These Trains Now Travel Across Italy — On Battery Power
Could this be the future of rail travel?
Travelers who enjoy their scenic European trips with a heavy dose of sustainable power might want to make their way to Italy this summer (and beyond). That’s where 20 trains made by Hitachi Rail are now making their way across various rail routes in the country — and using a unique form of battery power to do so. According to the trains’ manufacturer, this technology reduces the cost of fuel by half, and reduces carbon emissions as well.
The Hitachi Rail trains run on Trenitalia’s system, and have been dubbed the “Blues.” There are 20 of them now, but that number is set to increase — according to their manufacturer, there are more to come, with a potential total of 135 to be manufactured in total.
“The roll-out of our cutting-edge Masaccio battery train marks an important step in our efforts to decarbonise European rail,” said Hitachi Rail Italy CEO Luca D’Aquila in a statement. “With around 40% of regional lines across the continent remaining un-electrified, battery hybrid technology can have an immediate impact. In Italy, the tribrid Blues train is helping cut carbon emissions by 50% compared to existing diesel services.”
As Smithsonian Magazine notes in an article on the trains’ debut, the Blues are part of a wave of new train designs and systems designed to reduce emissions all over the continent — and elsewhere. It’s not hard to see the appeal of trains that are more in sync with Europe’s goals for lowering emissions, for travelers and the spaces they’re visiting alike.
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