Giuseppe Arena

Giuseppe Arena

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Giuseppe Arena is a highly qualified manager in the railway industry with more that 30 years of experience in the field. He covered many important roles in Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS, the Italian State’ Railways) and he gave key contributions to the start-up of numerous railway companies, both for passengers and freight transportation – being defined “a railway man through and through” by the magazine Logistics (03/2006).

Born in Messina (Italy) on 2nd June 1951. Soon after his bachelor degree in Economics and master in Industrial Propriety and Patent Rights, obtained with honours, he begins his career in the railway world as a Station Manager in Piedmont for the Italian State’s Railways. Over 20 years in the Ferrovie dello Stato group, Arena had the opportunity to explore all the sides of the business till assuming Senior roles within the Company.

1981-1988              Rail Operations and Training. After his 11-months training as a Station Master, he soon begins to produce monthly articles for the internal magazine ‘Tecnica professionale’. During this period is also author and co-author of numerous manuals for the employees of the group (e.g. Manuali operativi delle anormalità di esercizio);

1988-1991               Director of the first Innovative Marketing department within Ferrovie dello Stato. During this period he ideates the Vivere il Treno brand for charter trains,

1991 -1998              Marketing & External relations Director of the new-born Divisione Regionale Piemonte (division of Ferrovie dello Stato dedicated to the regional trains);

Between 1993 and 1999 thousands of passenger travels throughout Europe aboard a completely restored Trans Europe Express VT 601 under the iconic Italy Express’ brand, of which Arena was Managing Director and head of the venture.

In 1998, he then decided to leave FS to disrupt the railway industry as a whole, beginning the process of liberalisation of the railway market. The milestone is then reached on the 20th July 2000, when Strade Ferrate del Mediterraneo (SFM) obtains the first license of Train Operating Company (TOC). In 2003, the company becomes part of the Deutsche Banh group under the name of Railion Italia, of which Arena will be shareholder and CEO till 2007. Under his leadership, in just six months, the company grew from 33 weekly trains to over 33 per day.

Sold the remaining shares still in his portfolio, Arena moves forward to conquest the passenger world founding Arenaways, the first Italian private TOC. After have obtained all the formal approvals (license and Safety Certificate), Arenaways brilliantly begins international routes between Northern Europe and Italy, in cooperation with Deutche Bahn (Germany) and EuroExpress Train Charter (the Netherland).

After successfully design in-house the first two train-sets to be operated on the profitable Torino – Milano route in open access, the Ministry of Transportation did not allow any intermediate stop (2010), leading to a suspension of the activities. Nevertheless, in 2012 the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) fined Trenitalia for putting in place complex strategy” to preclude any commercial success to Arenaways.  From the experience of Arenaways, in 2013 AW Rail Srl was born, obtaining all the required licenses and the safety certificate for operating regional and long- haul lines.

Over the years, Arena has also worked as a consultant for railway companies and tour operators, most prominently:

  • Consultant and director of the start-up of Cisalpino AG, a joint venture between Trenitalia, SBB and BLS (international trains Italy-Switzerland);
  • Consultant for TOROC 2006 (the Organising Committee for the XX Winter Olympics Torino 2006) for the optimization of mobility during the Olympics;
  • Consultant and senior manager in charge for the start-up of numerous freight railway company GTS Rail, BLS Italia, GMC, HUPAC SpA and Monferail S.r.l (now Captrain S.r.l. and part of the SNCF group);
  • Responsible Executive consultant for the tour operators Alpitur and Transalpino, and the touristic railway operator Georgh GmbH (Germany);

In his career, Giuseppe Arena won numerous prices, such as the prestigious Bruno Leoni Award (2011). Apart from his exposition to the Italian and international press, his story is featured in ‘Primi nonostante tutto’ (by M. Castelli, 2012) and ‘CambiaItalia’ (by A. Sanvito, 2014)