Since today, 26 November 2022, the first passengers have been able to ride on the first section of Milan’s new metro line M4. Despite its name, it is already the fifth metro line in the northern Italian metropolis, as the M5 had already started operation a few years earlier. Like them, the new M4 is fully automatic and driverless. Hitachi Rail Italy supplied 37 four-section trains from its factories in the country, of the same model that has been in service on the M5 line for several years.
Hitachi Rail had only recently received another order from ATM as operator of the Milan metro – a framework contract for 46 six-car trains for the older lines. The first of the 21 trains on firm order for the M1 line is due to arrive in 2024.
The route of the M4
When completed, the M4 will be 15 km long in total and run entirely underground. The first section of the line, which has just been opened, runs from Linate city airport to Dateo serving six stations. In the next stages it is foreseen to open another 15 stations by 2024. From Dateo, the line will run through the southern city centre to San Cristiforo, connecting to the metro lines M1, 2 and M3 along its route. All stations are equipped with platform doors, which are required in Italy for automatic operation. In the further future, an extension beyond San Cristoforo to Corsico is also planned.
The M4 has been under construction for 10 years and the first section was originally scheduled to start operation in 2015. Around 30% of the costs of about €1.7 billion are borne by private investors, with the remaining share contributed by the city of Milan and the central government of Rome. About 85 million passengers are expected on the entire line per year.26.11.2022