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Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A.
Ferrovie dello Stato
Frecciarossa, premier high-speed train
Dates of operation1905 (1905)–present (present)
Length16,829 km (10,457 mi)[1]
Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A.
Company typeS.p.A.
IndustryRail transport, logistics
Key people
Revenue 13,664 million[1] (2022)
202 million[1] (2022)
Number of employees
85,361[1] (2022)

Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane S.p.A. (lit. "Italian State Railways JSC"; previously only Ferrovie dello Stato, hence the initialism FS) is Italy's national state-owned railway holding company that manages transport, infrastructure, real estate services and other services in Italy and other European countries.[2][3]


See also: History of railways in Italy

Early years

Milano Centrale railway station in Milan, inaugurated in 1931

The company was instituted by an act on 22 April 1905, taking control over the majority of the national railways, which up until that time were privately owned and managed.[4][5] The president was nominated by the government. The first Director General was Riccardo Bianchi.[6]

In June 1912 Ferrovie dello Stato owned 5021 steam locomotives, 151 railcars, 10,037 coaches, 3371 baggage cars and 92,990 goods wagons.[7]

With the rise of Fascism, a centralization policy was carried out. The board of directors and chief administrator office were abolished at the end of 1922. The institution was administered by a commissioner, appointed by the King until April 1924.[8] Since then, Ferrovie dello Stato was managed by the newly born Ministry of Communications (including rail transport), under Costanzo Ciano.[6][9]

After the armistice on 8 September 1943, Italy was divided and train operations were separately directed too, with headquarters in Salerno for the south and Verona for the north.[9] At the end of 1944, the Ministry of Communications was split and the new Ministry of Transport was created, including the general management of Ferrovie dello Stato, and in 1945, the company was renamed Azienda Autonoma delle Ferrovie dello Stato.[6]

From World War II to 1985

Settebello, iconic high-speed train of 1950s

The period after World War II was particularly tough for Ferrovie dello Stato, since most of the Italian rail network was severely damaged and the rolling stock was obsolete. The network was rebuilt almost entirely by 1952.[5] Since then, a period of renewal started. New trains were introduced, among them the ETR 300,[10] and many sections of the national network were electrified and sometimes doubled.[6]

In 1957, the new ALn 442/448 multiple unit was introduced, greatly reducing travel time on the Italian network. During these years, the rolling stock was generally renewed and expanded with the mass construction of electrical and diesel multiple units, like the Ale 883, ALe 840 and ALn 772. The FS ALn 668 diesel multiple unit was introduced in 1956.[11] In the following years, 3 MU out of 4 were 668, which replaced many older units. Many electrical multiple units were also introduced during this period, like the ALe 601, progenitor of the Ale 801/940 and ALe 803 EMU, still in use today on regional service.[12][13]

During the 1970s, a new generation of electronically operated railcars and power trains were first introduced on the Italian network, starting with the G.A.I. (Gruppo Aziende Italiane) trains for regional and metropolitan service.[13][14]

The new E.444 was the first attempt on high-speed rail, with a top speed of 200 km/h (120 mph). The ETR 401 (1976) was the first prototype of the new Pendolino class.[5] Following other network improvements, works for the first Italian high-speed rail line started in these years. The Direttissima line from Florence to Rome was partially opened in 1986 and concluded in 1992.[5] In 1986, trains were travelling the line at 200 km/h (120 mph), surpassing for the first time the previous maximum limit of 180 km/h on the Italian network. In 1988, the ETR 450 Pendolino was travelling regularly at 250 km/h (160 mph), today's top speed on the line. The line was the fastest in Europe after the French TGV lines.[15]

The old logo was renewed in 1982 and again in 1994,[16] with the introduction of the XMPR livery [it].

The FS was left unchanged in its administrative structure until the end of 1985. From the following year, after 80 years, the Azienda Autonoma delle Ferrovie dello Stato was replaced by a new company, Ferrovie dello Stato.[17]


FS headquarters in Rome

The newly born Ferrovie dello Stato underwent major structural transformations between 1986 and 1992. The workforce was reduced to half: from 216,310 employees in 1988 to 112,018 in 1999.[18] Divisions were created to rationalize the management.

