Foto: Freccciarossa

Italcertifer Laboratories provide an integrated service to the client to support him in defining the activities to be carried out, and in planning the tests and their logistics in the plant, on the circuit, as well as service tests on the railway line.

For these activities, in this field, a strategic role is played, on the one hand, by the competence and experience of the Laboratories staff for what concerns tests in the railway sector; on the other hand, another strategic role is represented by the availability of the Firenze Test Center in Florence and the Bologna San Donato RFI Test Track in the namesake city.


The main headquarters of the Laboratories are located at the Firenze Osmannoro Test Center in Florence.

We hereby report the main numbers of the Italcertifer Laboratories at the Test Center:

  • 612 m2 offices;
  • 1130 m2 laboratories;
  • 243 m2 warehouses;
  • a mechanical workshop for the realization of the test equipment assembly.


In addition to this, a bundle with a total of 12 tracks that give access to:

  • workshop where there are the tracks for assembly activities and test tracks;
  • external test stations;
  • tracks used for parking the trains under test.


Italcertifer operates the rolling stock independently within the test center with its own authorized personnel and a shunting locomotive.


Italcertifer Laboratory is equipped with the following test benches for carrying out tests on rolling stock:

  • Flat curve with a radius of 150 m instrumented for safety tests on the derailment;
  • Track-twisted curve with a radius of 150 m for safety tests on the derailment;
  • Wheel Slide Protection Device (WSP) Test Bench;
  • Test Benches for instrumentation and salt calibration for the measurement of wheel-rail contact forces;
  • TCN test bench.


Moreover, the Test Center is also equipped with RFI test benches that allow mechanical and electrical tests to be carried out on rolling stock and sub-components. These are:

  • Multifunctional bench equipped on track, for carrying out weighing, souplesse, skew and case-trolley rotation tests of railway vehicles;
  • Bench equipped on track with columns, for the execution of measurements of the profile and wheel diameter, of the gauge of the wheelsets;
  • Equipped test bench for carrying out compressive strength tests on the body of railway vehicles.
  • Benches for fatigue tests on axles and wheels
  • Area for electrical tests on railway components
  • Semi-anechoic chamber for electromagnetic compatibility tests.

At San Donato, Bologna (Italy), there is the railway test circuit owned by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI). This is the first equipped laboratory in the field in the whole Europe: a state-of-the-art technological pole unique of its kind, a real opportunity for the execution of tests in Italy.

The circuit is dedicated to the fine-tuning, development tests and certification of rolling stock; it also provides services on the market that allow applicants to develop and test new infrastructure systems/components in order to improve their performance, reliability and maintainability; moreover, it also allows you to perform 24h test runs.

A unique feature is the equipment with the Italian National Signalling (SCMT and SSC) which allows the execution of almost all the dynamic signalling tests for all the vehicles with maximum speed up to 120 km/h (74.6 mph).

Italcertifer operates continuously in the execution of tests on the circuit in synergy with RFI providing an integrated service for:

Tests on the Signaling System;

Electromagnetic Compatibility tests according to EN505592 and EN50121-3-1;

Noise tests according to TSI Noise;

Performance tests on traction systems of rolling stock;

Tuning on harmonic currents according to the FS mask;

Performance and tuning tests on braking systems;

Pantograph-catenary interaction tests

Integration testing of new components installed on board existing rolling stock;

Integration test between on-board and track-side systems (eg HD ERTMS);

Tests and measures in general aimed at the certification of new railway rolling stock according to European and national standards;

Test runs aimed at the development of new railway rolling stock.

Furthermore, the circuit has:

  • tracks for carrying out static tests and parking of rolling stock
  • a support system for equipping with measurement systems and for the maintenance of the rolling stock under test.


Test Circuit Technical Features

  • 3 kV DC power supply;
  • Maximum speed 120 km/h (74.6 mph);
  • Equipment present: UNI 60 high speed lines and RFI 260 sleepers;
  • Electrified contact line with traditional 3kV direct current system and overall cross section of the catenary made with the three types currently used on the RFI network (540 sqmm, 440 sqmm and 320 sqmm);
  • Signaling system consisting of 4 block sections, each 1350m extension with BACC with more than 4 codes and trivialized three-aspect signaling;
  • Signaling system managed by the ACC system configured through an internalisation process;
  • Overlapping spacing systems to implement the main spacing for free / busy functions;
  • Protection systems: SCMT, SSC and ERTMS, for greater safety of train running during functional tests and/or technical/functional integration.



Italcertifer fully supports its clients by taking care of the planning and integrated management of both static and dynamic test activities both in Italy and abroad.

In carrying out the test campaigns in Italy, a unique added value is provided by the Test Centre in Florence.

The Test Centre has access to level and pit tracks equipped with walkways, bridge cranes and devices for accessing the roof, an electrified track (3 kV DC) as well as external tracks for works inside vehicles and for parking.

The systems and equipment can be used for the installation by Italcertifer of instrumentation for the tests as an alternative to the execution of such installation in another plant identified by the client.

The systems, equipment and services can also be made available to the client for his work for tuning, internal tests or minor maintenance of the vehicles under test.

The laboratory independently manages manoeuvres with qualified personnel and locomotive with a power of 130 HP for, Technical Assistance, Parking, Vehicle ballasting.

In support of the tests, the vehicle ballasting service is also offered for the simulation of the different load conditions under test.