Railway Industry – Custom design and construction of railway and tramway vehicles.


Formerly Firema Engineering, then Firema Trasporti S.p.A. – Viale Edison, 110 – Sesto S. Giovanni (MI) – Italy (Now: Titagarh Firema Adler S.p.A.- www.asfirema.it).


Head of the RAMS Office (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, Safety) – 1991–1996


Preparation of the tender documentation related to the RAMS part for the supply of double-decker electric trains TAF (High Frequency Trains) to the Italian State Railways (now Trenitalia).

The importance of this experience

This experience was very significant as, even though Alberto Servienti was younger and less experienced than the other team members of the Temporary Grouping of Companies, he managed to provide a methodology and approach that proved successful and assured the awarding of the tender thanks to his commitment, analytical in-depth analysis, diplomatic and communication skills, involvement and convictions.

Activities carried out and approach applied

At the end of summer 1993 it was almost certain that the Italian State Railways (now Trenitalia) would launch a tender for the supply of TAF (High Frequency Trains) double-decker electric trains for both FS and FNM (Ferrovie Nord Milano). For the first time ever there would be a section related to a RAMS part within the tender, which was important in terms of content to be ensured during the development of the supply and even more in terms of the points that would have been awarded, being a most economically advantageous tender.

In autumn 1993, the Company sent Alberto Servienti to visit Alstom’s CIMT factory in north-eastern France to learn more about how the double-decker trains were made for French Railways (SNCF). These trains were considered benchmark trains and state-of-the-art for technological solutions, comfort and performance. This visit proved retrospectively to be extremely instructive for setting the tender in general and the solutions to be applied in the RAMS field.
At the beginning of 1994, when Italian Railways launched the tender, Alberto Servienti began to set up all the RAMS parts of the tender documentation. Here, he ensured two decompositions of the double-decker electric train version, a physical one for the Maintainability part and a functional one for the Reliability and Availability part. The decomposition started from the “root” of the train, gradually breaking down the various branches to arrive at metaphorical “the leaves of the tree”, i.e., those components or assemblies that couldn’t be broken down further in terms of their significance.

After these two decompositions, two allocations were made, one allocation of reliability (with MTBF values) and one maintainability (with MTTR values). The aim was to verify whether the set of all items, all components, assemblies, etc. met the required values of reliability and maintainability for the entire electric trainset, advising the designers of the tender phase to introduce modifications for those cases where the parameters were not complied with.

All these quantitative analyses, complete with accurate descriptions of the methodologies adopted and a general description of the importance of the RAMS parameters (also because they are linked to penalties that would have been applied during the operation of the trains, in the event of non-compliance with the RAMS requirements offered, which should have been the same or better than those required by the Italian State Railways).
When all the tender documentation for the RAMS part was almost completed, and about a month before expiry of the tender itself, the Company decided to group into a Temporary Grouping of Companies with 3 other primary Italian Companies: AD Tranz (now Bombardier), Ansaldo Trasporti (now Hitachi Italy) and Breda Railway Construction (now Hitachi Italy).

Obviously, the design solutions considered in the offers of each individual Company were different as well as the methodological, quantitative and descriptive approaches for the RAMS part.
The result was a synthesis design solution between the 4 different initials, which led to a necessity to completely review the part of decomposition and RAMS quantitative analysis.

Skills employed

For the preparation of the tender as a single Company before, and as coordinator in the Temporary Grouping of Companies after, Alberto Servienti initially tried to carefully analyze the tender requirements associated with thorough research of the state of the art in this regards (also in more mature sectors such as aeronautics, where RAMS analyses have been carried out for decades, whereas only a couple of years in the Railway and Italian State Railways sectors). He then tried to set up a framework that could provide a complete and exhaustive image of all RAMS issues and how to deal with them during the executive design phase (in the event of the tender’s award), as well as during the Train Operation Phase to remedy any problems, also setting up a RAMS data collection database in order to improve and have a constantly updated system of information to be shared among the various people involved in each Company.

At the time of creating the Temporary Grouping of Companies, he had to apply many diplomatic, verbal, engagement and persuasion skills, as those at the other Companies that dealt with RAMS considered themselves more experienced than he was; or at least they had dealt with these areas for longer and therefore thought they should each coordinate themselves and impose their own working methods.
In the end, Alberto Servienti managed to convince them to follow his methodology and data, leading everyone to work as a team to achieve a common outcome/goal.

This recognition was then consolidated when the TREVI Consortium (which included the same companies along with FIAT Ferroviaria) also assigned Alberto Servienti the role of RAMS Coordinator for the supply of ETR500 3kV and Poly-voltage electric trainsets to the Italian State Railways.


Considering the excellent methodological approach used, innovative for the time and also for the other Companies, the four Companies decided to delegate Alberto Servienti RAMS coordination during the tender to update all the documentation.
Alberto Servienti maintained the position of Coordinator of the RAM Team of the TAF Grouping even after the tender was awarded and until the end of 1996.
In addition, in recognition of the methodological approach, the setting of the RAMS work and the accuracy of the data used, the TREVI Consortium appointed Alberto Servienti as “Coordinator of the RAM Team of the TREVI Consortium” (consisting of: Fiat Ferroviaria – now Alstom – AD Tranz, Ansaldo Trasporti, Breda Costruzioni Ferroviarie and Firema Trasporti) for the supply of ETR500 3kV and Poly-voltage electric trainsets to the State Railways from 1995 to the end of 1996.