RFI to upgrade key line on Scan-Med Corridor in northern Italy
Italian infrastructure manager Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) is going to upgrade a key section of the TEN-T Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor. Most of the work will revolve around making the tunnels along the line suitable for transporting semi-trailers and High Cube containers.
The line in question connects Prato, in Tuscany, with Bologna. The main upgrades will involve the 31-kilometre section between Pianoro and San Benedetto Val di Sambro, south of Bologna. Almost half of the line, 13 out of 31 kilometres, runs through 17 tunnels, which will all be enlarged. The longest of these 17 tunnels measures 7 kilometres in length.
The upgrade has been scheduled in the summer, as RFI pointed out, to cause as few disruptions as possible since schools, as well as many businesses, will be closed. RFI communicated that the project has started on 11 June and will continue until 13 November. Throughout this period, the line will be partly closed to allow the upgrade to be carried out. “Freight trains will be redirected on alternative routes”, said a spokesperson from RFI.
Traffic restrictions planned until November
11 June – 11 August: no trains between Pianoro and Vernio. From Vernio to San Benedetto Val di Sambro, trains will be allowed to run between 5 am and 9 am and then again between 4 pm and 10 pm.
12 August – 3 September: no trains between Pianoro and Prato
4 September – 10 September: no trains between Pianoro and Vernio
11 September – 12 November: no trains between Bologna and San Benedetto Val di Sambro on weekdays between 9:30 am and 1:30 pm. RFI also stated that there will be activities on 5 weekends on this line. Train traffic will be suspended from Saturday 9:30 am to Sunday 4:30 pm on 23-24 September, 7-8, 14-15, and 21-22 October, and 11-12 November.
Connecting Bologna with the port of Livorno
This section is quite important for the Scan-Med Corridor because it is part of the connection between Bologna and Livorno, on the Italian west coast. Rail freight at the port of Livorno, which is at the end of one of the branches of the corridor, has significantly increased in 2022. In this regard, the port is working on a more seamless connection with the Vespucci rail terminal, for which construction started in April.