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 V200.0 in Italy
In 2001 the italian private rail companies FP and FSF merged together with some other companies into Ferrovie Emilia Romagna (FER). In 2003 FER bought 3 V200 from track maintenance companies. That brings the total number of their V200 up to 10. They started to give all locomotives a major overhaul by TZV Gredelj in Zagreb. All locomotives are used for freight trains in the Po area. This special shows the situation in May 2005.

In 2001 FER started the major overhaul programm for their V200 locomotives. The first one, 220 049, was sent to TZV Gredelj in Zagreb at the end of 2001. She was followed by 220 051 in September 2002, 220 060 in June 2003, 220 029 in December 2003, 220 011 and 028 in May 2004 and 220 074 in June 2004. The tabel left shows the status of all V200 locomotives in May 2005 and right is a list of some of the work that is done at the overhaul.
 Status (May 2005)
220 006in service, not overhauled
220 011in service, overhauled
220 028in service, overhauled
220 029damaged by accident
220 041being overhauled
220 045in service, not overhauled
220 049in service, overhauled
220 051in service, overhauled
220 060damaged by accident
220 074being overhauled
 Overhaul items
  • Dismantle
  • Sanding and priming
  • Repair of damaged body parts
  • New diesel engines Caterpillar 3508
  • Reconstruction of cooling system
  • Revision of hydraulic gearbox by Voith
  • New Webasto preheating for diesel engines
  • Revision of compressor
  • New control on the left hand side
  • New airconditioning
  • Better sound isolation
  • Multiple traction system
  • Revision of bogies
  • Replacing wheel tyres
  • Repainting of the locomotive

 Freight trains: 52702 and 52677
These are the steel coils trains from Ravenna to Guastalla and return. These trains are already running for some years, the time table has been changed sometimes. The loaded train runs during the night from Ravenna to Sermide. Then it leaves Sermide at 8:27 and arrives in Suzzara at 9:37. It then goes on to Guastalla. This train is top and tail powered by V200. In Guastalla both locomotives shunt the wagons into the yard and take the empy train back to Suzzara where it should arrive at 11:10. The departure from Suzzara is at 13:10, but on Mondays one hour earlier as the empty ballast train does not run (see below). The empty steel coils train arrives at Sermide at 12:07 where the locomotives will be tanked. The departure from Sermide is at 17:20 for Ravenna.

On Monday 9th May the train left Suzzara one hour early and I was just on time to make this picture near Quistello.

220 028 is pushing the loaded steel coils train into Guastall while 220R01 is pulling out of sight.

The loaded steel coils train was a little bit shorter than usual and therefore hauled by only one V200.

 Freight trains: 82112 and 82107
For the new high-speed line Bologna - Milano the working site Chiozzola (near Parma) needs ballast trains. Because the line Guastalla - Parma is broken due to the work for the high-speed line, the ballast trains are diverted over the FER lines. In the morning the empty ballast train leaves the site at Chiozzola for Suzzara. The empty ballast train arrives in Suzzara between 11:00 en 12:00 and will leave Suzzara at 12:10 for Sermide. In Sermide the locomotives will be fuelled and the drivers have a break of about 45 minutes. Then the train will go on to Ferrara. If all goes well the loaded ballast train is already waiting in Ferrara. This train comes in two parts from Bologna S. Donato, one part by a V200, the second part by a Trenitalia locomotive. The V200 that brought the full ballast train from Bologna will go back to Bologna with the complete empty ballast train. The two V200 that brought the empty ballast train from Chiozzola to Ferrara will take the loaded train and bring it almost non-stop to Guastalla where it arrives in the evening. At about 6:00 the next morning the train will follow its journey to Chiozzola. As from May 17th the loaded ballast train departs at 20:00 from Ferrara.

The empty ballast train near Luzzara heading for Suzzara.

A short loaded ballast train in the evening has almost reached Guastalla.

The empty ballast train has to wait for a red signal to enter the station of Felonica.

 Freight train: 55280
There is also an interesting train running in the morning which is being taken over in Guastalla by ACT. However this train starts in Ravenna at 2:10 to Sermide. It is a mixed train of containers and clay waggons. In the morning it continues to Guastalla and arrives there at about 9:30. A class 1900 (former V160) is already waiting to take over the train to bring it to Dinazzano. The return train is not known.

The green 220R01 passes a level crossing with the container and clay train.

Two days later on almost the same spot D220 011 ER is on this train.

A few minutes after nine o\'clock the train passes the station of Suzzara.

 Freight trains: 95588 and 92395
These tank trains run only on Thursdays. The empty train starts from Ravenna at 7:45. In Ferrara the locomotive has to run to the other side of the train and the same happens in Suzzara. Normally the train arrives at the Mantova Frassine refinery at 13:20, but my one observation was one hour late. The loaded train should leave Mantova at 14:22 and arrive in Ravenna at 19:47. Again the day that I saw this train the delay for the loaded train was almost 2 hours in Suzzara.

The empty train on its way to Mantova.

The delayed loaded train arrives in Suzzara.

The train leaves Suzzara for Ravenna.

 Other freight trains
The freight trains mentioned so far are the most interesting and most frequently running. There are also other, mostly short freight trains. These trains only run on the given days if there is freight.
  • Freight train 55772 is running from Ravenna to Ferrara. It consisted of mixed wagons and starts from Ravenna at 7:45. This train only runs on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
  • Another mixed traffic train that runs on the same days, is the 55771 from Ferrara to Bologna S. Donato. As it starts from Ferrara at 12:51, the same locomotive will run this train as 55772. The return 55904 leaves Bologna S. Donato at 14:46 and arrives in Ferrara at 15:46.
  • Near the new station of Bondeno a new industrial area rises with rail traffic. Optional services are trains 52708 and 52705. The train starts at Ferrara at 14:55 and arrives in Bondeno 20 minutes later. The return starts at 16:35 from Bondeno back to Ferrara. Trains can run on Mondays to Saturdays.
  • Trains from Ferrara to Ostellato and Codigoro are also optional. They can start at Ferrara Porta Reno in the early morning or late afternoon if there is traffic. The line has been extended a couple of years ago for some 10 kilometers behind Codigoro. A sawmill at the end of the extension receives some wagons with wood.
Off course it is also possible that extra trains run, for instance to Decotrain in Valcesura. However these are always on short notice and you have to be lucky to catch one.

 Important notice!
Most trains run from Monday to Friday, but 55280 and 82112/82107 runs from Tuesday to Saturday. Be aware that these freight trains can run earlier or later than planned (or not at all) due to shunting times, traffic requirements and other facts. It is advisable to ask at the stations for the real times. The above situation is just an observation during a short period.
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