The organisation was converted from a government agency to a state-owned enterprise in 1992 with the creation of the new Ferrovie dello Stato SpA, a joint-stock company, following a European guideline.[19] However, it was not privatized: it remained fully owned by the Italian Government.[18]

On 1 June 2000, the company's two main divisions, service and infrastructure, were separated and two different independent companies were created: Trenitalia, responsible for transport service, and Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, responsible for the management of the rail infrastructure.[5] Both companies were still subsidiaries of Ferrovie dello Stato Holding SpA.[18][19] In 2011 Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane bought the German Netinera.[20][21]

In July 2016 Busitalia (part of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane) purchased the Dutch company Qbuzz.[22] In February 2017 Trenitalia bought from National Express the British train operating company c2c.[23][24] In September 2017, an agreement to buy 100% of TrainOSE (the Greek railways) for €45 million was signed.[25][26]

Company structure



Blufferies is a subsidiary company of Ferrovie dello Stato (Italy's Rail Infrastructure Manager) that operates ferries across the Strait of Messina. It provides transport across the strait for passengers, cars and trains.[27] The company employs approximately 130 people.[28]


Trenitalia is the most important subsidiary of the company, as it manages all the trains of the company group.[29] Trenitalia is the primary train operator in Italy. It was established in 2000 following a European Union directive on the deregulation of rail transport.[5]

Hellenic Train

Hellenic Train, the sole operator for passenger and the main for freight services in Greece, has been under the company's management since 2017.[26][30] The company employs over 1,000 people.

Other subsidiaries


ANAS (Italian: Azienda Nazionale Autonoma delle Strade, English: National Autonomous Roads Corporation) manages the construction and maintenance of motorways and state highways in Italy.[33][34][35][36]

Ferry service

Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane owns and operates a ferry service for rail trains connecting the mainland to Sicily, crossing the Strait of Messina. They carry InterCity, InterCityNotte and goods wagon by means of ferry boats.[37]

Until 2009 there was another ferry service for freight transport, which was activated in 1961 to connect the continent to the Sardinia, between Civitavecchia and Golfo Aranci.[38] Since 2010, after the regular service has been suspended, there is an on-call service for Messina Marittima and Villa San Giovanni Mare.[39]

