Natural gas-powered train to be developed in Italy

FS Italiane, Snam and Hitachi Rail have signed a MoU that aims to convert part of Fondazione FS Italiane’s current fleet of trains from diesel to methane, within the context of promoting sustainable mobility for public transport throughout Italy.
Fondazione FS Italiane, which promotes green tourism through the use of innovative technologies dedicated to energy efficiency, will provide the vehicles for the experiment and, in collaboration with Trenitalia, will make workshops available for the necessary adaptation.
The convoys powered by natural gas will be dedicated to sustainable tourism and convoy the thousands of tourists who choose slow travel to discover the most evocative places within the provinces of Italy, traversing some 700 km of railway along which the Fondazione FS Italiane operates.
A collaboration between Fondazione FS Italiane and Fondazione Snam for certain tourism projects throughout the Italian territory is also planned.
The intention is to eventually enter into binding agreements to be defined by the parties in respect of applicable regulations, including those relating to operations between correlated parties.
Trains converted to methane will substantially eliminate particulate emissions and reduce those of carbon dioxide by around 20%. The eventual replacement of 100 trains would also lead to savings of EUR 2.5 million per year in fuel costs.
The agreement is part of Snam’s commitment towards sustainable mobility. To this end, the company is investing to increase the number of distributors supplying natural gas to motor vehicles and trucks throughout Italy and to promote the development of a biomethane network (renewable gas with zero CO2) across Italy.
This pilot project is in line with the Social Innovation Mission Hitachi is pursuing with the aim of contributing to developing our society through innovative solutions. The progression of the activities promoted within the agreement represents an important contribution in terms of environmental impact, value generation and sustainability, with converting trains to methane also signifying an extension of their lifecycle to benefit the environment and society.
“The Memorandum confirms the importance of promoting sustainable mobility for FS Italiane, starting out with tourism. Tourism is on the up and up in Europe, with Italy capturing a good share. Many people reach tourist destinations by train, being an environmentally-friendly means of transport,” Gianfranco Battisti, CEO of FS Italiane said.

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