Rail tunnel upgrade will unblock bottleneck

Upgrading the Coreca tunnel in southern Italy will raise the speed limit from 80 km/h to 200 km/h and permit the transit of freight containers.

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A project to renew a pair of rail tunnels in the region of Calabria will remove a bottleneck on the network and increase capacity and safety.

Speedier journey from Berlin to Palermo

Works to upgrade the Coreca tunnel near the town of Cosenza will improve rail connections down Italy’s Tyrrhenian coast, part of the trans-European rail corridor that links Berlin to Palermo via Rome.

The two single-track tunnels, each just short of a kilometre in length, currently form a bottleneck on the network, as trains are limited to travelling at a maximum speed of 80 km/h. By renewing the tunnel structure, track and electrical system, and making further track improvements in the approaches to the tunnels, trains will henceforth be able to travel safely at up to 200 km/h. As a result, the tunnel and track upgrade will reduce delays on the line, cutting noise and air pollution in the area.

New freight potential from Italy’s ‘toe’ to ‘heel’

The track improvements will also allow the line to be upgraded to the International Union of Railways ‘C’ loading gauge, which makes it suitable for trains carrying intermodal containers. This will enable freight trains to move goods from the citrus production centre of Rosarno to the port of Sibari, along a rail route that links Gioia Tauro on the Tyrrhenian coast in Calabria – in the ‘toe’ of Italy’s boot - to Taranto in Apulia on the Adriatic coast – the country’s ‘heel’.

More broadly, the whole of southern Italy, historically an impoverished area compared to the north of the country, stands to benefit from the improved freight links with the rest of Europe.

Total and EU funding

The project “Adeguamento linea ferroviaria tirrenica Battipaglia-Reggio Calabria: galleria Coreca” [Adaptation of the Coreca tunnel on the Battipaglia-Reggio Calabria Tyrrhenian railway line] has eligible costs for funding of EUR 65 000 000, to which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 31 700 000 during the programming period 2007-2013.

Draft date