A New Era in European Luxury Train Travel
October 18, 2023
Wabtec is contributing to the revival of luxury rail travel in Europe through its work on the “La Dolce Vita" train. The project includes the careful refurbishment of historic Trenitalia coaches with custom-designed passenger, gangway, and internal doors and an anti-fire system, and discussions are underway with Wabtec to provide additional components and services for future trains.
“This work is complex and demanding, because it involves the renovation of an existing train,” said Alessandro Notari, Wabtec Key Account Manager for Italian Railway Operators. “For example, we’re going to dismount all the doors and replace the pneumatic mechanism with a new electrical system,” explained
Another challenging aspect of this type of project is the design.
“The customer asked for a lot of design customization,” added Notari. “For example, each internal door is unique. The colors, the position of the porthole and the materials are all different to match the desired ambience in the train’s various compartments. That's what makes all the difference between a luxury project and a standard one.”
Painting the exterior doors is also a huge challenge, as the train’s design includes fine gold lines running horizontally across it: “Because doors are often adjusted during assembly on the train, there could be a mismatch between the door and the car. To account for that, we will apply the door style lines directly onto the wagon,” explained Notari.
An Ambitious Renaissance
Wabtec is part of an all-star team comprised of Italian luxury group Arsenale, and Trenitalia-Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato whose goal is to create an iconic train that captures the glamor of 1960s luxury train travel.
The “La Dolce Vita” train will cover more than 16,000 km of track, 7,000 of them non-electrified, recalling the country's historic treasures. The train will carry passengers through dedicated itineraries from 1 up to 3 nights onboard – visiting destinations such as Rome, Siena, Venice, Palermo and Portofino. La Dolce Vita will offer luxury passenger cabins and suites accommodating up to 62 guests, and a dining car featuring Italian gastronomy.
The first two trains for the La Dolce Vita project will be launched at the end of 2024, each with 12 cars.