Luca Cordero di Montezemolo
By 2011, Italian travellers will have choices for high-speed train travel: the state-owned Trenitalia or private train operator Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori (NTV).
Founded in December 2006 by prominent Italian entrepreneurs Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Diego Della Valle, Gianni Punzo and Giuseppe Sciarrone, NTV is the first privately owned passenger railway company to operate on Italy's high-speed network. It will also be the first operator in the world to use the Alstom Automotrice Grande Vitesse (AGV) train model, which set the world rail speed record of 574.8 km/h in 2007.
French-based engineering company Alstom is providing NTV with 25 state-of-the-art AGV trains. The fire-engine red NTV trains, recalling the famed Ferrari red will service three routes: Torino-Milano-Napoli-Salerno, Roma-Bologna-Venezia and Roma-Napoli-Bari.
Former president of Italy's Confindustria, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, recently unveiled the new trains at a press conference in Rome. With 460 seats distributed among 11 cars, the trains will travel on the Italian high-speed network at approximately 300km an hour.
Despite the higher number of seats and greater speeds, passengers will have more space and the trains will use 15 percent less energy and should cost 15 percent less to maintain. Ninety-eight percent of the materials used in manufacturing are recyclable.
Montezemolo announced that NTV plans to target a market share of 20 percent, providing services to over 10 million passengers a year.