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Important New Security Measures Implemented at Firenze SMN Station

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Effective July 12, important new security measures have been implemented at the Firenze main train station (Santa Maria Novella) which will be most welcomed:




1. Access to most of the tracks is now barred by movable metal railings. A uniformed Trenitalia agent lets people through once the paper ticket (or electronic receipt) for the correct train is shown. This helps stop extraneous people (including potential thieves and unauthorized interlopers offering porterage service) from accessing the railcars. Access is not barred to tracks 5 and 16 (which are at both sides of the Station) because there are public offices and cafes/bars lining these tracks, making the barricades impossible to implement. Acess is also not barred to the remote tracks 1, 2 and 17, 18.






2. Most of the he Trenitalia electronic ticket machines are surrounded by metal railings, thereby affording a "buffer" between the person seeking to buy a ticket and the rest of the station. This makes it a little more cumbersome for unauthorized interlopers to approach ticket buyers in the attempt to "help" them use the machines. There are 34 Trenitalia electronic machines in the main atrium in front of the tracks, plus an additional three standalone machines (not surrounded by railings) in the outer atrium where the staffed ticket lines are located. Passengers must enter through a narrow opening in the railings to access the machines. As of late July, there were no barricades around the six ITALO TRENO ticket machines. However, for greater security, passengers can use the additional machines inside the ITALO CASA waiting room in the corner of the station atrium (next door to the Trenitalia Freccia Club), where uniformed ITALO agents will not allow the known interlopers to enter.






3. Railway and national police agents roam the station in pairs, hunting for the "usual crowd" of unauthorized interlopers who have been making trouble for passengers, and whose tactics have been the subject of many news reports and even a recent nationally televised report on the Italian RAI television channel. As the interlopers are spotted, they are approched by the police and "invited" (in harsh tones) to leave the station. Those who heed the warning return within minutes. Most of the interlopers are easily identified (women with large handbags across their waists, moving from machine to machine in search of gullible passengers).




These new security measures will help reduce (but sadly not eliminate) the number of bad incidents which have plagued SMN for many months. Some of these incidents have resulted in physical injury to station personnel, while others have resulted in passengers being tricked and forced into handing over 10 Euros as the "fee" demanded for the "service" provided. We can only hope that more security measures will be implemented in the near future.

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