Excavations started for Scan-Med Corridor line upgrade in Italy

Image: Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane

The railway connecting Bari to Naples, in southern Italy, is one of the key sections of the TEN-T Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor. The line is currently being upgraded to, among other things, accommodate 750-metre freight trains. One of the major projects is the section between Apice and Irpinia, which will mostly run through tunnels and for which excavations started on 8 August.

Out of the 18 kilometres of the Apice-Irpinia line, in fact, 12 will be underground, crossing three tunnels. The total investment for this project, according to the Italian railway holding Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS), will revolve around 628 million euros. The completion of the Bari-Naples upgrade is expected in 2027.

As FS highlighted, the first underpass for which excavations started on 8 August is the Grottaminarda Tunnel. It will be 2 kilometres long and will be dug using a tunnel-boring machine (TBM) which will work non-stop for the next five months. To ensure that operations keep going 24/7, four teams for a total of over 100 people will be working. Other than excavations with the TBM, the project also includes coating the tunnel with nine prefabricated segments that are 55 centimetres thick and 1,80 metres long, as FS stated.

Italy and the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor

A significant part of the TEN-T Scan-Med Corridor runs through Italy, which is spending billions to upgrade the infrastructure. The corridor starts in Sicily, where around 5 billion euros are being invested, and will connect to Austria via the Brenner Base Tunnel, which will be commissioned in 2032. For the Bari-Naples line upgrade, the costs is set at about 5,8 billion euros. The corridor will also include a few Italian ports. For example, works are underway to connect the port of Livorno, on the northeastern coast, to Bologna.

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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