Italian rail freight company Mercitalia Rail has ordered another 70 Traxx Universal DC locomotives from Alstom in a deal worth €323m. 

The new order was signed during the unveiling ceremony for the first of 20 Traxx DC3 locomotives fitted with low-powered diesel engines for last mile, or Ultimo Miglio, operations to be delivered to the FS subsidiary. 

Sabrina De Filippis, CEO of Mercitalia Logistics, said: “Today represents for us a fundamental stage in the process of relaunching the logistics sector, because with the delivery of these first locomotives with last mile module we are experiencing first-hand the result of our investments.” 

The new contract for another 70 vehicles also includes maintenance services for the rolling stock and an option to purchase another 30 locomotives, building on the first order for the model by Mercitalia signed in 2017 and the 20-strong extension order placed with Alstom in 2022. 

The Ultimo Miglio technology on the locomotives is designed to allow operators to continue operations across non-electrified sections of track and avoid the use of shunting locomotives. 

Italian Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Edoardo Rixi said the purchase of the new trains was part of the country’s €200bn investment into the rail sector over the next 12 years. 

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He said: “To have a modern infrastructure system, Europe must go back to thinking differently than it has done in the last 30 years. 

“Today the Italian logistics system manages 70% of the needs of the national industry and 30% is insured by the ports of Northern Europe, mainly Northern Italy. We must move to a capacity of 120-130% compared to what we have now.”