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Ferrari boss unveils Italy's first private high-speed train

Ferrari head Luca di Montezemolo unveiled Italy's first private high-speed train near Naples today, with his company NTV planning to take on a state monopoly in the sector starting next year.

"Finally there will be a period of competition, of choice for travellers, for citizens," Di Montezemolo said, as he inaugurated the train, applauded by about 1,000 employees of French company Alstom which is building the carriages.

The train -- named "Italo" -- is part of the latest generation of high-speed rail travel and "the most modern train in Europe," featuring a small cinema on board and a wi-fi Internet connection throughout, Di Montezemolo said.

France's national rail company SNCF owns a 20-percent stake in NTV, which is led by a group of Italian businessmen including Di Montezemolo, NTV's president, and Diego Della Valle, the head of luxury shoemaker Tod's.

NTV's trains will eventually make 51 connections a day, travelling more than 12.3 million kilometres (7.6 million miles) per year. Company officials said they believed the train would make its first voyage in March 2012.

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