Rome, February 1, 2016
The last Friday, it took place in Zurich the first official meeting between Renato Mazzoncini, the new CEO and general director of FS Italiane, and Andreas Meyer, CEO of FFS.
By his visit, Mazzoncini confirms the great importance of the cooperation between the railway companies of these two countries. During the meeting, the two managers have pointed out the primary aims to further improve the quality and comfort on board of the trains, and for a simplification of the electronic tickets. Mazzoncini confirmed that, also on the Italian side, everything will be ready for 2021 in order to reduce the journey time, between Zurich and Milan, to 3 hours. A working group will be set up to keep a high level of punctuality of the rail traffic on the North-South line.
The meeting between the managers of these two company, Renato Mazzoncini and Andreas Meyer, has been useful, a part from knowing each other, as update meeting on the traffic between Italy and Switzerland. The implementation of common measures to improve the quality and comfort of the cross border traffic has already produced good results; the flow of 285.000 passengers to the Expo from Switzerland can be read as a real proof.
Good prospects for the future too, thanks to the forthcoming opening of the San Gottardo base tunnel. From December 2015, indeed, the ETR 610, modern and comfortable tilting electric trains, started their service between Switzerland and Italy. It was then created a joint working group involved in further improving the punctuality, given the numerous and important construction sites on the railway line, to avoid also potential consequences that delays may have on international traffic or on connections of the Swiss rail network, as for example at Arth-Goldau.
The CEO of FS Italiane confirmed that, on the Italian side, the infrastructural upgrading works that want to answer to the increase in capacity, are going on according to the time schedule and will provide, starting from 2020, thanks to the opening of the Ceneri base tunnel, a reduction in the journey time, between Zurich and Milan, to almost 3 hours. With putting into operation the San Gottardo base tunnel, in December 2016, the journey already will be reduced of about half an hour, with a duration of 3 hours and half. From 2020, it is also provided a further extension of the offer on the axis Lötschberg-Sempione. For what concern putting into operation of the cross-border railway line Mendrisio-Stabio-Varese, works, on the Italian side, are continuing from last year and will end in May 2017.
Commercial putting into service of the line will be in December 2017. The CEO of FFS, Andreas Meyer, during the meeting, emphasized that a close and good cooperation with FS Italiane, also on the issue of the electronic tickets, is essential to develop a good offer for cross-border traffic customers. A close partnership between FS Italiane and FFS has been suggested also by Gioia Ghezzi, new President of Gruppo FS Italiane, that has tasks also in Zurich and already had the opportunity to meet Andreas Meyer.
Thanks to a top meeting among the new leaderships of FS Italiane, Trenitalia, RFI and FFS, the partners have reaffirmed how the cooperation has been constructive in these last years. In the August of 2011, in Bellinzona, Canton Ticino, Regione Lombardia, FFS, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, TILO and Trenord signed the “Accordo dei Castelli” that contains the work programmes for the important milestones of the upcoming years. In 2013, a cooperation agreement has been signed between Trenitalia and FFS, with the aim to develop the traffic of passengers between the two countries. The partners' purpose is to create attractive connections and to offer a complete transport service between Switzerland and Italy.
The CEO of FS Italiane, Renato Mazzoncini, and the CEO of FFS, Andreas Meyer, confirmed that the existing cooperation will be guaranteed, without interruption, also under the new leadership.