The original prototype Pendolino ETR 401 built by Fiat Ferroviaria in 1974, and the first production train for FS, ETR 450, which entered service in 1988, rolled into the station on parallel tracks.
The introduction of ETR 450, which has a maximum speed of 250km/h, marked the start of high-speed operation in Italy. ETR 450 was able to complete the Rome - Milan journey in 3h 58min at an average speed of 153km/h.
Pendolino has been a real success for Fiat and subsequently Alstom which acquired Fiat in 2000. A total of 492 trains have been sold to railways in 12 countries. Alstom is currently building 20 non-tilting Pendolino trains for PKP Intercity, Poland, and eight trains Swiss Federal Railways (SBB). The first train for PKP Intercity is currently undergoing dynamic tests in Poland, while delivery of the Swiss trains is due to start in early 2014.
FS also announced the launch of a foundation which will celebrate the railway's rich history. FS will open its archives to visitors at new centre at its Rome headquarters. It will also start to upload many of its historical records to a website.
The foundation will take over responsibility for the railway museum at Pietrarsa near Naples, and its fleet of steam locomotives and historic rolling stock which will be operated on around 1000km of disused railways maintained by various associations. FS will also train people to operate steam locomotives.