Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Sunday Streamline #38. Italian Style

In the Streamline Race of 1930s, Italy was a powerful entrant full of ambitions.

The ATR 100 class of three-car diesel-motor units built by FIAT in Turin, should be seen as flagships of new streamline fleet - scores of modern, fast lightweight trains. Nine ATRs were ordered by F.S., Italian state-owned railways. The first unit, ATR 101 was ready in 1936. It entered service next year after being exhibited at the Trade Fair in Milan. Eight other trains, #102-109, were pressed into service before the end of 1937.

ATR 101-109 were powered by two FIAT V12 44.5-liter diesel-engines, 350 hp each. They were capable of high speeds, the first one achieving 162 km/h during the tests. Their commercial speed rarely exceeded 120 km/h.

Each unit had 36 first-class and 42 second-class seats in air-conditioned cars. One of the cars was a restaurant. No wonder the the class was labeled treno di lusso, "luxury train". Overall length of each unit was 60 m, full weight - 92 tonnes.

During WWII, the trains were taken out of service. Four were destroyed in the sheds, the other five stripped of their engines and other equipment valuable for the Axis.

After the war, five remaining trains were rebuilt. No fasces on the radiator grille, no restaurant, no kitchen, no air-condition and more seats. And new engine. Now their top speed was limited to 120 km/h, full weight increased to 103 tonnes.

ATR 100s stayed in service through 1950s, one of them, #106, rebuild once again after being severely damaged by fire. They were finally retired in early 1960s. Unfortunately, no ATR 100 is preserved. But we can always enjoy the miniatures, can't we?

In near future, we'll see more Italian streamliners.


Sources: Interrail, Viaggi nella Storia.

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