FS’ maxi-plan to rejuvenate its fleet: 400 new locos and 3,600 new wagons
Ferrovie dello Stato (FS), the Italian state-owned railway company, will add 400 new locomotives and 3,600 new railcars to its fleet. Once the project is completed, the average age of FS’s fleet will decrease from 30 to seven years. The renewal of the fleet was included in the Industrial Plan published by FS on 16 May.
As FS pointed out, some of the locomotives will be electric, and some will be hybrid, and they should consume 25 per cent energy less than the current ones. Moreover, FS claims the new fleet will significantly boost the shift to rail in Italy over the next ten years. Alstom, Wascosa and MRCE are among the companies that will provide the wagons, as FS underlined.
One of the most innovative features of the next-gen locomotives is that they are multi-voltage, meaning that they can be easily used in all the countries they will cross. More specifically, this means that, with the new locomotives, it will only be necessary to switch the crew and not the vehicle.
The beneficiaries of the new rolling stock
The largest beneficiary of the new rolling stock will be Mercitalia Rail, the rail freight subsidiary of FS. Mercitalia will, in fact, secure 300 new locomotives and 2,860 new railcars over the next decade. In addition, TX Logistics, the European branch of FS, will receive 80 of the new locomotives, which will allow the company to double its fleet.
Mercitalia Shunting & Terminal will also receive 32 new locomotives by 2031 that will be used for shunting operations in ports and inland ports. Moreover, FS highlighted that these locomotives can be equipped to carry out last-mile operations in non-electrified areas such as ports, thanks to a quick change in power supply.
According to FS, four new locomotives, adding to ten new ones already in use, and 160 new railcars will be activated by the end of the year. They will be used for intermodal services and connections with other countries via Austria and Switzerland.
Old wagons are being modernised
As FS mentioned in July, the total investment for rejuvenating the fleet will revolve around 2,5 billion euros, which is the largest FS investment plan concerning the logistics sector. In addition, 70 million will be allocated to the renewal of the current fleet. The process of fleet modernisation was launched in 2020, and it is at its final stages.
The initiative involved 240 Mercitalia Intermodal Sgnss wagons getting their noisy brake shoes replaced with silent ones, and they have been repainted. These cars are certified to travel at 120 km/h and carry 72 tonnes of cargo per wagon. Moreover, FS said that, by 2025, the Mercitalia Intermodal fleet will be equipped with on-board telematics systems. These systems will provide additional real-time information on the status of the cargo as well as the location of the wagons.
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