Rome Termini Station / Italy

A station floating above the tracks!


Italian railway system:

PNG - 85.1 kb
SMGG “stations” study - Holding-type organisation of Italian railways
UIC 2013

**Organisational structure of the railways

The Italian railways are managed by a holding company, Ferrovie dello stato (FS), which is 100% publicly-owned. In addition to managing the infrastructure, this body is in charge of operating most passenger trains and many goods trains.

The infrastructure manager, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), a publicly-owned subsidiary of FS, is in charge of maintenance, traffic management, allocation of train paths and access to the network. RFI manages all the stations on the network, in some cases through small local infrastructure managers.

In Italy, the incumbent operator for passenger transport is Trenitalia, also a subsidiary of FS. Following the opening up to competition, other operators can use the Italian network, albeit under the watchful eye of the Uficio per la Regolazione dei Servizi Ferroviari (URSF) since 2003.

**Italian railway network

The main railway network comprises 19 394 km of standard-gauge lines (track gauge of 1.435 m), Sardinia and Sicily included. Ferrovie dello Stato operate 16 178 km of standard-gauge lines in total, including 10 688 km of electrified lines with 3 000 V direct current.

The narrow-gauge network represents roughly 1 300 km, including 1 211 km with a gauge of 0.95 m and 112 km of metre-gauge track. The network is sparse, especially in the south of the country.

In 2011 operating charges were between €1.40 and €6.99 per train-km, depending on the type of train.

Governance and financing of Italian stations


The stations are currently owned and managed by RFI (the infrastructure manager), Grandi Stazioni and Centostazioni. RFI manages the strictly rail-related elements of all stations. Grandi Stazioni and Centostazioni are in charge of maintaining and redeveloping the station buildings as well as renting and managing retail areas in stations.

Grandi Stazioni SA is owned by FS Holding (60%) and EuroStazioni (40%), the latter being a European company (Pirelli, Edizione, Vianini Lavori and SNCF). Grandi Stazioni SA manages 13 major railway stations in Italy. Grandi Stazioni’s obligations are set out in 40-year concession contracts with RFI that were signed in 2000 (after the first renovation of Rome Termini). These contracts include obligations for Grandi Stazioni to renovate the stations it manages (Grandi Stazioni pays 40% of rental income back to RFI every year).

Centostazioni SA is in charge of redeveloping 103 stations on the Italian railway network. Since its creation in 2002, the aim of the company has been to develop and manage the real estate owned by FS Holding. The company is a partnership between FS (60%) and Archimède (40%), a company belonging to SAVE Group, Manutencoop, Banco Popolare and Pulitori ed Affini.

RFI is in charge of the operational side of business, while Grandi Stazioni and Centostazioni focus on commercial and real estate aspects; the main objective is to optimise the value of facilities in terms of commercial activity, real estate value and attractiveness to investors.


  • Financing of construction and renovation of stations: Italian government, RFI and Grandi Stazioni.
  • Financing of operating costs of stations: rental income, station access fees.

Classification of Italian stations: according to the following criteria:

  • Touristic / architectural / cultural value of the station.
  • Number of different train types (high speed, intercity, regional, local).
  • Connections with other transport modes.
  • Presence of retail areas.
  • Number of platforms for passenger trains.
  • Number of tracks for passenger trains.
Station category Description
Platinum Major stations with large passenger flows.
High-quality services provided. Stations which are also shopping centres, providing services to people who are not travelling by rail.
Gold Major stations with large passengers flows and appropriate services.
Silver Stations for all passenger categories or for regional or suburban services with large passenger flows.
Bronze Small stations that can be categorised as stops, with small passenger flows and no building serving as a station open to passengers.

Renovation policy for stations in Italy:

The Grandi Stazioni project was developed in view of transforming and renovating the major Italian stations (classified according to the aforementioned criteria): Turin Porta Nuova (TOPN), Milan Centrale (MIC), Genoa Brignole (GEB), Genoa Porta Principe (GEPP), Venice S. Lucia (VESL), Venice Mestre (VEM), Verona Porta Nuova (VRPN), Bologna Centrale (BOC), Florence S. Maria Novella (FISMN), Rome Termini (RMT), Naples Centrale (NAC), Bari Centrale (BAC) and Palermo Centrale (PAC). The deciding factor in this selection was the exceptional commercial potential of these stations. The project consists in:

JPEG - 9.6 kb
Grandi Stazioni project. Source, Grandi Stazioni - UIC 2013
  • Turning 13 of the largest stations into multimodal transport hubs.
  • Improving service quality in the stations and enhancing the range of commercial services.
  • Improving accessibility in the stations.
  • Improving security in the stations with the implementation of a new “surveillance and monitoring system for the general facilities”.

This is an ambitious project, initially set to last 3 years (starting in 2009) but somewhat extended subsequently.

**Financing the “Grandi Stazioni” project

The cost of renovating the railway stations was numbered at € 369 million, € 200 million of which were to be financed by Grandi Stazioni S.p.A. funds (€ 150 million financial agreement with the European Investment Bank). Additional costs for renovating other infrastructure at station level will amount to roughly € 21.56 million, of which € 20.66 million will be covered by mixed funds and € 0.90 million by the state.


  • Capitalise on the potential of certain major Italian stations.
  • Improve the image of Italian railway stations, with a very visual approach (stations as architectural objects).
  • Increase the commercial capacity of Italian stations: Project Carta Bianca, a marketing-based approach to commercialising stations, has allowed the rental contracts to be renegotiated (better defining supply compared to demand in each station).

The recent trend in renovating major Italian stations is to define station models according to station categories, with a model that can be reproduced from one station to another within a given category.

New model of “Italian-style” major stations: architectural gems, accessible combination of stations and shopping centres.

