Questa pagina in italiano.
What is railway able to offer, today, in Italy?
Is it there anything more useful than the Eurostar service Milan-Rome, or the local trains crowded of commuters at 8 o'clock in the morning?
We think there is. We firmly think that railway is still able to give added value to our country, and can pursue a project more complex than the simple managing of High Speed trains or subway-like services in rush hours.
We believe in railway.
So, we tried to tell our ideas, in a clear way.
We liked something we read on an Italian newspaper. We gave it to a young graphic designer, Ivan Uccelli, the author of msrmilano, and we asked him for a "logo": here it is!
This is our goal, our manifesto. We would like to use the train, everywhere and everyday, for business and for leisure, far and near, just like the most usual think.
We know the problems of Italian railways. In Lombardy, Trenitalia has changed five regional managers in four years, and at the beginning of 2007 a manager is still missing. At the end of year 2005, all Northern Italy has suffered from the destruction of Interregional services. When the first two High Speed lines have opened (Rome-Naples 2005, and Milan-Turin, 2006) it seemed that nobody had an idea of what would have been the service planned for them (or better: that those lines were built without having planned their services at all).
Since many years, no marketing strategy can be found for regional transport, despite it covers some 72% of Trenitalia's production, in terms of trains*km. Regional transport is even running without any kind of promotion or information campaign. The only advertisement made for the opening of Passante in Milan was confused, so that some people found it difficult even to understand that the subject of the ad was a railway.
In many Regions, branch line services have been dramatically reduced, at such an extent that keeping those lines open is now almost irrational. Many technical upgrades on the infrastructure have degraded the running capabilities (in some cases through a misused application of the taboo of safety), in such a way that travelling times have been increased and a general reduction of the real network capacity has occurred.
Finally, FS top managers have started to declare that there is no more money and the only projects that can be considered are those with "immediate profitability": a concept very far from railway, which is usually using a heritage built in 150 years of history.
As regards Regions, they started to plan regional services in 2001, but they spent most of the first years, just to follow emergencies,
or commuters' claims against inefficiency.
In the meantime, someone has started to develop a project, a scheme for the new regional services. In Lombardy, this means S-Lines and R-Lines, that is a suburban network, just like German S-Bahn, and a corresponding regional network (similar to German RE-RegioExpress). At the bottom of this page, you can find a link to a long article that describes our project.
Now we are ready to put it into practise. We are not sure to succeed; we are afraid to go back to the "emergencies", and this would be a defeat for everybody. So we need people who believe in railway, as we believe, people who start to use the train, continue to use as they always did or even come back to use it again, even when it is still not running so well, even when it requires a bit of sacrifice. We also need people who know how the railway works, the wrong and the right things it has done.
For this reason we continue to work on the website you are reading (and to translate it into English, whenever possible).
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