A new workshop-warehouse for the maintenance of historical ETR

A new maintenance hub for the storage of the famous Settebello, Arlecchino, ETR 230, 450 and ALe 601, the precursors of high-speed trains.

In an area within the former OGR (the Officine Grandi Riparazioni - the large repair workshops) of Bologna, the FS Foundation has determined the best spaces for a plant dedicated to the maintenance of the stupendous electric trains of the period from 1930 to 1970 within the historic fleet of rolling stock, destined to the new charter segment operated by the FS Foundation.

As of 1 September, intensive operations will commence for the restoration of an area equal to approximately 10,000 square metres comprised of covered and open-air areas. The operations will mainly focus on the adaptation of security measures, the construction of a perimeter wall, entryways and the installation of an efficient video surveillance system. In addition, work will be carried out to overhaul the railway armament and create a new overhead power line to also electrify the second internal track within the shed.

Part of the buildings will be utilised for exhibition space, offices and technical premises. The overall investment for these intensive activities shall be approximately 1.5 million euro. Once reconstructed, the Deposito Officina Rotabili Storici di Bologna will generate work for more than 50 people, including subsidiary [ERKdJ1] and internal resources.

The Officine Grandi Riparazioni in Bologna, strongly rooted in the productive fabric of the city, represented one of the most significant industrial realities in the Emilia capital. Destroyed during the Second World War and then reconstructed post-war, it made a great contribution to the modernisation of rail transport in Italy throughout the economic boom. This is where maintenance was performed on the first high-speed trains that shortened distances between the big cities throughout the country.

“With the development of the new segment dedicated to historic fast trains, the precursors of today's HS locomotives," says Director General of the Fondazione FS, Luigi Cantamessa, "it proved necessary to create a new maintenance site dedicated to the ETR fleet, a site that adds to those already operating in Milan, La Spezia Migliarina and Pistoia. We chose Bologna because the vast plant, recently decommissioned, is well-suited to accommodating the electrotrains that have forged the history of Ferrovie dello Stato. Our intention is to create a site dedicated to maintenance but also a living and usable space, in which it will be possible to set up exhibitions and organise large-scale cultural events, using as a backdrop the wonderful electrotrains of the past: the Settebello, the Arlecchino and the Pendolino. Once the intensive activities have been completed - which will continue for a biennium - we will inaugurate the fourth maintenance hub of the FS Foundation and shall ultimately hand over a productive area that will have a new life in the heart of the city."