Contractors are preparing to hand over Italy’s newest section of high-speed railroad to the state’s operator, Ferrovie Italiane, for testing. The 5.6-km Novara–Milan section of the Turin-Venice line is due to start service this December.

The new Bologna-Florence line, handed over on June 30, also will become operational in December. Nine tunnels, the longest extending 18.5 km, carry 93% of this 78-km line along the Apennine Mountains.

Bologna-Florence line featured New Austrian Tunnelling Method.
Photo: Impregilo
Bologna-Florence line featured New Austrian Tunnelling Method.

Impregilo S.p.A, Milan, leads consortiums handling turnkey construction of both sections, part of the high-speed network being developed by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana S.p.A. (RFI), which manages Italy’s railway infrastructure. The consortiums both include design units of Maire Tecnimont S.A., Rome.

The Novara–Milan line includes 14 viaducts and 1.1 km of cut-and-cover tunnels. The CAVTOMI consortium started work there in April 2004. The 86.5-km section between Novara and Turin opened in late 2005, after CAVTOMI started work in February 2002.

The CAVET consortium had started phased construction six years earlier on the geologically challenging Florence-Bologna line. The project included an Italian version of the New Austrian Tunnelling Method, but with extensive pre-treatment of soil to control movements.