Trenitalia SpA is the primary train operator of Italy. A subsidiary of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, itself partly owned by the Italian government, the company and partly from a private investors group. It was established in 2000 following a European Union directive on the deregulation of rail transport.

Company typePartly state-owned subsidiary
IndustryRail transport
Key people
Nicoletta Giadrossi (Chairwoman)
Luigi Ferraris (CEO)[1]
RevenueIncrease 13.7 billion[2] (2022)
Increase 202 million[2] (2022)
OwnerFerrovie dello Stato Italiane
Number of employees
Increase 85,361[2] (2022)


Headquarters of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane in Rome

The Italian government formed Trenitalia to comply with European Union regulations. The European Commission's First Railway Directive from 1991 (91/440/EC) required separation of accounting between entities which manage the rail infrastructure and entities which provide the actual rail transportation. On 1 June 2000, therefore, Italy created Trenitalia as the primary rail transportation company and on 1 July 2001 established Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) as the company overseeing the rail network.[3] However, the separation was only formal since both are subsidiaries of the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane holding and are owned wholly by the government.[4] Trenitalia operated freight rail services under the Trenitalia Cargo brand until 2017, when Mercitalia took over state-owned freight rail and logistics operations.[5]

As of July 2014, Adria Ferries has a partnership with Trenitalia wherein tickets can be booked at any train station for onward journey to Durrës, at a steeply discounted price with respect to both tickets separately purchased. This is for connections either in Ancona or in Trieste, and continues the historical link between the Via Appia Traiana and the Via Egnatia.[6][7]

Passenger transport


Trenitalia offers national rail transport in Italy and international connections to Austria, France, Germany, and Switzerland.[8] The company operates both regional and long-distance trains.

Regional trains


Regional trains travel within an Italian region or between neighbouring Italian regions, and are subsidized by local government at the regional level by "Contratto di servizio".[9] Regional trains stop at more stations than other long-distance trains, and some stop at all stations. Regionale veloce (fast regional train) are trains stopping at about half of the stations.

There are no reservations for regional trains, and for this reason, there is no price advantage to acquiring regional tickets in advance online. Once bought, tickets for regional trains have to be validated at the station before departure. "Validation" in this case means placing a date/time stamp on the ticket by inserting it into a (usually) green and white machine either in the station or along the track. This is because regional tickets are not for a particular date or time but are valid for a period (two months for tickets bought before 1 August 2016). The date/time stamp is to show that the ticket cannot be reused. From 1 August 2016, tickets are valid for the 24 hours chosen by online buyers; the date of use can be changed until the previous 24 hours of the later date. The date of use can be anticipated until the 24 hours following this adjusting operation. The omission about the period of use at paper shops will involve a one-way daily ticket issue. This change aims to hinder fare evasion.

There are no discount schemes available for non-residents of Italy on regional trains.

Long-distance trains and high-speed trains


Trenitalia's long-distance trains are mainly of two types, the high-speed Frecce ("Arrows") trainsets and the semi-fast classic InterCity trains with the following brands being used as of 2024:

High-speed rail (managed by RFI) service in Italy commenced in 2008 with about 1,000 km (620 mi) of new track on the Turin-Milan-Bologna-Rome-Naples-Salerno route that allow trains to reach speeds over 360 km/h (220 mph), although current maximum commercial speed is 300 km/h (190 mph). There are currently four generations of ElettroTreno in service on the network. Trenitalia ordered 50 high-speed trainsets in 2010.[10] The new trains are the ETR 1000 series.[11] They are 200 metres (660 ft) long, non-articulated trains, with distributed traction, and capable of up to 400 km/h (250 mph) operation, although current service plans are limited to 360 km/h (220 mph). Mauro Moretti, at the time chief executive of FS group, said FS was considering long-distance international services to France, Germany, or even Spain and the United Kingdom.[10] The trains entered service on the Italian high-speed network in 2015.[12]

