ltalo's adventure started in 2006. And it is the story of an entirely Italian business. Italian as to its capital, because its founders are Italian - Luca di Montezemolo, Diego Della Valle, Gianni Punzo and Giuseppe Sciarrone - and because the great majority of its shareholders are Italian. Italian in its head, because it was conceived, designed, built and put into service by Italian engineers. Italian in its heart, because studying and working with their heart our young Italians have shown what they are capable of when you offer them a job, professional training and responsibility. And at Italo, the aspect we are all proudest of is precisely the fact that this company, the first in Europe to launch a major project to change and develop rail transport, is Italian.
When Italy implemented the Community legislation on the deregulation of rail transport, many doubted that a private company could become a consolidated business.
Yet the people, technologies, innovation, training, the new service model, the modern thinking, but also the courage and enthusiasm, made the difference. The start-up phase, that lasted almost six years, highlighted the tenacity and determination of a group of shareholders that believed in the strength of competition and in the quality of the new way of travelling, in spite of all odds. And that invested over a billion euro in the project, all private capital, without any aid or public parachute.
And since the first ltalo train left its platform at the Napoli railway station, at 7 a.m. on 28 April 2012, Italian deregulation and ltalo have become a case study. Not only for the European Union, which follows the developments carefully and considers ltalo a trailblazer for a deregulation that soon will cover the whole of Europe, but also for railways throughout the world which, periodically, come to visit Italo in Italy, to study the innovation, quality of service, the business model and the effects of deregulation on rail transport.