S Oct 2013

Ferrovienord: an innovative rail network serving the Lombardy region

Managing Director Marco Barra Caracciolo, gives us an overview of the company. An insight into the infrastructure of one of the most important regional railways in Italy, looking at its history, important development works and innovative projects.

Ferrovienord is the company of the FNM Group (the acronym for Ferrovie Nord Milano – North Milan Railways) which manages the infrastructure franchised out by the Lombardy Region, taking care of routine and extraordinary maintenance of the network, its development and the activation of new systems. FNM, a holding company controlled by the Lombardy Region, is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange and its mission is to provide rail and road transport, mainly for passengers but also freight services, through a group of companies each of which is specialized in its own business activity. In particular, the FNM Group handles rail passenger transport and manages the link toMalpensaInternationalAirport, north ofMilan, as well as road passenger transport and rail freight transport inItaly andEurope. Therefore, despite essentially being a regional railway, it still covers the whole range of activities typical of a large transport operator working on a national level.

The company has a long history as it was established in 1879 for the purpose of building and operating railways in the Lombardy area north of Milan. Electrification (3,000 VDC) of the standard gauge network had already begun back in 1929. Its transformation into a holding company came about in 1985, while in 1993 FNM also acquired the Brescia- Iseo-Edolo railway, thus taking it to its current situation – a network divided into two branches which are not directly linked to one another: the so-called “Milan Branch”, including the historical lines which converge in a spoke-like manner in the north-west of the Lombardy region and lead towards the regional capital, Milan, while the Brescia line to the east runs north to reach the mountain town of Edolo.

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