Intermodal facility in Verona to undergo major upgrades
The Quadrante Europa intermodal centre in Verona, in northern Italy, will undergo a major upgrade including two new tracks, a fourth gantry crane, and a brand new intermodal terminal. The terminal plays a key role in the Italian logistics sector, as it is an intersection point between the Scandinavian-Mediterranean and the Mediterranean TEN-T Corridors.
The two new tracks and the fourth crane will be implemented at the Quadrante Europa Terminal Gate (QETG), one of the terminals in the Veronese logistics hub. The new terminal, denominated Quarto Modulo, will be equipped with eight tracks for loading and unloading freight trains and six additional ones for arrivals and departures. According to the Italian national railway holding Ferrovie dello Stato, the new Quarto Modulo will be built according to European standards. Despite no further information about this was provided, it is safe to expect that the terminal will be able to, for example, accommodate 750-metre convoys. At the current stage, in fact, the facility can only handle trains of up to 650 metres in length.
No information on costs or timetable yet
The initiative was made public a Memorandum of Understanding signed during an event celebrating the 75th anniversary of the ZAI Consortium, an association for the development of the local economy. Other than ZAI, the other signatories were QETG and Italian infrastructure manager Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI). It is not yet clear how this project will be financed or its timetable. However, last week, the Italian Ministry of Transport made available 11 million euros for the development of some intermodal terminals, including the Quadrante Europa which should get one million.
Another step towards the Brenner Base Tunnel
The railway line passing through Verona is the only one leading to the main border crossing between Italy and Austria: the Brenner Pass. Here, the Brenner Base Tunnel is expected to open in 2032, which will significantly reduce transit time and increase capacity along this axis. For this purpose, Italy is also working on the Trento bypass, closer to the border with Austria. This project, which should be commissioned in 2026, will provide access to the Brenner Base Tunnel on the Italian side.
The Quadrante Europa intermodal terminal
In 2022, the Quadrante Europa handled 15,010 trains, the vast majority of which, 13,814, were intermodal. This amounted to 780,802 TEUs and over eight million tonnes of cargo. The whole facility covers an area of 2,5 million square metres and, according to its website, is the first in Italy when it comes to combined transport volumes. Currently, the majority of the goods are moved by road, roughly 20 million yearly tonnes, while only eight go via rail. The projects included in the MoU are thus expected to boost the modal shift and decongest the very busy roads of Veneto and the rest of northern Italy. The facility can count on various national and international connections. Domestically, it has links to Bari, Brindisi, Nola, and Giovinazzo in the south, and Genoa and La Spezia in the north. Most of the international connections are to Germany, including Cologne, Ludwigshafen, Nuremberg, Lubeck, Hannover, Hamburg, Kiel, Wanne, Rostock, and Munich. Other international connections are Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Padborg.