Come to Italy with us for exclusive access to high-speed rail experts

July 24, 2018
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When you think of European high-speed rail, France or Spain probably come to mind first. The TGV and the AVE may be the heavy-hitters on the continent, but Italy was actually the first to begin building and operating high-speed rail in Europe. Today it has an extensive high-speed network with lots to teach us about bringing fast trains to the Midwest and the United States. We hope you can join us for a tour of Italy this November to see and ride high-speed rail in person, including exclusive, behind-the-scenes access with operators and manufacturers.

In 1977, Italy began running trains on the first part of the Direttissima, a new direct line from Florence to Rome. The first completed section was only 138km (86 miles) long, but its gentle curves and grades let trains reach 250 km/h (160 mph).

Since then, Italy has been gradually extending its high-speed network. Although it has tended to build in shorter stretches—and with less fanfare—than its neighbors, Italy’s high-speed trunk line now extends from Turin in the north to Naples in the south, with various branches complete and others underway now.

We’ll ride that groundbreaking Direttissima line as we head from Rome to Florence.

Italy was also the first to allow a private operator to run a high-speed service in competition with government-run service. The privately-run NTV Italo service has been quite successful and has served as a model for other countries on how to operate open access to state-owned high-speed railroads. It has also kept Ferrovie dello Stato on its toes and encouraged it to improve its own service. We will ride both services, and meet with one or both of these agencies (plans are pending) while in Rome.

Italy has done a fantastic job of preserving the striking architecture of its classic stations as it integrated new high-speed service. We’ll see historic stations in Rome, Milan and Bologna, plus the striking new station in Turin. Of course, we’ll also take time for expert-led tours of historic districts, cathedrals, museums, and other key sites.

The trip is from November 3 to 11, starting and ending in Rome. An optional add-on will head to Naples and the Adriatic coast, and may include a visit to a high-speed line construction site.

Examine the detailed itinerary and other details.

November seems to be a long way away, but it may as well be tomorrow when planning a trip like this. Please call the International Society of Railway Travelers at 800-478-4881 if you are interested in joining us. This is the seventh trip that IRT has managed for us, and they always do a great job. We hope you can join us and make Italy 2018 a ride to remember!

Help us out and win a gift card!

We are continually striving to improve engagement with our existing members and to recruit new members who are passionate about bringing fast, frequent and reliable trains to the Midwest. Please take two or three minutes to fill out our annual demographic survey. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered in a drawing to win one of two $25 Amazon gift cards. Thank you!

Midwest High Speed Rail Association Annual Demographic Survey

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