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New Pendolino

New Pendolino
ETR 600 / 610 (Trenitalia)
RABe 503 (SBB)
Avant S-114 (Renfe)
ED250 (PKP)
ETR 600 in Trenitalia livery
Manufacturer Alstom
Built at Savigliano (ITA)
Constructed 2006 – today
Entered service 2008
Number built 47 + 12
Formation 7 cars, 4 motors and 3 trailers
Capacity 430 + 2 wheel chairs
Train length 187.4 m (615 ft)
Car length 26.2 m (85 ft 11 in) (total length 28.2 m or 92 ft 6 in)
Width 2.83 m (9 ft 3 in)
Maximum speed 250 km/h (155 mph)
Weight 387 t (381 long tons; 427 short tons)
421 t (414 long tons; 464 short tons) (loaded)
Axle load 16.5 t (16.2 long tons; 18.2 short tons) (with passengers)
Power output 5,500 kW (7,400 hp)
Electric system(s) 3 kV DC – 25 kV AC (ETR 600)
3 kV DC – 25 kV AC – 15 kV (16.7 Hz) AC (ETR 610)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The New Pendolino is a class of high-speed tilting trains built by Alstom Ferroviaria for Trenitalia, SBB, Renfe, and PKP, known as the ETR 600 / 610, RABe 503, Avant S-114 and ED250 respectively. They represent a further development of the earlier Pendolino models in order to better respond to the requirements expressed by the market and the customers of Trenitalia and Cisalpino.


  • Overview 1
    • ETR 610 / RABe 503 1.1
    • ED250 (Poland) 1.2
  • Technical characteristics 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


FS ETR 600 at Bologna

The name, Pendolino, is used to identify a family of high-speed, tilting-technology trains, produced in Italy. These trains owe their name (pendolino can mean 'small pendulum' in Italian) to the mechanism enabling them to tilt when going round a bend. The maximum tilt of 8 degrees allows the trains to reach a speed that is up to 35% higher than for conventional trains, whilst assuring the greatest safety and comfort for passengers. Developed by Alstom Ferroviaria, which inherited tilting technology (including that of the British Advanced Passenger Train) after its acquisition of former producer Fiat Ferroviaria, they are built at Alstom’s Savigliano plants, in Piedmont, as well as in Sesto San Giovanni near Milan (which will supply the traction converters).

The Pendolino first began service in Italy in 1988, with model ETR 450, followed by ETR 460, ETR 470 and ETR 480. A new model generation was launched in 2006 with ETR 600 for Trenitalia and ETR 610 / RABe 503 for Cisalpino, a railway company that operated trains between Switzerland and Italy. Manufacturer Alstom labeled them as New Pendolino.

ETR 610 / RABe 503

The ETR 610 / RABe 503 (also known as the Cisalpino Due as it was the second class of tilting trains exploited by Cisalpino) primarily differs from the ETR 600 in the sense that the ETR 610 / RABe 503 supports the voltage and signalling systems used in Switzerland and Germany. This includes the need for much heavier on-board traction power transformers necessary as a result of the lower traction power frequency of 16.7 Hz used in Switzerland and Germany in comparison with those required for the 25 kV 50 Hz AC traction power supplies. The innovative features concern the interior and exterior design, now closer to the customers’ brand strategy and an improved comfort and services for passengers. Moreover, some important technical characteristics have been increased, such as the power of the traction unit and the level of redundancy of components and equipment, in order to improve reliability. The new trains will be produced in full accordance with the new regulations governing interoperability (for example, passive security in case of impact).

