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Italian rail chief announces 11-billion-euro five-year plan

Funds needed to respond to 'needs of commuters', Moretti says

11 February, 15:02
Italian rail chief announces 11-billion-euro five-year plan (ANSA) - Rome, February 11 - Italian rail company chief Mauro Moretti announced on Tuesday that Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) would be spending 11 billion euros over five years to buy new trains.

Details of the investment programme would be presented over the next few days, Moretti said.

The FS chief executive officer (CEO) added that a further three billion euros would come from the State each year under the terms of the rail company's programme contract with the transport ministry.

"We haven't received a penny from the State to buy new trains for over ten years," Moretti said. He applauded an initiative of Premier Enrico Letta's left-right government to allocate 200 million euros towards non-polluting trains.

"It marks a change of tendency but it is not enough to respond to the needs of commuters," the rail chief said.

Italy's rail network has come under strain in recent years as resources have been directed towards the development of high-speed rail links at the expense of local commuter services.