Two major rail infrastructure projects in northern Italy are to receive 10 million euros from the European Union to drive forward completion of a trans-European line between Lyon and the Ukrainian border.
The investment will partly fund construction of two tunnels on the Turin-Milan-Verona-Padua high-speed line and the upgrading of Milan’s train control centre.
The European Commission has backed the projects as part of a broader strategy to support the completion of a 1,638 km rail link between the French city of Lyon and the Ukrainian border. Once complete, the railway axis will connect France, Italy, Slovenia and Hungary, crossing the Alps between Lyon and Turin.
Half of the 10 million euro investment will be spent constructing two tunnels on the Turin-Milan-Verona-Padua high-speed line just outside the town of Brescia.
“The new tunnels will eliminate a bottleneck on the line and thus significantly improve the capacity and speed of east-west rail connections within Italy and the broader EU,” said the European Commission in a statement.
The project is set to be completed by December 2014.
The rest of the money will be spent on technological upgrades at Milan’s train control centre. Five new automated computers, which will remotely command and control signals and switches on the Turin-Padua high-speed line, will be installed at a specially-built site.