President of Ferrari, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, has unleashed twenty five luxury high-speed trains on the Italian railways. This makes NTV the first private high-speed rail network carrier in the country and the first company in the world to use the next-generation Alstom AGV trains. Although called “Italo”, the “Ferrari train” label seems to describe the racing red beasts somewhat more accurately. The thrill of traveling at high speeds in a Ferrari is soon to be available to anyone who can afford a train ticket!
The Italo is basically an Alstom AGV train with a Ferrari soul, as the internal layout and furnishings have been fully customized for NTV. The trains contain some very cutting edge railway technology. Most importantly, the locomotion system is distributed all along the vehicle, rather than being concentrated in the front and rear locomotives. The task of providing the motive power is now vested in the bogies (wheeled undercarriages) which house permanent magnet synchronous motors. This solution allows for a 20% increase in onboard capacity (i.e. more space is left for the passengers), while also setting a high power to weight ratio of 22.6 kW per ton.
The trains are well equipped to entice airline-goers to travel via rail instead. From tunnel-proof wireless internet, personal media centers and power supplies to entertainment cars offering immersive cinematic experiences. Even the economy class looks pretty impressive, with a comfortable leather seat on the route from the capital to Milan costing around €45 (US$60).
Perhaps the most important advancement in terms of passenger comfort, though, is the reduction of noise and vibrations. At 360 km/h (223 mph) the level of acoustic comfort is said to be comparable to that experienced at 300 km/h (186 mph) in other trains. Additionally, the body of the train is lined with material unaffected by pressure waves in order to reduce the air pressure on eardrums that can be felt when passing through tunnels.
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