Since June 2015, the ZEFIRO high-speed trainsets have been known as Frecciarossa ETR1000 and operated at 300km/h during commercial service in Italy.

The contract awarded by Trenitalia for the supply of these trains included an option for sets for cross-border services with France.

Europe’s most recent high-speed lines (HSL) have been designed and developed to a nucleus of common standards called the technical specifications for interoperability (TSI). The same is not true of older lines and even less so of legacy conventional lines. For Zefiro trainsets to be worked in France, adaptations, therefore, had to be made, in particular by installing an extra pantograph. The pantographs must operate at 1,500V, as opposed to  3,000V in Italy, and fitting the safety equipment specifically required for France.

Eurailtest’s partner laboratories, the Railway Test Agency (AEF), the Rolling Stock Engineering Centre at SNCF Mobilités and the test and measurement department at SNCF Réseau are involved in technical validation tests on the following:

  • Additional safety equipment
  • Current collection
  • Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
  • Track circuit drop shunts
  • System changeover at the border

Two ZEFIRO trainsets were made available to facilitate the test scheduling process.

The first test campaign took place in Italy and culminated in the trainsets being approved for operation on the Italian rail network. Tests are now being conducted in France.