Trams are disappearing in Rome. The case arrives at the Prosecutor’s Office

Tram 2 stopped since the beginning of the year. The 3 now halved and with regional train frequencies. The 8 in slow motion and the 19 crippled for fifteen days by a broken track at the Verano. The tram service in Rome is slowly disappearing: day after day the inconveniences increase and the chaos is now reaching the Prosecutor’s Office. In fact, Codacons today presents a complaint to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Rome, hypothesising the interruption of public service.

The horrible week of the Roman trams

An intervention, that of Codacons, which arrives at the sunset of a horrible week for the Roman trams with four derailments of line 3 due to the presence of leaves and debris on the tracks; with lines 5, 14 and 19 replaced by buses for works in via Bresadola in Centocelle and with the track that from Halloween blocks the trams at Porta Maggiore still far from being repaired. Horrible week that has armed the consumer association. “A chaos tram that could lead to the hypothesis of interruption of public service, considering that users pay a subscription to receive a regular service that today does not seem to be so – explains Carlo Rienzi, lawyer president of Codacons – For this reason we will ask the Prosecutor of Rome to open an investigation into the situation of the tram lines of the capital, ascertaining the facts and the relative responsibilities “.

Discomforts that have been going on for some time

In reality, last week was just the latest, and most striking, of a series of inconveniences that have been going on for some time now. In the beginning it was number 2, which disappeared from circulation and substantially canceled due to the lack of maintenance on the tracks. Then it was the turn of some sections of the tramway so worn that they forced Atac to issue operational notes to slow down the trams. Then it was the turn of 3, which became increasingly limited to Pyramid due to the absence of vehicles on the line. So in September it was the turn of the Otto Volante, a line that leads from Casaletto to Piazza Venezia, which ended up slowed down in several due to problems on the tracks.

Why are Rome’s trams disappearing?

The reason for all these inconveniences is common and can be summarized as follows: old tracks and modern means, incompatible with each other. Basically, as has been known for some time, the “new vehicles” with a low floor are not suitable for Roman tracks and have become worn over time. Not only that: the most recent vehicles (1998, ed.) Have worn out the tracks. This mutual incompatibility has knocked out line 2, crippled line 3 and slowed down line 8. The newest trams, dating back to the early 2000s, are largely damaged and forced into storage awaiting maintenance. In a letter, reported by Lorenzo D’Albergo in Repubblica on 7 November last, Atac wrote to the Campidoglio: “The damage caused to vehicles by defective armament has reduced the number of Fiat trams that can be used for the service to just 18 vehicles”.

Always Repubblica, in a piece signed by Carlo Andrea Tortorelli, on 3 November he wrote: “The situation had been well known for several years and had been framed by Atac in the note sent to the commissioner judges at the end of 2020. With reference to the network tram, the company had recalled that “this has an age of the tracks in operation that varies from 25 to 40 years for over 75% of the network, therefore a large part of the line has exceeded the useful technical life of the tram tracks which generally is equal to 25 years “.

What is being done to correct the problem

Normality would be recoverable with ordinary maintenance, but the entire supply chain of parts is at a standstill. Even on the tracks, maintenance and replacement works are essentially at a standstill. The users of trams 3 and 19, in the section between Porta Maggiore and Prati, know something about it. A broken track has practically evaporated the rail service. On Halloween evening an old vehicle, model Stanga, got stuck on the curve that leads from via Regina Elena onto piazzale del Verano. The movement of the tram by the fire brigade highlighted the detachment of the track. Since then no one has intervened for the repair and in the affected section you travel by bus. Company sources, consulted by RomaToday, are unable to provide certain dates on the restoration.

The planned works

In August, meanwhile, work began on tram 2. “This is a first intervention which will be followed by a second batch of works worth three million euros being designed. These works will serve to stabilize the production of the tram service, contributing thus, a clear improvement in the growth trend of the surface service, which in recent years has increased the quantity of production by profoundly modifying the quality of the production processes “, wrote Atac. On Saturday, the news appeared in the Messaggero that with the start of the new year, work on the tracks of line 8 will begin. Entire sections of tracks will be replaced, which have deteriorated over time: on via Arenula, viale Trastevere and many sections of the Gianicolense construction sites will appear that will force the former roller coaster to a temporary stop. On the rest of the lines there are still no certain times. Sources from the Campidoglio tell RomaToday of intense work on the dossier and news is expected in a couple of weeks.

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