Former CEOs

The former company CEOs were: Lorenzo Necci (1989–1996), Giancarlo Cimoli (1996–2004), Elio Catania (2004–2006), Mauro Moretti (2006–2014), Michele Mario Elia (2014–2015), Renato Mazzoncini (2015–2018) and Gianfranco Battisti (2018-2021).[40]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2022" (PDF). Retrieved 2 September 2023.
  2. ^ "Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane SpA". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  3. ^ "FirstGroup and Trenitalia announce joint rail franchise bids". BBC News. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  4. ^ "Direzione compartimentale delle ferrovie 1908 - 1971" (in Italian). Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Finger, Matthias; Montero, Juan (2020). Handbook on Railway Regulation: Concepts and Practice. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 9781789901788.
  6. ^ a b c d Giorgio Stagni. "100 anni di storia delle FS - Parte 1" [100 years of FS history - Part 1]. (in Italian). Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  7. ^ Victor Freiherr von Röll: Enzyklopädie des Eisenbahnwesens. Band 6, Urban & Schwarzenberg, Berlin, 1914, p. 297. (in German)
  8. ^ "Le grandi infrastrutture: il sistema delle ferrovie e delle autostrade" (in Italian). Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  9. ^ a b Il cinquantenario delle ferrovie dello Stato [1905-1955] (in Italian). Direzione generale delle ferrovie dello Stato. 1955.
  10. ^ Nock, O.S. (1978). The Settebello: speed and luxury. World Atlas of Railways. New York: Mayflower Books. pp. 118–119. ISBN 0-8317-9500-X.
  11. ^ Di Majo, Franco; Racca, Carlo (2020). ALn 668 - Un successo della ingegneria ferroviaria italiana (in Italian). Vol. 35 n.2. pp. 103–117.
  12. ^ L'elettrificazione delle FS [The electrification of the FS] (in Italian). Ferrovie dello Stato. 1961.
  13. ^ a b Cornolò, Giovanni (1985). Automotrici elettriche dalle origini al 1983 (in Italian). Duegi Editrice. pp. 249–260. ISBN 978-8895096056.
  14. ^ Pautasso, Sergio (1989). ALe 724, Treni GAI, ALe 582. Dalla metropolitana alle medie distanze (in Italian). Torino: Edizioni Locodivision. ISBN 88-85079-01-6.
  15. ^ "stagniweb/FS102". Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  16. ^ "Il marchio Ferrovie dello Stato" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 17 January 2022. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  17. ^ "LEGGE 17 maggio 1985, n. 210, Istituzione dell'ente "Ferrovie dello Stato"". Italian Government. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  18. ^ a b c "Il lungo treno della privatizzazione: da Ferrovie di Stato a ferrovie di libero mercato. Trent'anni di trasformazioni raccontate dai ferrovieri" [The long train of privatization: from state railways to free market railways. Thirty years of transformations told by railway workers]. Storia e Futuro (in Italian). Archived from the original on 20 April 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  19. ^ a b Florio, Massimo (2017). The Reform of Network Industries: Evaluating Privatisation, Regulation and Liberalisation in the EU. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 9781786439031.
  20. ^ "Trasporti, Fs si espande in Germania. Comprato il gestore Arriva Deutschland" [Transport, FS expands to Germany. Bought the manager Arriva Deutschland] (in Italian). 8 December 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  21. ^ "Trenitalia acquires full ownership of Netinera Deutschland" (in Italian). Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  22. ^ "Italian railways buys Dutch bus group Qbuzz". Reuters (in Italian). 13 July 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  23. ^ "Trenitalia completes acquisition of c2c from National Express" (in Italian). Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  24. ^ "Trenitalia to acquire British franchise from National Express" (in Italian). 11 January 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  25. ^ "Greece completes sale of railway operator to Italy's Ferrovie". Reuters. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  26. ^ a b "FS completes acquisition of Greek national operator Trainose". Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  27. ^ "Bluferries". Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  28. ^ "Bluferries". Retrieved 2023-01-10.
  29. ^ "Trenitalia SpA". Bloomberg News (in Italian). Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  30. ^ "FS Italiane Now Owns Greek Railway Operator Trainose". 19 January 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  31. ^ "Rete Ferroviaria Italiana SpA". Bloomberg News (in Italian). Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  32. ^ "FS launches new Mercitalia freight division". International Railway Journal. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  33. ^ "ANAS-FS merger boosts investments-Delrio". ANSA Politics. 14 April 2017.
  34. ^ Ardù, Barbara (18 January 2018). "Fs-Anas, via libera dell'Antitrust e firmata la fusione" [Fs-Anas, green light from the Antitrust and merger signed]. La Repubblica (in Italian).
  35. ^ "Chi siamo" [Who We Are]. Anas (in Italian). 22 August 2016.
  36. ^ "Group Companies: Anas". Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane.
  37. ^ Betti Carboncini, Adriano (1997). Ferry-boats un secolo. Navi traghetto, approdi e collegamenti dalla Rete Sicula alle Ferrovie dello Stato (in Italian). Calosci, Cortona. ISBN 88-7785-125-2.
  38. ^ Altara, Edoardo (1992). Binari a Golfo Aranci - Ferrovie e treni in Sardegna dal 1874 ad oggi (in Italian). Ermanno Albertelli Editore. pp. 129–136. ISBN 88-85909-31-0.
  39. ^ "Aggiudicata al cantiere spagnolo Hijos de J. Barreras il terzo traghetto di Rfi per lo Stretto" (in Italian). 10 December 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  40. ^ "Battisti new CEO of rail operator FS". 30 July 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2020.