Trenord experiments with armed guards

Milan-based rail network boosts security.

The northern Lombardy commuter rail network Trenord is to deploy armed guards on trains running the Milan-Bergamo and Bergamo-Treviglio routes in a move to meet customer and staff requests for better security on board.

The measure comes after a ticket controller was attacked by an armed gang in April and severely injured with a machete.

In this first, experimental phase, 20 professional guards will roam the 104 daily trains, covering around 75 per cent of them with nine two-man teams and one in reserve. They will work together with an increased number of ticket controllers, already active on board in an operation to clamp down on fare-dodgers.

In a separate initiative, 30 trains on the Milan-Como line will be fitted with a “Safe&Quiet” carriage with closed-circuit TV cameras and a panic button to alert onboard staff in case of need. These should be operative by December.

Both of these safety measures are being introduced without any increase in ticket price, said Lombardy regional councillor Alessandro Sorte, presenting the scheme.

If the experimental deployment proves successful, added Sorte, the local government would consider extending it across the network next year with between 250 and 300 armed guards.