The density of the rail network in Lombardy is impressive and the variety of services guaranteed is without parallel in any other region of Italy. But few individuals, even amongst the employees themselves, are aware of the specific details concerning the complexity of running an infrastructure that is truly strategic, not just to northern Italy’s rail services but also on a national and international level. We met Umberto Lebruto, Head of the Maintenance and Operations Department in Milan, who genuinely surprised us when he outlined not just the competences and activities carried out by his department, but also the numerous investments that Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (Italian Rail Network) is or will soon be making in order to improve the efficiency of the infrastructure further still. These very specific and “technical” investments rarely make the headlines but they are absolutely essential for making sure that all the railway undertakings can get the best use out of tracks, stations and terminals.
Railway Engineering: Mr Lebruto, you head one of RFI’s most important Maintenance and Operations Departments. What area are you in charge of and what are your tasks?
Umberto Lebruto: I am in charge of the Maintenance and Operations Department in Milan. In particular I manage routine and extraordinary maintenance operations on the Rete Ferroviaria Italiana infrastructures in Lombardy. What’s more I am also in charge of rail traffic circulation on this network. Operations therefore means not just maintenance services, but also circulation and business operations such as shunting, station and high-speed services.
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