones were four-bodies trains on six bogies and received the same innovative front ends of the Settebello with their panoramic parlor and the overhead driving cabs; the outer bodies and one of the inner ones were arranged as open saloons with very comfortable armchairs
and the other intermediate hosted luggage room, pantry and kitchen for at seat dining.
The nickname of the class, Arlecchino (Harlequin), seems born because of the different colours of the interiors of each vehicle, like the suit of the traditional character.
The wheel arrangement was Bo-2-Bo+2-2-Bo and the total power exceeded the 1300 Kw. Maximum speed was fixed in 160 km/h but many times they run nearly 190 km/h.
The traction equipment was partly derived from the Settebello one but the new Z1040 bogies were far more performing and will be later installed under the other classes of ETRs.

It follows...
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  by Benny
From July 23 1960 Harlequins, assigned to Milano Centrale depot, began the "Freccia del Vesuvio" (Vesuvius Arrow) rapido service between Milan, Rome and Naples. Then, during the Olympic Games, were mainly used to displace tourists and sports enthusiasts between the eternal city and the Campania's capital and the following year were useful to move visitors of the Turin's "Italia 61" International exhibition that admired their modern and audacious design.
Later, ETR 250s were put in a common shift with ETR 220s but as first choice for some services (e.g. the Florence-Venice or the train that followed at block distance the Settebello when the Milan airport was closed because of heavy fog).
Around 1970 the class was upgraded to reach 200 km/h (electrodynamic braking and on-board signals repeating) and followed on with its work, made of journeys on the Genoa-Milan-Venice - Trieste as showed in this magnificent image of two ETR 250 running in front of the Chiaravalle Abbey going to Genoa taken by my good fellow and mentor Roberto Trionfini in 1978
2 ETR 250s Chiaravalle 1978 Trionfini.jpg
Or this other of an Harlequin and a Poliphemus entering Milano Centrale Station after a run from Venice, taken in 1983 by my friend Gianni Demuru,
on the Venice-Florence, Genoa-Rome and, until the birth of Grand Comfort hauled coaches, their original service Milan-Naples.
Many times those services were made by two (when not three) trainsets because of the high patronage, in spite of the first class, rapido supplement and compulsory reservation needed, and so the panoramic parlor of the second ETR lost importance but people and drivers appreciated very much these trains (my friend Angelo Passerini, a driver that for many years worked on ETRs, one time told that driving at high speed from the elevated cabs gave him an incredible sensation of freedom, like a bird).
Following the "democratization" of high level services, the consequent need of second class seats and the increased patronage, in 1986 the class was retired from normal work, restructured with second class and the third body transformed for passengers use and destined to charter services but this "new life" saw not much use; between the few services I remember some Milan to Calabria runs, payed by Southern Coast hotels, to take holidaymakers there, or few journeys for a Slovenian casino with a roulette in the belvedere, as documented by Roberto Trionfini.
ETR 250 C.le 1992 Trionfini.jpg
At the end of the 90s all Harlequins were dumped and three were quickly demolished. The sole survivor, ETR 252, has been recently restored as when new and now is in the hands of historical foundation of FS.

Images courtesy of:
FS phototeque
Roberto and Stefano Trionfini
Photorail.it, probably the best Italian site for railroad photography
Gianni Demuru

Ciao :wink:
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