ITALIAN national operator Trenitalia will introduce seven new electric-hydrogen bi-mode trains in Southern Italy as well as 70 new coaches for night services serving Sicily.

Italy's minister of sustainable infrastructure and mobility, Mr Enrico Giovannini, confirmed the plan on November 30 by allocating Trenitalia €200m to purchase the new trains, which will enter service from 2024.

The trains will replace obsolete and polluting vehicles, improve service quality, and reduce the environmental impact of the railway including noise pollution. The new trains are part of Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

Seven bi-mode trains will be ordered for the Reggio Calabria - Taranto inter-city connection, and these will cost €60m and must be in service by December 31 2024. The 70 coaches for the night train services linking mainland Italy to Sicily will cost €140m and must be in service by June 30 2026.

“The improvement of railway services in the southern regions is a fundamental piece of the Ministry’s commitment to relaunch the South,” Giovannini says. He says the objective is to encourage a reduction in the use of private cars in favour of rail travel for medium and long-distance journeys.

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