The new 3kV dc trains, which are expected to cost a total of €960m, will be used for regional services in Calabria, Lazio, Molise, Toscana, Valle d’Aosta, Sardinia and Sicily.

The trains will be equipped with conventional overhead pantographs, as well as high-efficiency diesel engines for non-electrified routes and ‘last mile’ batteries for urban areas.

€150m of the funding has already been finalised, via the subscription of a corporate bond under Italian State Railways’ (FS) Euro Medium Term Note programme, concluded by way of a private placement. These funds will finance an order for 43 three-car and four-car Hitachi Caravaggio trains, branded ‘Rock’ by Trenitalia, with top speeds of 160km/h, announced on January 5. The trains will be built at built at Hitachi’s Pistoia, Naples and Reggio Calabria sites.

The order is part of a €6bn plan by Trenitalia’s parent company FS to replace 80% of its current regional fleet with over 600 new trains, and follows similar purchases made since 2016, which includes 65 Hitachi Rock double-deck EMUs for the Lazio region, as well as 39 trains for the Emilia Romagna region, 47 for Veneto, 28 for Liguria and four for Tuscany.

The EIB funding broadens the range of financing instruments used by Trenitalia since 2017. This includes a €1.75bn bond issue comprising public green bonds, loans, and private placement operations based on ESG principles.

“This major financing continues our investment plan to renew the regional train fleet, which remains a top priority,” says Mr Gianfranco Battisti, group CEO and general manager of FS. “The new trains will allow Trenitalia’s regional fleet to reduce CO2 emissions by 600 million tonnes a year and take 400,000 cars off Italian roads.”