Postcard from... Rome
For thousands of Italians making the regular 300-mile trip between Milan and Rome, it seemed to good to be true when not one, but two high-speed rail services emerged in the past few years to whisk them to their destinations. The journey time was slashed from six hours to three and the existence of rival firms meant low prices. But not for the first time the dream of fair competition and a better deal for consumers is turning sour.
NTV, one of the high-speed operators, appears to be in danger of derailing, hit, it alleges, by a mixture of underhand tactics from its state-owned rival Trenitalia, and indifference from MPs.
The firm has demanded in full-page newspaper advertisements that the Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, acts to create a level playing field, after new operating charges imposed by the state-owned rail operator look set to raise its network charges from €120m to €140m a year. The plea follows reports that NTV may have to shed nearly a third of its 1,000 staff after losing €156m in its first two years. Passengers numbers are rising steadily but its trains are still less full than those of Trenitalia, which has also slashed prices, apparently hoping its subsidies would enable it to carry on long enough to see the private firm collapse in the price war.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...