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The train for Assisi

· Trial runs at the Vatican for the departure of the Benedict XVI’s train on 27 October ·

This morning, Tuesday, October 11, at the Vatican, trial runs are taking place for the arrival and departure of the train which will transport the Pope to Assisi on Thursday, October 27. A delegation representing different world religions will travel with Benedict XVI to the city of St. Francis for a day of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world. The meeting, entitled, “Pilgrims of Truth, Pilgrims of Peace,” was convened by the Pope to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first World Day for Peace, begun by John Paul II and celebrated in Assisi on October 27, 1986.

The train is the latest model “ETR”, a high-speed Italian train, made up of 2 first class departments and 5 second class wagons. The Pope will be seated in the second wagon from the front, a first class car which however has not been modified in any particular way for the trip. Together with the train conductor and driver, there will be two directors and seven assistants from Italian train company, Trenitalia, on board.

Due to the absence of aerial electric lines in the Vatican, the train will be pulled by a diesel locomotive from the Vatican to the nearby St. Peter’s station from where it will be connected to the national electric network. Giovanni Amici, head of the Vatican City station, will have the honor of giving the first “all-clear” for the train’s departure.

The trip to Assisi is scheduled to take one hour and fifty minutes. Along the way, the convoy will slow down at the stations of Terni, Foligno and Spoleto.

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