ROMA ARCHEOLOGIA & RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: Rome’s new metro opens to chaos Italian capital’s train line traps passengers and falls short of its destination on a nightmare maiden trip, THE TELEGRAPH, U.K., (10|11|2014).
It took 20 years to build and cost £3bn, but the opening of Rome’s new metro line was bedevilled by embarrassing delays and malfunctions.
The metro line, the capital’s third, was opened to great fanfare on Sunday but to the embarrassment of officials, the first train stopped four stations short of its destination.
Passengers had to disembark, stand on the platform, and wait for another train.
It finally limped onwards, arriving 11 minutes late.
Then the doors got stuck, temporarily trapping dignitaries, including Ignazio Marino, the mayor of Rome, inside the shiny new carriages.
Officials blamed the delay on software problems in the fleet of driverless trains that ply the line.
There were also complaints that lifts and escalators did not work, that seats on the trains were uncomfortable and that access for people with disabilities was inadequate.
“Let’s just hope that the malfunctions will not be a taste of things to come for passengers,” said Carlo Rienzi, the president of Codacons, a national consumer association.
The line, known as Metro C, will be of little use to tourists – it runs between Monte Compatri, about 12 miles south-east of the city, to Parco di Centocelle, on the outskirts of the centre.
The plan is to extend it eventually to Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum in the very heart of the capital, but that is not likely to happen until 2020 at the earliest.
The project, which was first conceived in 1994, was supposed to have been completed by 2000.
But it was hampered for years by bureaucracy, cost over-runs, legal challenges and the fact that excavations in central Rome frequently uncovered ancient archaeological remains that delayed work by months.
It was originally supposed to have cost two billion euros but the final cost is expected to be double that.
— THE TELEGRAPH, U.K., (10|11|2014).