Case study, Rome Termini station:

Geographical context:

PNG - 59.2 kb

Rome is a densely populated city with 2 614 263 inhabitants.
Economic capital of Italy.
Urban context: central.
At the heart of a dense urban fabric.

Distance between main airport / station:

JPEG - 50.3 kb

The distance between Rome Termini station and the city airport, Leonardo, is 35 km – 30 minutes using the dedicated rail service (shuttle).

Station’s position on railway network:
In geographical terms Rome Termini station is relatively distant from the main European stations (11h from Paris, including one stopover).
Rome Termini is also one of the stops on the high speed line running from the north to the south of Italy and connected to the French network right up to Paris.

Situation within Rome transport network:

PNG - 38.2 kb

5 out of 8 regional lines (Ferrovie Regionali).

PNG - 40.3 kb

2 metro lines.
3 tram lines.

Rome Termini station, key figures and accessibility:

Construction year: 1862 Number of metro lines: 2
Date of last renovation: 2012-2015 Number of regional lines: 9
Total station surface area: 225 000 m² Number of bus routes: 80
Number of travellers / year: 170 million Number of metro stations with direct services from station: 49
Number of visitors / day: 1 000 000 visitors Number of public car parks: 1 300 parking spaces
Retail space: 34 000 m² Cost of parking near station: 18 euros/day
Number of retail outlets: 128 Parking surface area: -
Restaurant space in station: - m² Cost of cycle hire: -
Infrastructure manager: RFI Presence of checkpoints in station: Yes
Operator: Trenitalia Transfer time in station: 8 minutes
Number of tracks in station: 31, including 8 dedicated to HS traffic

Number of trains / day: 900 trains (140 high speed)

Mode of access:
12% taxi, 25% metro, 35% suburban trains, 20% regional trains, 10% pedestrian / bikes

History of Rome Termini station:

Rome Termini station has been renovated and seen its size increase several times since its construction in 1867 by the architect Salvatore Bianchi. Although at the time the station seemed too large for the needs of the Pontifical State (180 000 inhabitants), 15 years later it was already saturated. The size of Rome Termini station has thus been increased on several occasions, with additional tracks and halls.
However, up to 1905 the building had kept its original dimensions. Six years later a temporary wooden structure had to be built in haste for ticket sales, and tracks had to be added for passenger trains.

It was only in 1939, after more than 10 years of studies and a bid by the architect Mazzoni Angiolo, that work could begin. A monumental and emblematic façade was to be added, as was a vast entrance hall measuring 1 200 m². It would be completely empty, with rail and other travel services relegated to the sides of the station.
Works were interrupted by the Second World War before resuming in 1947.
The station consisted of 4 distinct buildings covering a surface area of 14 000 m². The striking feature of the entrance was an imposing and emblematic station roof, nicknamed “the dinosaur”. By the end of works in 1950 the station had acquired the form it has at present.

Renovation of Rome Termini station:

Progress status: ongoing

Duration: 42 months, works carried out in 2013-2015

Stages: -

Financing: -


  • Trenitalia
  • RFI
  • Italian government
  • City of Rome |Conclusion / expected outcome:

New opening hours: -

New capacity: 800 000 visitors / day

New surface area: 230 000 m²

New retail surface area: 40 000 m²

New situation within city: the station as a component of the city in increasing interaction with its environment.

Level of automation in station: 50%

Level of outsourcing: 50%

New equipment:

  • New car park.
  • New passenger services.
  • New lifts and access ramps.

Description of station renovation project:

JPEG - 10.5 kb
Rome Termini station. Source : Grandi Stazioni - UIC 2013
New services in the station: service quality in Rome Termini station has been greatly improved by the modernisation of ticket sales, the enhancement of information structures, and the introduction of automatic ticket machines, new luggage lockers and a better surveillance system.

The station has undergone two major renovations in the past 15 years: one of the major renovation operations for Rome Termini station took place in 2000, with a project based on four courses of action:

  • Reorganising and managing flows.
  • Modernising passenger services.
  • Introducing a certain number of primary and secondary services by promoting the creation of optimised multipurpose spaces.
  • Improving quality and comfort in the station, as well as observing safety standards.
JPEG - 10.8 kb
Rome Termini station. Source : Grandi Stazioni - UIC 2013
The central concourse has also been renovated with an increase in retail space, now covering an area 220 m long. There is a wide variety of retail outlets and restaurants.
The underground levels of the station have become an actual shopping centre, “Forum Termini”, with 14 000 m² of retail outlets and millions of customers, many of which are not travellers.

The latest “facelift” Rome Termini station has been given are the major works launched in 2013 involving the construction of a new car park with 1 300 spaces and a new, “floating” shopping arcade.

Work is underway, and will bring two major benefits:

  • Improve the modal shift to rail at Termini station.
  • Improve the commercial opportunities provided by the station, in accordance with the specifications of “Grandi Stazioni”.

Make maximum use of the potential space available in the station:
The new arcade will contain the passenger services in an area covering roughly 6 000 m² on a single floor above the railway tracks that enter the station.
Four new panoramic lifts will connect the three levels of the station: the shopping “forum”, shopping arcade and metro access floor.

JPEG - 17.1 kb
Rome Termini station. Source: Grandi Stazioni - UIC 2013

New services in the arcade:

  • 10 600 m² of floor space
  • 2 800 m² for passenger services
  • 8 escalators
  • 14 CCTV cameras
  • 3 entry and 3 exit points to the level
  • 30 automatic ticket machines

Like the shopping arcade, the multi-storey car park, also above the tracks, is an innovative solution to the lack of available land in the city centre.
The car park will include 1 337 parking spaces and 85 motorbike spaces over 3 floors, and will be accessible via mechanical ramps. The cost of the project is € 85 million, with work scheduled to end in 2015.