The creation of Trenord, a single company managing all trains
The new company will run all local transport, regional and suburban, in Lombardy, on the Ferrovie dello Stato and Ferrovia Nord lines. “Within 3 years, two thirds of the trains will be new.”
Local transport in Lombardy is officially being handed over to a regional railway company. The “temporary” alliance between Trenitalia and LeNord is becoming a full merger, with the creation of TRENORD. This is the name of the first, and largest, Italian operator specialised in local public rail transport, and is a new experiment which sees completion of the merging process between LeNord, the rail operator of Gruppo FNM, and the Lombardy Regional Division of Trenitalia, which began on 4 August 2009. The announcement was made today, during a press conference, which was attended by Roberto Formigoni, the President of Lombardy Region, Raffaele Cattaneo, the regional councillor for transport, Mauro Moretti, the managing director of Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato, Vincenzo Soprano, managing director of Trenitalia and chairman of Trenord, Norberto Achille, the chairman of Gruppo FNM, and Giuseppe Biesuz, the managing director of Trenord and CEO of Gruppo FNM.
The company will run all of Lombardy’s local transport, 42 regional and 10 suburban lines throughout Lombardy, as well as the Malpensa Express service, which connects the stations of Milan Cadorna and Milan Central with the international airport. With 2200 journeys and over 650,000 travellers a day, the Lombard railway network is one of the busiest in Europe.
There will be a progressive, complete unification of the trains of the two branches (Trenitalia and LeNord), which, until today, have had very different travel rules and documents (tickets and season tickets).
The single local transport company in Lombardy was established 21 months ago, with the aim of increasing punctuality, reducing cancellations and improving the cleanliness and appearance of the trains and, therefore, the overall quality of the journey. At the drafting of the service contracts, the commitment made to the state customer (Lombardy Region) and, therefore, to all customers, was, to maintain, on every line, a punctuality rate (within five minutes) of more than 75% of trains during rush hour, and more than 85% for the whole day. These objectives, say management, were achieved in full during 2010; the average punctuality rate for the whole day was 88.4%, and during rush hour, 82.9% (+1% on 2009), the average number of cancellations per day were 19.5 (equal to 0,9% of the trains circulating), with a reduction of 30% on the 2009 average, and 90% of the trains (282 out of 330) had already been renovated.
The objective is not only to improve the service, but also to increase the increase the number of passengers, in a region where this is already very high. The regional councillor for transport, Raffaele Cattaneo, said, “From now until 2015, we want to increase the number of travellers by at least 30% in the suburban area, and by 20% across the region, as stated in the Local Public Transport Agreement, going from 650,000 to at least 800,000, with the intention of reaching 1,000,000. This increase can be borne thanks to the investment already made (of €1080 million) and to the investment planned with Trenord for new rolling stock.” In the last 15 years, Lombardy Region has invested over €5 billion on railway infrastructure. Between 2001 and 2011, 107 new trains and 16 new locomotives were bought, for a total investment of over €1080 million.
Giuseppe Biesuz, the managing director of Trenord, explained, “Over the last few months, we’ve worked to optimise our industrial processes, to reduce waste and inefficiencies, with the sole objective of improving the conditions of the service provided to our customers. As a result, today, we can announce an entirely self-financed plan to invest €250 million in new trains. These will be purchased by Lombardy, who will have them at their disposal. Biesuz concluded, “The tender procedure will begin in the next few weeks. By 2015, over 2/3 of our fleet will consist of trains that are less than 10 years old, in line with the best international experiences.”
While Vincenzo Soprano, the managing director of Trenitalia and chairman of Trenord, speaks about “an example of how to create efficient partnerships with local bodies, and functional agreements with regional railway companies,” Mauro Moretti, the big boss of the Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato, heralds the company as “a reference model for organising regional transport.” In other words, a single, regional operator is one possible choice for running local transport. This is what Lombardy has chosen, and is in line with what has been done so far; the engagement between the “state company”, Trenitalia, and the Lombard company, LeNord, has become a marriage.
The President of the Region, Roberto Formigoni, explained, “With this new company, we can say that we have become the key players in a very courageous and innovative process; the Region has set off on this virtuous journey, making resources available to the State. The creation of Trenord is the beginning of this journey, not the end.”