Passenger and freight railSince 2015, the annual volume of rail passengers in Italy has grown steadily following the arrival of a new privately owned competitor in the market in 2012: Italo S.p.A. Italy’s passenger rail landscape has thereafter been dominated by two passenger rail operators: Trenitalia – with a market share of just under three-quarters – and the aforementioned Italo. The nation is furthermore not only home to the fourth-largest high-speed rail network in Europe after Spain, France, and Germany, but it also boasts two of the world’s fastest high-speed trains: Italo’s AGV and the ETR 500 Frecciarossa.
Four of Europe’s eleven major rail freight corridors (RFCs) run through Italy: Rhine–Alpine (RFC 1), Scandinavian–Mediterranean (RFC 3), Baltic–Adriatic (RFC 5), and Mediterranean (RFC 6). The share of inland freight transported in Italy is, as has been the case over the last decade, dominated by road transport, with rail freight representing under one-quarter of all freight goods transported nationwide. Over the past few years, Italy had seen a significant increase in its yearly volume of goods transported by rail, albeit it with some fluctuations.
Pandemic stifles demandPrior to the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for rail travel over air or road travel was steadily increasing in Italy. For example, the Ferrovie dello Stato Group – of which Trenitalia is a subsidiary – recorded its best-ever operating revenue level in the 2019 financial year. However, Italy’s rail services and passenger rail activity were heavily reduced by the Covid-19 outbreak in northern Italy. Rail freight services in Italy also declined: The estimated loss of revenue for the entire rail freight sector between March and the end of June 2020 is 150 million euros. Furthermore, the sector is expected to incur extra costs of around 20 million euros for personal protective equipment and disinfectant in this same time frame.
For further information about the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.