MERCITALIA RAIL E 494 022. Source: Edoardo Pieraccioli/Flickr

Mercitalia to launch new service between Sicily and Calabria

Image: Flickr. Edoardo Pieraccioli

Mercitalia will launch a new rail freight service between the Catania-Bicocca terminal, in Sicily, to Marcianise, 25 kilometres north of Naples. The new connection will start on 10 January with six weekly roundtrips scheduled.

The service will be suitable for swap bodies, containers, tank containers, and silocontainers. Each convoy will comprise 22 railcars for a total length of 415 metres and a total capacity of 1,100 tonnes. The sectors that should benefit the most from this new link include industrial products, groupage, food and beverage, and chemical products.

For the section between the island the Italian mainland, FS, Mercitalia’s mother company, provides ferry services from Messina, in Sicily, and Villa San Giovanni, in Calabria. It currently takes two hours to cross the strait by ferry. However, the current Italian government has been quite vocal about its interest in building a bridge to connect the two territories, a project that has been discussed since the 19th century.

A total Mercitalia effort

This project was fully overviewed by Mercitalia, with Mercitalia Rail in charge of traction services. Moreover, Mercitalia Intermodal carried out the feasibility study, Mercitalia Shunting and Terminal will handle loading and unloading procedures in Marcianise. Loading and unloading operations in Catania will be handled by Terminali Italia, RFI’s subsidiary managing its terminals.

Marcianise is a strategic location for Mercitalia since it offers connections to the north of Italy and therefore to the rest of Europe. More specifically, there are connections to Milano Smistamento (Milan rail yard staging area), Turin Orbassano, Busto Arsizio, and Bologna. Marcianise is also the location from where Mercitalia launched a high-speed rail freight service that was not significantly successful. The high-speed connection with Bologna was launched in November 2018 but was discontinued in November 2022.

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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