Europe’s first tri-modal train enters passenger service

Posted: 20 December 2022 | | No comments yet

The Blues train for Trenitalia runs on hybrid power and will bring high levels of comfort to passengers in Sicily.

The Blues train for Trenitalia built by Hitachi Rail

The Blues train, Europe's first tri-modal train, enters passenger service. Credit: Hitachi Rail

Built by Hitachi Rail for Trenitalia, the innovative, sustainable and cutting-edge Blues train is ready to begin passenger service.

The Blues train is equipped with a new generation of hybrid technology: the train can travel with diesel engines on non-electrified lines, with pantographs on electrified lines, and with batteries, where applicable, to travel the last mile on non-electrified lines or while stopping at stations, avoiding the use of fuel. Batteries also help to further improve normal power performance. Switching off the engines during the arrival, parking and departure from the stations allows 50% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared to current diesel trains as well as helping to reduce noise pollution.

Passenger experience

The Blues train offers high levels of comfort to passengers: it is equipped with an innovative air conditioning system that allows optimisation of consumption based on the actual number of passengers on board, USB and 220v power sockets for greater connectivity. It also has large windows, bike areas and high luggage transport capacity. The trains can reach a maximum speed of 160km/h with an acceleration of 1.10 m/sec2 and can accommodate up to 300 people seated in the four-cars composition.

Accessibility is optimised according to the latest Technical Specifications of Interoperability defined in the EU for Persons with Reduced Mobility (TSI PMR) through a height of access to the train at the level of the platform, to the benefit of all travelers, as well as the minimisation of internal steps, which allows maximum usability of the train by passengers.

Green solutions

The Blues train has been designed with green solutions including: high levels of recyclability (95%) in the materials; the use of raw materials coming from recycling; on-board technologies that minimise energy consumption, such as the internal and external LED lighting systems; the smart air conditioning system; and the use of Smart Parking.

“The Blues train is a great technological challenge that we are proud to have undertaken,” said Andrea Pepi, Executive Director Line of business Vehicles Italy, Hitachi Rail. “Our goal is to deliver innovations that translate both into higher quality travel for passengers and benefits for the environment, and ultimately delivering value to our customers. Regional transport is crucial in the decarbonisation process, so we are aware of our role in achieving this important milestone which brings benefits to the world. We hope that with the Blues train, starting [today] in Sicily and soon in other Italian regions, we can significantly mark the transition from individual to mass mobility, which is greener and safer.”

The total Blues framework agreement with Trenitalia includes the supply of up to 135 trains worth €1.2 billion. For Sicily, 22 of the trains will travel in the region.


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