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30/09/2016

‘Largest investment ever’ to support Brenner rail tunnel

Transport

‘Largest investment ever’ to support Brenner rail tunnel

One of the many Alpine passes that are set to be relieved of traffic once the tunnel is completed.

[Artur Staszewski/Flickr]

Within ten years, the Brenner Base project, the longest railway tunnel in the world, is expected to be completed and operational. The EU has announced that it will contribute €1.2 billion to its construction. EurActiv Germany reports.

Rome and Vienna will have been pleased with yesterday’s announcement (7 January), as the EU’s Innovation & Networks Executive Agency (INEA) have allotted the project with an estimated €879 million for construction costs and €300 million for technical studies.

The tunnel, on which construction has already started, is slated to be opened by 2025 and will run from Innsbruck to Fortezza, Italy. It will make up a part of the 2,200 km long railway link between Stockholm and Palermo and is intended to relieve the serious traffic problems that plague the main route between Bavaria and northern Italy.

>>Read: Alpine region vexed by traffic sees light at end of tunnel

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The finalisation of an EU investment scheme yesterday means that €12.7 billion will be allocated to expand the European road, rail and waterway networks. Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc highlighted that this is the bloc’s biggest ever investment in the transport sector.

>>Read: Germany encouraged to support Commission’s toll proposals

Other priority projects that are set to benefit from the funding include the Seine-Scheldt waterway project, a joint undertaking between France, Wallonia and Flanders, as well as the Rail Baltica link, which is supposed to better connect Finland, the Baltic States and Poland.

Construction is set to be fully completed by 2030, and there are plans for an eventual extension to Venice. The projects are also expected to boost competitiveness, growth and job creation in Europe.