EIB agrees record loan for Italian railways

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed on its largest loan to date to finance a new high-speed line between Naples and Bari in southern Italy.

The organization will invest around € 2 billion in the project, which is part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) set up by the European Commission to support major transport infrastructure projects.

Overall, the rail link – a significant expansion of the current route – is expected to cost more than 6.3 billion euros.

The cross-project scope of work includes a 2.6 km long tunnel, the construction of three new train stations, around 4 km of viaducts, an overhead power supply and an extension of the control and control technology as well as numerous steel bridges at the intersection of the motorway route.

The project is already underway, with developers Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stado Italiane) and Italferr (site supervision) hiring Salini Impregilo and Astaldi to carry out the construction work on the 15.5 km section between Naples and Cancello.

At the height of construction, the project is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs and encourage the shift from air and road transport to rail in two of Italy’s less developed regions (Campania and Puglia).

The new line has been identified as a priority project by both the EU and the Italian government and aims to improve links between some of the most important regions in Europe. Combined passenger and freight transport by rail will also offer environmental benefits through significant reductions in noise and pollution.

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