The Leonardo Express is a train service connecting Roma Termini station and Leonardo da Vinci airport, with no intermediate stops, covering the 31 kilometres of the route in 32 minutes (average speed 60 km/h). In 2009 there were 802 423 trains × km.
The railway connection between Rome and Fiumicino rome airport was activated on 27 May 1990, in anticipation of the World Cup Italy ’90.
The Roman terminus was placed at Roma Ostiense station, where an “Air Terminal” building was built for the reception of departing and arriving passengers.The airport terminus was built ex-novo by building a short branch line from the line to Fiumicino city (the branch line made the last stretch of the railway to Fiumicino city lose importance, because of the attestation of most of the trains at the airport station, until its disposal and the final closure of Fiumicino city station in 2000).
The trains consisted of four low-floor coaches pulled by an E.424.200 locomotive, and ran the route in a little more than 20 minutes, without making intermediate stops. The service was scheduled with departures every 20 minutes.
The number of passengers was high from the beginning, especially after the abolition of the parallel line operated by COTRAL and the establishment of the intermediate stop at Trastevere in November 1990. However, users complained about the inconvenience of the “Air Terminal” at the Ostiense station, far from the subway and not served by taxis or city buses.
With the timetable change of 26 September 1993 the offer was revolutionized: underground trains were instituted, still running every 20 minutes, with the Roman terminus no longer at Ostiense but at Tiburtina and stopped at all intermediate stations; therefore the “Air Terminal” was abandoned at Ostiense station. Also the rolling stock was modified, introducing the ALe 801/940 electromotors, no longer accessible at level. From the following 27 November the non-stop service was instituted, with the Roman terminus at Termini station.
Departures (in the same way both on working days and holidays), every 30 minutes, took place at the beginning of the service from platform 24 of Termini Station. The trains then departed for some time from platforms 27 and 28 (included in the “Latium” line bundle at the end of platform 24, and therefore far from the entrance to the station), and then returned to platform 24.
The service is only accessible at a special fare (14 euros in January 2018). The category of service assigned to Leonardo Express runs is that of regional fast train.
Since December 2014, with the coming into force of the winter timetable, 9 new runs have been added, thanks to which the frequency has been increased to one train every 15 minutes at certain times. The trains now depart not only from platform 24, but also from platform 23.
Initially the service was carried out by five UIC-X type first class coaches only (one of which was a pilot) towed by E.464 locomotives. From December 2005 the equipment was equipped with a special yellow and blue livery, for a better identification of the service.
Since 11 December 2011 the service is carried out by double compositions of electric trains “Minuetto”, in white, red and green livery, reminiscent of the Italian tricolour.
Since July 2015 the Minuetto trains have been replaced by the new ETR 425 “Jazz” trains, also in airport livery.
Next to the Leonardo Express service, between Fiumicino airport and the urban area of Rome there is the FL1 regional train connection, which does not serve Termini station but the stations of Roma Nomentana, Roma Tiburtina, Roma Tuscolana, Roma Ostiense and Roma Trastevere, stopping at all intermediate stations. The connection is accessible at regular fare with regional Trenitalia tickets or with Metrebus zone A and B tickets and season tickets.