Freight and passengers on the move in Puglia

Major development works on the railway line between Bari and Taranto are expected to improve quality and safety and result in enhanced performance in terms of capacity and speed.

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Once fully operational, the line should see an additional 80 000 tonnes of merchandise traffic as well as a significant increase in regional passenger numbers, from 900 000 to 2 000 000, in turn contributing to the reduction of negative environmental impacts.

Greater control, improved services

The beneficiary of the project is Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), the Italian national public body responsible for developing and managing the entire rail network. Its aim is to make rail transport an attractive option for passengers and freight companies.

The works to double the line will be carried out on different sections along the Bari-Taranto track, ranging from 4.8 km to 12 km sections. A centralised control system will also be put in place, improving the efficiency of traffic control and also generating savings in terms of operational costs, benefiting the expected 1 million additional passengers and also the shippers who will use the train tracks. Other works involve removing various road crossings and upgrading certain train stations.

Upping the volume of freight transport

Once up and rolling, trains will be able to travel an average of 20 km/h faster, with the volume of merchandise transported between Bari and Taranto expected to reach as high as 549 298 tons, corresponding to an increase of 80 000 tons compared to the current situation.

Environmental gains and jobs on offer

Rail is generally considered to be a sustainable mode of transport. The current project exemplifies this notion, with expected environmental benefits including a reduction in noise pollution, a lower rate of road accidents and less detrimental impact on the environment due to emission pollution.

Given the scale of the project, human capital will be needed. During the works phase, a total of 4 652 direct jobs will be created, each lasting about 18 years. Once the line is fully operational, some 204 jobs will be created of average duration 30 years, providing a significant long-term boost to local livelihoods and the regional economy in general.

Draft date

24/03/2011