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Italy hit by rail strikes in protest over fatal train crash

The Local Italy
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Italy hit by rail strikes in protest over fatal train crash
A passenger is pictured at Roma Termini railway station during a general transport strike in November 2007. Photo by VINCENZO PINTO / AFP)

Italy's rail staff were to strike for eight hours on Thursday, November 30th, in a protest over safety after a fatal train crash in Calabria this week.

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The protest, announced late on Wednesday, was expected to affect services operated by national operators Trenitalia and Italo between 9am and 5pm on Thursday.

FS Italiane and Trenord staff also planned to take part in a 24-hour strike from 9pm on Thursday to 9pm on Friday.

There would be "possible repercussions" for Frecce, Intercity and Regionale services throughout the strike, according to news reports.

Trenitalia warned that the strikes could impact services scheduled before and after these hours.

Trade unions said the protest was to demand greater safety standards on Italy's railways following a collision between a regional passenger train and a truck at a level crossing in Cosenza, in the southern region of Calabria.

According to the latest national media reports, the train conductor, a 61-year-old Italian woman and the driver of the truck were both killed in the collision, while passengers aboard the train were unharmed.

National news outlet RaiNews reported that the truck became stuck on the tracks as it was going through the Corigliano Rossano level crossing and was then hit by the regional train as it travelled at a speed of 130 kilometres per hour.

Italy's railway network operator RFI expressed "sorrow and grief for the victims" on Wednesday. 

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An official investigation into the dynamics of the incident was being carried out by Italy's railway police force and local Carabinieri officers, news agency ANSA reported.

Guaranteed services

As is generally the case with transport strikes in Italy, a number of essential services (servizi essenziali) will be guaranteed to operate during the walkout. 

Private high-speed train company Italo released a list of guaranteed services on Wednesday evening.

A list of Trenitalia services that are generally protected from planned strike action can be found on their website.

Trenord, which operates a number of short- to medium-distance routes in the Lombardy region, said that trains scheduled to depart between 6am and 9am and between 6pm and 9pm will operate as normal.

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