ED250 (Poland)

On 30 May 2011 the Polish state railways PKP signed an agreement with Alstom for 20 Pendolinos ETR 610 for delivery in 2014.[1][2] The first Pendolino was delivered on August 12, 2013.[3] The new trains, called Pendolino ED250, will operate on the route from Gdynia to Warsaw and on the high-speed CMK Central Rail Line from Kraków/Katowice to Warsaw.[4]

High speed tests using the new Pendolino ED250 on the CMK Central Rail Line began in November 2013. On the first day of tests, November 16, the Pendolino reached 242 km/h (150 mph).[5] On 17 November 2013 a new speed record for Polish railways was set when the Pendolino ED250 reached a speed of 291 km/h (181 mph),[6] breaking the 19-year record of 250.1 km/h (155 mph). On 24 November 2013 the final day of tests on the CMK Central Rail Line the Pendolino reached 293 km/h (182 mph).[7]

The contract between the Polish operator PKP Intercity and Alstom called for the first eight Pendolino ED250 trainsets to be delivered on 6 May 2014, tested ('homologated') for operation at 250 km/h (155 mph) using European Train Control System Level 2 signalling. The tests had not been performed by May, and PKP announced that Alstom had failed to meet the contract terms and would be charged penalties as of May 6.[8] Alstom responded that homologation in Poland at 250 km/h using ETCS Level 2 was impossible, since ETCS Level 2 was not operational anywhere in Poland, and the Central Rail Line (Poland) where the first ED250 Pendolino had reached 293 km/h in testing was equipped with ETCS Level 1, not Level 2.[9] On 26 June 2014 a compromise was reached between PKP and Alstom under which the Pendolinos would be delivered under a two-stage homologation, first homologated for operation using ETCS Level 1 and eventually to be homologated for ETCS Level 2. Hopes were expressed that the Pendolinos could be in service by 14 December 2014.[10][11]

Technical characteristics

The trains have the following characteristics:

  • Seven cars, 4 motors and 3 trailers
  • Gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
  • Voltage:
    • ETR 600 (Trenitalia): 3 kV DC – 25 kV AC
    • ETR 610 (Swiss Federal Railways): 3 kV DC – 25 kV AC – 15 kV (16.7 Hz) AC
  • Length of coach: 26.2 metres (85 ft 11 in) (total length 28.2 metres or 92 feet 6 inches)
  • Total length: 187.4 m (615 ft)
  • Width: 2.83 m (9 ft 3 in)
  • Maximum load per axle: 16.5 t (16.2 long tons; 18.2 short tons) (with passengers)
  • Weight: 387 t (381 long tons; 427 short tons)
  • Total weight under normal load (with seated passengers): 421 t (414 long tons; 464 short tons)
  • Maximum speed: 250 km/h (155 mph)
  • Total installed power: 5,500 kW (7,400 hp)
  • Seating: 430 +2 for wheel chair users
  • Tilting actuating system: electro-hydraulic
  • HVAC system with built-in redundancy

The new Pendolino will be fitted with the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 signalling system and also SCMT, while the trains produced for the Swiss Federal Railway (ETR 610) will have ETCS, SCMT, ZUB, LZB and Integra-Signum systems.

See also


  1. ^ Railway Gazette International, 31 May 2011, 'PKP Intercity signs Pendolino Contract,'
  2. ^ Gazeta Krakowska,pkp-intercity-zamawia-20-pociagow-new-pendolino,id,t.html
  3. ^ 'The first Pendolino (EIC Premium) is already in Poland,' Alstom Press Release
  4. ^ Railway Gazette International, 8 December 2011, Polish high speed rail project cancelled,
  5. ^ 'Pendolino osiągneło na CMK 242 km/h,' Kurier kolejowy 16 11 2013,
  6. ^,374015,s.html TVN24 Katowice
  7. ^ 'Bariera 300 km/h nie padła. Na koniec testów 293 km/h,' Rynek Kolejowy, 2013 11 24,
  8. ^
  9. ^ Railway Gazette International, 23 Dec 2013, 'First ETCS Certified in Poland,'
  10. ^ 'Jest porozumienie PKP w sprawie Pendolino, ruszy przed świętami,,Jest-porozumienie-PKP-w-sprawie-Pendolino-ruszy-14-grudnia
  11. ^ 'End of Pendolino Dispute,'

External links

  • Pendolino – Alstom
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