On Tuesday, May 24 2016 at 01.42 pm the first Vulcano train produced by NEWAG S.A. for Ferrovia Circumetnea (FCE) set off for its inaugural ride from Catania Borgo railway station. The four Vulcano trains have been produced for the Italian train operator under an executive contract signed in December 2013 whose net value totaled EUR 14,760,000.00. The first train has been approved for passenger traffic having successfully covered 3000km in test rides. Initially Vulcano trains will operate during morning and afternoon rush hours carrying local passengers to work and schools on the Catania –Riposto route.
Vulcano DMUs are narrow gauge diesel multiple units manufactured to operate on the route around Etna volcano in Sicily. These are modern, two-unit trains on which special ‘powerpack’ power-transmission systems were mounted together with a specially designed electric transmission. Advanced technological solutions implemented in the driving and gear systems and in the support of the train body have resulted in enhanced sound insulation of the passenger’s compartment in accordance with strict requirements of the Contracting Authority.
Vulcano trains offer enhanced travel comfort to both passengers and train drivers. They are fully air-conditioned and adapted to transporting passengers with reduced mobility. One section is fitted with a retention-tank toilet adapted to the needs of the disabled (in compliance with TSI PRM) and the external door area is fitted with special movable ramps for wheelchairs. Driver’s cabs equipped with ergonomic control panels and modern equipment have enhanced driver’s working conditions.
Vulcano DMUs guarantee the highest safety standards because they were designed in accordance with standards concerning collision safety and crashworthiness (PIII according to EN 12663 and EN 15227+A1 C-III). The train interior is made with materials satisfying fire resistance requirements of EN45545 standard and the vehicle itself is equipped with an active fire detection and fire-fighting system.
Thanks to the configuration of the passenger compartment, the train can be operating on both urban and suburban lines. Easily-modified seat layout allows for optimizing passenger capacity. The seating capacity is 106 including 7 fold-up seats, and it may be changed depending on the carrier’s needs.
To ensure passenger safety, the DMUs have been equipped with a monitoring system. Other features include a passenger counting system, the GPS system, a modern passenger information system as well as an intercom enabling communication between the drivers and passengers.
Vulcano DMUs travel with a speed of 100 km/h and are adjusted to operate in multiple traction.
Under the executive agreement, NEWAG has delivered four trains. Under the framework agreement, FCE may order additional six trains in the future.