International passenger services



  • Iryo, a high-speed operator in Spain owned by Trenitalia and Air Nostrum, as part of the ILSA consortium. ILSA was selected by ADIF, the company that runs Spanish rail infrastructure, as the first private operator to be granted access to the Spanish rail market. The Trenitalia consortium will run high-speed services on the Madrid-Barcelona, Madrid-Valencia/Alicante and Madrid-Malaga/Seville lines, branded as IRYO. Services will start running in January 2022. The service contract will have a duration of 10 years. The ILSA consortium will offer 32 daily links with a fleet of 23 trains.[13]
  • TILO: 50% owned by Trenord (formerly these shares were owned by Trenitalia), 50% owned by the Swiss Federal Railways. The company runs the regional services between Italy and Switzerland. The staff all change at the border and are either FS Trenitalia or SBB CFF FFS. Trenitalia operates all fast trains to/from Switzerland in the Italian portion of the route.



Operations in the United Kingdom


In January 2017, Trenitalia won a bid from the Department for Transport (DfT) to run train operating company c2c from National Express which has a contract to operate the Essex Thameside franchise until November 2029.[23][24] In the same month it took a 30% stake in a joint venture with FirstGroup, named First Trenitalia, that was later shortlisted to bid for the East Midlands Railway and West Coast Partnership franchises.[25][26][27][28][29] It was also shortlisted to bid for the South Eastern franchise in its own right.[30]

In August 2017 Trenitalia withdrew from the South Eastern contest, citing a desire to concentrate its resources on its bid for the West Coast Partnership.[27][31] Likewise in April 2018, along with FirstGroup, it withdrew from the East Midlands contest citing the same reason.[32]

In August 2019, the First Trenitalia consortium was awarded the West Coast Partnership contract.[33][34] Avanti West Coast ran its first train between London and Manchester on 8 December.[35]



Tickets can be bought online, in the stations or from approximately 4,000 travel agencies including those outside Italy.[36] It is common for people to buy tickets from the official website after looking up schedules.

Since long-distance trains, unlike regional trains, usually require a reservation, it is advantageous to buy tickets in advance. This also gives buyers access to a variety of discount schemes offered by Trenitalia. All "premium" long-distance trains generally share the same discount schemes, even though their fares may differ.[37] Unlike mini fares, which existed before 2012 and required two days of notice, all tickets may be purchased at the last minute if they are still available. All large rail stations have staffed ticket windows and self-service ticket machines for this purpose. Such machines, which either say "Trenitalia" or "Rete Regionale" ("regional network"), differ in the types of payment accepted.

Rolling stock

A Frecciarossa 1000 high-speed trainset
A Frecciargento branded ETR 610 high-speed trainset
Trenitalia Rock regional train

Currently, there are several trains that run the Trenitalia service:

Regional trains





  • Carrozze Vicinale a Piano Ribassato
  • Carrozza MDVC/MDVE
  • Carrozze UIC-X (type 1997R)
  • Carrozze Vivalto (NCDP/CDPTR)

Multiple Units

  • Hybrid

High-speed trains



  • Coaches
    • 1° class Gran Confort coach
    • 1° and 2° class UIC-Z1 coach
    • 1° class Eurofima coach



In early 2012, Trenitalia released a web advertisement to promote its change from two classes of train compartments into four classes. Passengers travelling by the fourth class were not permitted to use the on-board cafeteria or enter the carriages reserved for the other three classes. This change alone reportedly caused controversy, but more followed with the release of the accompanying web advertisement. The web advertisement showed only white people seated in the upper three classes, as well as a black family in the fourth. Italian online media observed this and branded the advertisement as "grotesque". Other complaints of racial discrimination followed in UK newspapers, social media and online. Trenitalia withdrew the web commercial and quickly substituted it following the allegations of racism.[38][39] Since 13 January 2012 the cafeteria is accessible also for passengers of lower classes.[40]

