Italy establishes tourist train business

tourist train FS Group has established FS Treni Turistici Italiani, a new company responsible for tourist train services specifically designed as an ambition to support sustainable transport and to rediscover the riches of the Italian territory.

With the new company, rail travel will be “an integral part of the holiday, a quality component of the overall tourist experience,” FS says.

FS Treni Turistici Italiani was presented by Ferrovie dello Stato CEO Luigi Ferraris, at the Museo Nazionale Ferroviario di Pietrarsa in Naples on July 24, 2023 in the presence of authorities and stakeholders who arrived aboard a train comprised of prototype wagons that will form an essential part of the fleet.

The new tourist train company shall be part of the Passenger Business Unit of the FS Italiane Group, with Trenitalia at the helm. Alessandro Vannini Scatoli was named as the Chair of the new company and Luigi Cantamessa as Chief Executive Officer.

FS Treni Turistici Italiani will provide three types of services. This includes luxury services using the traction of prestigious high-end trains, firstly the Orient Express La Dolce Vita, a luxury Italian train that will debut in 2024, or the legendary Venice Simplon Orient Express by Belmond, already operating on European routes.

The Omnibus-Regional services to be provided will guarantee the circulation of regional trains on weekends, at favourable fares and accessible to all, along lines that cross territories rich in history, replete with villages and areas of scenic and naturalistic interest, distinguished by unique wine and food traditions.

Express and Historical Trains is another kind of service to be provided by the new company under which new connections will be introduced including night trains on medium- to long-haul routes between the main Italian cities and places of significant tourist attraction. These routes include Rome/Milan, Calalzo/Cortina, San Candido, Milan-Genoa with branches to Ventimiglia/Livorno, as well as Rome-Metaponto-Catanzaro via Jonica and Reggio Calabria. The connections offered by the Express trains shall consist of 1980s and 1990s wagons that will undergo complete upgrading and modernisation in the Rimini railway workshops, solely for tourist use.

These workshops will become a sort of refitting atelier for this segment, consisting of wagons offering differentiated service environments such as restaurant cars with express cooking on board, sleeping wagons, meeting wagons, luggage carriages for transporting bicycles, skis and vehicles for sustainable mobility.

FS Treni Turistici Italiani will also manage the trips on historic trains, owned by the Fondazione FS, in various regions and areas of historical and scenic interest throughout the peninsula, with ad hoc programmes and more regular frequencies, tours that combine train travel with stops for guided visits, walking routes and tastings.

FS Treni Turistici Italiani will acquire the assets and rolling stock from Trenitalia’s commercial fleet, set to be modernised before forming a fleet of Italian trains specifically designed for the needs of tourists and which will also include wagons for religious tourism. At a later stage, the new company will even acquire real estate assets such as workshops for overhaul, fit out and maintenance operations. It will have its own staff including train operators, train conductors and maintenance personnel, trained according to the new tourism standards.

FS Treni Turistici Italiani shall operate in synergy with the Fondazione FS Italiane, which remains the owner of a fleet of almost 400 historic and protected vehicles, and above all with Trenitalia’s Business Divisions including high-speed, intercity and regional trains along with the entire Passenger Business Unit of the FS Group.

Italy is fifth in the world for the number of tourists with about 56 million international arrivals in 2022 and a forecast of over 75 million trips from abroad in 2023. According to a recent study, carried out by the Bocconi University of Milan on behalf of the Fondazione FS, for every 1 euro a passenger spends on purchasing historical-tourist train services, they will also spend at least 1.50 euro and up to 3.18 euro on goods and services offered by the territory traversed, a multiplier effect that will help generate wealth for the country’s inland areas.

Share on: