The last DMUs that Trenitalia (the TOC of FS) bought are old acquaintances: the ill-famed Pesa Atribos.
In 2012 the Tuscany regional government wanted to improve the service on their non wired lines and selected (and partly bought) the Pesa products because of low cost and quick delivery. The "sapient" FS heads don't dissuaded politicians despite the heavy problems encountered by other railroads and instead acquired more units to give theoretical improvements in other regions.
The sixty Atribos in the hands of FS are classified (oh, blessed coherence!) as ATR 220. 001-060 and, following the trend of giving a commercial name to the train types, they are called Swing (really swing is tram equally produced by Pesa); these DMUs are slightly different from the ones of the granted railroads because FS required more power, a ridiculous 7kw more each engine, and the same Voith hydromechanic transmission of the Minuettos.
From 2014 the units began to be used but showed many problems at the safety, control and driving electronics, low power especially on the slopes and heavy wearing of the wheels. More, some parts don't fit with contract specifications and the engines resulted very sensitive.
And then, in 2016, the polish safety board sent an alert about the Atribos bogies and came the disaster. Nearly all the class resulted cracked, the worst ones were immediately stopped and the other ones followed working but with a short interval between ultrasonic tests (and this made that many older railcars destined to the scrap rest In service).
After many attempts a palliative solution has been sending the DMUs to a private workshop in Piacenza that disassemble the bogies and send them to Poland to be reinforced.
It's too early to see improvements and work is still in progress, I will inform about the news.
The class is working but reliability is still low, with many other problems still unresolved; a my contact inside the traction department told me just yesterday that every day five or six Atribos are in the workshops because of small or big failures, and apart the units stopped for the bogies reinforcement.
This is what happens when politicians without railroad knowledge decide about trains...
An unidentified ATR 220 is crossing the lake formed by the river Serchio near Pontecosi, on the tuscan Lucca-Aulla line. This railway runs along a mountaineous territory called Garfagnana that still today is partly wild and offers to the traveller magnificent views (and excellent food in the local restaurants).
The train, the viaduct, the old church, the village and the mountains: all the elements contributed to make splendid this image.
Still on the Garfagnana line, another ATR 220 was caught leaving the Minucciano hamlet.
This secondary line is still having good patronage and valley people is strongly attached to the railway, that represents a manner to avoid isolation.
The two images by S. Paolini courtesy of Photorail, probably the best Italian site for railway photography.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Alcohol is an enemy. Man that escapes from the enemy is a coward!