See also



  1. ^ "Management". Retrieved 22 December 2023.
  2. ^ a b c "Trenitalia S.p.A Annual Report 2022" (PDF). Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane. Retrieved 22 December 2022.
  3. ^ Di Porto, Fabiana (2008). La disciplina delle reti nel diritto dell'economia [The regulation of networks in economic law] (in Italian). Rome: CEDAM (published 1 January 2008). p. 103. ISBN 978-8813288785.
  4. ^ Salento, Angelo; Pesare, Giuseppe (4 July 2015). From Liberalisation to Appropriation: The Trajectory of Italian Railways. London: Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  5. ^ "FS launches new Mercitalia freight division". International Railway Journal. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  6. ^ Adria Ferries presenta la più grande nave per l’Albania e l’accordo con Trenitalia
  7. ^ "ADRIA FERRIES". Michele Lulurgas. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  8. ^ "ALTRI TRENI". Trenitalia. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  9. ^ Castronovi, Andrea (2015). La valutazione della qualità del servizio: il caso Trenitalia (PDF) (Thesis) (in Italian). Università Di Pisa. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Trenitalia awards contract for 50 high speed trains". Railway Gazette International. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  11. ^ Un treno per il futuro 1/6/2010,
  12. ^ Fender, Marco Chiandoni and Keith. "ETR 1000 sets new Italian rail speed record". Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  13. ^ "Trenitalia in Spain high-speed rail - English". 27 November 2019. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  14. ^ 2021-12-20T11:57:00. "Trenitalia launches Paris – Milano open access services". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 21 December 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ "SNCF/Trenitalia alliance to end" Today's Railways Europe issue 184 April 2011 page 7
  16. ^ a b "Thello brings open access to France". Railway Gazette International. 7 October 2011.
  17. ^ "Partnership with Trenitalia and Veolia Transdev". AGI SpA. 6 October 2011.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Trenitalia now sole owner of Thello" Today's Railways Europe issue 251 November 2016 page 6
  19. ^ "Traffic information : Paris-Venice and Marseille-Nice-Milan lines • Thello". Thello. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  20. ^ "Thello operates final trains". International Railway Journal. 30 June 2021. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  21. ^ McWhirter, Alex (1 July 2021). "Trenitalia's Frecciarossa trains finally approved by France". Business Traveller. Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  22. ^ Malleck, C (1 October 2020). "Séisme sur les rails: les trains Thello sur la Côte d'Azur et dans le Var, c'est fini!" [Earthquake on the rails: Thello trains on the Côte d'Azur and in the Var, it's over!]. Nice-Matin (in French). Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  23. ^ Acquisition of c2c franchise by Trenitalia National Express 11 January 2017
  24. ^ National Express to sell c2c to Italian railways Railnews 11 January 2017
  25. ^ Trenitalia joins FirstGroup to bid for UK franchises Railway Gazette International 24 January 2017
  26. ^ Three bidders shortlisted for 2019 East Midlands franchise Rail Technology Magazine 1 March 2017
  27. ^ a b West Coast Partnership and South Eastern rail franchise bidders Department for Transport 22 June 2017
  28. ^ Three shortlisted for West Coast Partnership franchise Railway Gazette International 22 June 2017
  29. ^ "Italian train company takes over West Coast Mainline". Metro. 14 August 2019. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  30. ^ South Eastern franchise bidders announced Railway Gazette International 22 June 2017
  31. ^ Trenitalia pulls out of South Eastern Franchise contest International Railway Journal 10 August 2017
  32. ^ First Group and Trenitalia pull out of East Midlands franchise contest International Railway Journal 23 April 2018
  33. ^ FirstGroup and Trenitalia welcome West Coast Partnership Award FirstGroup 14 August 2019
  34. ^ West Coast marks new partnership model for rail Department for Transport 14 August 2019
  35. ^ Avanti starts running West Coast Main Line after Virgin franchise ends
  36. ^ "Punti vendita all'estero - Informazioni - Trenitalia". Archived from the original on 22 July 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  37. ^ "Trenitalia offers - Offers - Trenitalia". Archived from the original on 7 November 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  38. ^ Hooper, John (4 January 2012). "Italian rail company lambasted for 'racist' web commercial". The Guardian.
  39. ^ "Piuttosto che chiedere scusa". Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  40. ^ "Frecciarossa, dopo le proteste Trenitalia riapre il bar per tutti". la Repubblica. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012.

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