Rail expansion in Northern Italy: no benefits in sight for rail freight

Rail expansion in Northern Italy: no benefits in sight for rail freight

RailFreight.com — 2022-08-10

Land transportation

The Lombardy Region has greenlit the project for the quadruplication of the rail route between Milano Rogoredo and Pavia, in the North of Italy. However, advantages for rail freight will not be tangible before 2030. The route is part of the line connecting Milan to Genoa.

The project consists of two phases. First, over €260m will be invested in the 11-km-long section from Milano Rogoredo to Pieve Emanuele, which should be completed by 2026.

The second phase of the project, from Pieve Emanuele to Pavia, will implement the construction of two new rail tracks, resulting in an extension of 17 km, which is expected to be ready by 2030. With this project, the total investment for the Milan-Pavia route will exceed €900m.

No advantages until the end of the decade for rail freight

However, the rail freight industry might not benefit from this project right away. Currently, the transit on the line amounts to 53 daily trains. It is estimated that there will not be a significant increase in rail freight traffic before at least 2030, when daily trains are expected to be 100.

This is because the shift to the European standard rail gauge will be possible only when the whole project will be finished. Considering that the Giovi Third Pass is expected to be operative by 2024, the issue is even more apparent.

The Giovi Third Pass is a project launched in 2013 to create a 53-km-long high-speed connection between Genoa and Tortona, which will connect the Ligurian ports to Central Europe through the TEN-T Rhine-Alpine Corridor.