Innotrans 2018, FS Italiane: development of the railway business in Europe and in international markets

Berlin, 19 September 2018

Development of the railway business in Europe and in non-EU markets, future scenarios for competition in the transport market on the Old Continent, and strategies to export Italian railway know-how abroad.

These are the topics discussed today at InnoTrans 2018, the international fair dedicated to rail transport, during the Internationalization and Foreign Markets round table and during the International Markets Focus session.

Sitting at the Internationalization and Foreign Markets round table, moderated by Barbara Morgante, Director of Central Governance and Foreign Participants for FS Italiane, were: Jost Knebel, CEO of Netinera Deutschland, and Mirko Pahl, Managing Director of TX Logistik, companies operating in Germany, in passenger transport (iron and rubber) and in freight and logistics, respectively. Also participating were Ernesto Sicilia, President of Trenitalia UK, a company that owns 100% of Trenitalia c2c, operating with a commuter service between London and Shoeburyness (Essex), and Johan Thissen, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Qbuzz, controlled by Busitalia, the third Dutch operator of local public road transport. Rounding off the panel were Petros Arvanitis, Economic Advisor to the CEO and Head of Budget and Control of TrainOSE, the most important railway company in Greece, and Maria Luisa Grilletta, Member of the Board of Thello, a company that offers train connections (day and night) between Italy and France.

FS Italiane is one of the leading transport operators in Europe, and a benchmark market presence (1.4 billion euro in international business revenue in 2017, 15 percent of total revenue, 9.3 billion euros).

In Germany, FS Italiane is the second largest passenger transport operator on rails. Netinera Deutschland (turnover of 620 million euro in 2017) has a fleet of 358 trains and 978 buses and carries 88 million passengers a year. Netinera has a market share of 5.4 percent of total German regional transport. TX Logistik, a subsidiary of Mercitalia Logistics (FS Italiane Group), transports 11 million tonnes of goods a year. It is the second largest railway company in the sector in Germany with a turnover of 286.5 million euro in 2017. TX Logistik concentrates its activity along the North-South European axis between Italy and Sweden, where it connects 34 freight terminals with 80 locomotives and 1,150 freight cars. TX Logistik also has a significant specialization in the transportation of goods in the automotive sector.

In Great Britain, FS Italiane is represented by Trenitalia UK, which controls Trenitalia c2c, the UK's most punctual commuter rail operator (95.9 percent of trains arrived on time in 2017 compared to competitors average 88.3 percent). Trenitalia c2c - 200 million euro in turnover in 2017 - manages the commuter service between London and Shoeburyness (Essex) with over 400 trains carrying more than 130,000 passengers every day. Trenitalia UK, in a joint venture with First Group, is participating in the tender for the award, in 2019, of services on the West Coast line (1,190 km) between London and Edinburgh (which includes the management of HS2, the new high-speed line between London and Manchester).

FS Italiane is the third largest operator in local public transport in The Netherlands. Qbuzz, controlled by Busitalia (FS Group Italiane), manages the Local Public Transport (TPL) services in the areas of Utrecht, Groningen-Drenthe and, from December 2018, will also cover the area of Drechtsteden, Alblasserwaard en Vijfheerenlanden (DAV), between Utrecht and Rotterdam. Qbuzz, turnover of about 200 million in 2017, has a fleet of 614 buses and 26 trams and carries around 160,000 passengers per day.

TrainOSE, controlled by FS Italiane, is the most important railway company in Greece with a turnover of 121 million euro in 2017 and about 300 passenger trains per day. In Greece, high-speed rail transport will be developed with the completion of the infrastructure-electrification and installation of European Train Control System (ETCS) - on the Athens-Thessaloniki line (495 km), which currently connects the two most important cities in the country with a travel time over 5 hours. Journey time will drop to 3 hours 20 minutes starting in 2020. TrainOse is equipping itself with better performing trains to ensure passengers high standards of speed, comfort, and punctuality. TrainOse recently operated a test run with the Frecciargento ETR 485, which covered the Salonicco Katerini line (Athens-Thessaloniki line), surpassing 200 km/h and beating the Hellenic speed record on rails.

Thello, a subsidiary of Trenitalia (FS Group) in France, offers eight daily connections between Italy and France. Six diurnal between Milan and Marseilles, via Genova-Montecarlo, and two nocturnal between Venice and Paris, via Milan. Thello, which carries one million passengers each year to 27 destinations between Italy and France, has just renewed the night train carriages to improve passenger comfort.

At the International Markets Focus session, Filippo Scotti, Central Director of FS International, illustrated strategies to export Italian railway know-how in non-European markets, with transport solutions tailored to specific customer needs.

FS International exports the excellence of the FS Group in know-how, innovation, and best practices in railway transport technologies to those extra-European markets characterized by an adequate attractiveness profile for the Italian system.

The railway infrastructure market in non-European countries for the coming years foresees an important development with investments worth approximately 2,000 billion euro between 2018 and 2026, accounting for over 60 percent of global infrastructure investments. FS International develops projects for passenger, freight, and mass transport, through Master Plan Transport, feasibility studies, preliminary and executive projects, work supervision, and testing. FS International also operates in Operation & Maintenancesafety, and staff training.