E656 424 at Siracusa on 25 February 2013 Keith Fender

Italian Caimano to lose passenger work

ITALIAN Railways (Trenitalia) has been slowly withdrawing its Class 656 Bo-Bo-Bo locos for several years.

The 4,200kW 3kV DC locos were officially nicknamed ‘Caimano’ (after caiman or alligators), and 461 were built between 1975 and 1989. Around half were later converted to freight-only Class 655. These are also now being replaced by more modern locos.

Most Class 656 passenger work in mainland Italy was lost around 2013, although the class has continued to operate all Intercity (IC) and Intercity Notte (ICN overnight) trains on the network on Sicily, but this will cease in 2020.

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E656 424 at Siracusa on February 25, 2013, with the 21.45 IC service to Roma Termini. KEITH FENDER

Trenitalia is planning to use more modern Class 464 single-ended locos on the IC/ICN trains to replace the Class 656s with one loco on each end of the train. 

The first such workings are due to begin in June with all Class 656 work replaced by mid-2020 at latest.

Read more News and Features in the May 2019 issue of The RM –on sale now!

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About the Author

Sam Hewitt