La dolce vita: More train photographs from my friends traveling in Italy
Just to make me envious, one of my friends sent me a couple of photographs while traveling in Northern Italy.
The first one is at Milano Centrale showing a Swiss Federal Railways (Schweizerische Bundesbahnen) electric multiple unit. These are tilting high speed trains built by Alstom Italy. The Swiss Railways classify them as RABe 503, while the FS (Italian State Railways) call them ETR 610. These EMUs put out about 7400 horsepower and have a maximum speed of 175 miles per hour. They can operate under three different overhead voltages: 3 kV DC, 25 kV 50 Hz AC and 15 kV 16 2/3 Hz AC. The trains have seating for 480 passengers:
The next photo is of an Alstom built, curiously named “Coradia Meridian Jazz”, electric multiple unit. The Alstom “Coradia” platform is modular and can thus be easily adapted to the requirements of different railroad companies. These are trains developed for the regional market and can be either electric or diesel propulsion. They have been sold in quite a few places, including North America, where OCTranspo in Ottawa, Canada is using a variant on their O-train line.
A promotional video from Alstom hawking their Coradia train line:
Unless I am mistaken, the next photo is of a Malpensa Express Train unit. These run between Milan Malpensa Airport and Milan Central and Milan Cadorna. Alstom also produced these electric multiple units specifically for the Milan Airport to Milan line. The trains can carry 230 passengers and have a top speed of 100 miles per hour:
Alstom “Coradia” are also in use as diesel multiple units in England. The First Great Western Railway Company used them and they were classified as UK Class 180. The trains had very poor reliability and First Great Western (now called Great Western Railway) handed all sets back to the leasing company. Eventually the problems were rectified and some of the class are now in service with Grand Central Railway and Hull Trains. Technically interesting is the fact that the Class 180 are about the only high speed trains with diesel-hydraulic transmissions. Almost all other high speed diesel trains use diesel-electric propulsion systems.
Some time ago I took a First Great Western Class 180 from Cardiff Central to London Paddington. Basically I was not really impressed. The train rode rough, it was very noisy and just plain uncomfortable. Here is one of my photos showing a Class 180 pulling into Bristol Parkway Station: