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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 12 (April 1, 1930)

Italian Railway Enterprise

Italian Railway Enterprise.

In Italy, the railways have recently acquired a number of what promise to be very useful Diesel-electric rail-cars for service mainly on lines of light traffic density. These cars, the product of the Fiat works, in Turin, each accommodate 110 passengers seated, have an overall length of 59ft. 6½in., and attain speeds of up to 35 miles an hour. The cars carry both first and second-class passengers, are provided with special accommodation for luggage and postal mails, and may be driven from either end. The Diesel engine has six cylinders, and works on the four-cycle principle, with direct fuel injection. Two traction motors, mounted together on one bogie, are series excited, with six main and six commutating poles, and each drives one axle of the bogie through reducing gear. The fuel tanks carry fuel for eight hours’ running.

The progress marked in every branch of the Italian railway industry is one of the most striking features of post-war development in Europe. Almost every month brings news of some fresh enterprise embarked upon by the Rome authorities, and this month there is to be recorded the decision of the Italian State Railways to proceed at once with the construction of a new railway route aiming at giving an additional line of communication between Italy and Germany. The new railway is planned to run from Mals, in Trentino, to Gomagoi, thence tunnelling the Stelvio Pass and passing through the Ortler Mountains, to Bormio, where a connection will be effected with a new line running to Tirano, in Lombardy, the northern outpost of the Italian State Railways. Between Mals and Landeck, in Austria, the building of a new railway track is provided for by the Peace Treaty of St. Germain, and the effect of the opening up of the Mals-Tirano and Mals-Laneck routes will be to shorten considerably the rail distance between Italian and Central European cities. At present, the distance between Milan and Munich, via the Brenner Pass, is some 375 miles. The new route will involve a journey of only approximately 300 miles between the same points. The new page 23 route will also compete with the St. Gothard Railway route (across the Alps) operated by the Swiss Federal Railways.