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Transport

25.07.2011

Fire at Rome’s Tiburtina station disrupts Italy’s rail services


A major fire at Rome’s Tiburtina train station on Sunday 24 July has caused the cancellation of many services and long delays in the capital and throughout Italy. On Monday it was also expected to cause considerable disruption to commuter traffic.



The city’s mayor Gianni Alemanno predicted travel problems for a month and advised those living in the area to keep their windows closed as the smoke from the fire is toxic. The blaze began at around 04.00 and was finally brought under control at 18.00 by ten teams from Rome’s fire department.



Many of Italy's principle north-south routes pass through the station located in the east of Rome, en route to Termini station, including the high-speed Frecciarossa trains between Milan, Rome and Napoli.



The Leonardo Express service from Termini to Fiumicino airport is unaffected, however the Fiumicino airport-Orte, which stops at all local stations (including Tiburtina) and is one of the most heavily used commuter lines in the city, has had to cut its service by half.



Services from Termini towards Napoli and other southern destinations are operating because their routes do not include Tiburtina. The Metro B line, which passes under the station, is running but not stopping at Tiburtina.



The Italian railway network has made available a skeleton service of two railway lines at the station – one for regional and the other for national routes, neither of which stops at Tiburtina – with a capacity of four trains per hour.



The closure of Tiburtina has led to commuters moving to Termini station which has seen some trains such as the FR2 Rome-Tivoli-Pescara line relocate its terminus there. The city’s bus provider Atac has introduced a number of special services; for full transport details of bus and rail see www.agenziamobilita.roma.it.



While the cause of the blaze is not yet known, initial investigations appear to have ruled out arson. The most likely cause of the fire is thought to have been an electrical fault in an underground machine room. The railway hub is undergoing major redevelopment at present to cope with the country’s new highspeed railway services which will be directed through Tiburtina rather than Rome’s other station Stazioni Termini.



There are no reports of injuries and although there were about a dozen employees working in the station’s control room at the time of the fire, they escaped unharmed.

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