New high-speed train unveiled in Italy

2011-12-13 20:07

Nola - Ferrari head Luca di Montezemolo unveiled Italy's first private high-speed train near Naples on Tuesday, with his company NTV planning to take on a state monopoly in the sector starting in 2012.

"Finally there will be a period of competition, of choice for travellers, for citizens," Di Montezemolo said, as he inaugurated the train, applauded by about 1 000 employees of French company Alstom which is building the carriages.

The train - named "Italo" - is part of the latest generation of high-speed rail travel and "the most modern train in Europe", featuring a small cinema on board and a Wi-Fi internet connection throughout, Di Montezemolo said.

France's national rail company SNCF owns a 20% stake in NTV, which is led by a group of Italian businessmen including Di Montezemolo, NTV's president, and Diego Della Valle, the head of luxury shoemaker Tod's.

NTV's trains will eventually make 51 connections a day, travelling more than 12.3 million kilometres per year. Company officials said they believed the train would make its first journey in March 2012.