Italy invests 160 billion in infrastructure, a ‘true gamechanger’

In the next ten years, the Italian railway company FS will invest 160 billion euros in infrastructure, and 190 billion euros in overland transport overall. This is part of the 2022-2031 Industrial Plan, a new vision towards rail transport that should be a gamechanger in Italy, according to CEO Luigi Ferraris.

In Italy, rail has a modal split of 10 per cent, which is relatively low in comparison with neighbouring countries such as Switzerland, where 75 per cent of Alpine traffic moves by rail. Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS Group) wants to double the volumes, and in order to accomplish this, it embarks on a ‘redefinition of governance and a new organisational structure’, paired with a lot of euros dedicated to the transport mode.

Infra, logistics, passengers and urban

FS Group will be divided into four subsidiaries, focused on infrastructure, passengers, logistics and urban. The infrastructure division will receive the largest share of the financial injection; 150 billion is allocated to RFI, the rail infrastructure manager, whereas another 10 billion is allocated to Anas, a FS subsidiary responsible for the road infrastructure.

The logistics division, which is run by Mercitalia Group, will receive 2.5 billion euros, Ferrari revealed. This division will include Mercitalia Rail, Mercitalia Intermodal and TX Logistic.

New organisational structure FS Group

New tracks, new terminals

“FS Group wants to invest in new equipment, new terminals and new tracks, to substantially double the portion of freight traffic by rail in the next ten years”, said Ferrari at the Hupac Intermodal Forum.

A new terminal, Milan Smistamento, is in the making and will be ready in 2025. This is co-financed by the Swiss government, in order to ensure timely completion. The Italian group also wants to improve the position of the ports on the international corridors, especially the port of Genoa, which it believes is going to play a key role when it is connected to the Rhine-Alpine corridor with a new tunnel.

In total, these efforts will result in 16,800 km of railway lines, 1,670 tunnels, 23,000 bridges and viaducts and 2,200 stations on the railway network, Ferraris said.

‘A true gamechanger’

Asked if the new plan is a game changer in the transport policy of Italy, the CEO was affirmative. “There is a strong willingness to increase the market share of rail, and what is different this time is the financial cooperation with Switzerland. The fact that other countries are investing in Italy will contribute to this change.

“We believe this plan is going to increase the market share of rail. Switzerland represents the benchmark in terms of the modal split we want to reach. The existing and future infrastructure will change the role of Italy on the international market.”

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

1 comment op “Italy invests 160 billion in infrastructure, a ‘true gamechanger’”

bönström bönström|17.05.22|14:13

A very true game changer it will be, when a decisive up grading of the “Old Railway”, of all the 16,800 km, is completed.
(For benefitting all advantages of ballasted tracks, Problem: voids and corresponding hung sleepers, no longer is met with traditional “maintenance”, as currently.)
For high capacity, sustained high utilisation has to be provided for, at timely, silent tracks, safely allowing for 32,5 ton axial loads, etc.

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