30 new trains under the city
The first of 30 new hi-tech trains has entered service on the underground lines of Milan’s ATM metro system.
Leonardo trains are 107 metres long, with six carriages fully connected to one another for passengers who need to move along the convoy. Each convoy can transport up to 1,232 passengers at speeds up to 90 kmh in almost total silence. They are completely air-conditioned for summer or winter, and lit by power-saving LED lamps. Another technological tweak is a system already prepared for connection to Wi-Fi. The interior walls are vandal-resistent. Propulsion is by inverters, which bring a saving of energy of up to 30 per cent compared with the previous models.
The first Leonardo was delivered by supplier AnsaldoBreda last July, but since then ATM has been working on the installation of the signalling equipment and on the calibration of a sophisticated control system. This required about 90 night-time runs, when the metro was closed to the public. The experience gathered in this test phase will make the introduction of the rest of the new fleet faster and simpler.
Another 13 trains will be operative in time for the opening of Expo 2015 in May. Deliveries will then be interrupted to leave ATM staff free to deal with the wave of visitors expected for the exposition, and will start again once Expo has closed its gates. The last – thirtieth – delivery is tabled for Spring 2016.
The €220 million cost of the new convoys has been completely covered by ATM, said president Bruno Rota, with a loan from the European Investment Bank. The company has been able to set aside the funds saved by cuts over the past few years to help meet the cost. And apart from the new trains, ATM is also putting into service a fleet of new “Urbino” buses of the latest generation, with engine pollution category Euro6, costing €228,000 each. Out of the total order of 125 buses, 85 are already in service and the remaining 40 are slated for delivery intime for Expo 2015.