FS Italiane, Naples-Bari HS/HC: the last diaphragm wall in the Monte Aglio tunnel comes down

Present were Vera Fiorani – CEO of RFI, and Andrea Nardinocchi – CEO of Italferr. This development will allow a direct connection between the capital city of Campania and that of Puglia by 2024.

Naples, 22 June 2022

The last diaphragm wall in the Monte Aglio Tunnel was demolished today, as a vital stage in the completion of the Naples-Bari High Speed/High Capacity line, which makes it possible to build a direct link between the capital of the Campania region and that of Puglia by 2024.

The new line, which forms an integral part of the European TEN-T Scandinavia-Mediterranean Railway Corridor and financed also with funds from the PNRR (Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan), represents the first and most advanced work that the FS Group’s Infrastructure Hub is carrying out to upgrade the railway network in Southern Italy. Its completion speeds up and improves the direct transversal connection between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic Sea, whilst bettering connections between Puglia and the innermost provinces of Campania with the Milan-Rome-Naples High Speed/High Capacity line.

Vera Fiorani – CEO and General Manager of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, and Andrea Nardinocchi – CEO and General Manager of Italferr, took part in the diaphragm wall breakdown ceremony. Also present were Francesco Gianluigi Aguglia – President of the CFT Consortium, and Roberto Pagone – Extraordinary Commissioner for the works.

The demolition of the last diaphragm wall opens up the two excavation fronts of the Monte Aglio tunnel, allowing the completion of a 4-kilometre-long tunnel linking Maddaloni and Valle di Maddaloni. Work on the entire Cancello-Frasso Telesino section consists in doubling and speeding up the line for a length of about 16 kilometres, unfurling along a new line between Cancello and Valle di Maddaloni (6 kilometres) and retracing the current route for the Valle di Maddaloni-Frasso Telesino section (9 kilometres). In addition, the construction of the new Valle Maddaloni and Frasso Telesino/Dugenta stops is planned. Thanks to the completion of the tunnel and other civil works along the section, with the initial phase of activation of the Cancello-Frasso Telesino line, it will be possible to realise the direct connection between Naples and Bari by 2024 through exploiting the interconnections with the existing Rome-Naples line via Cassino.

Work on the Cancello-Frasso Telesino section was awarded by RFI to the CFT Consortium formed by the companies Impresa Pizzarotti & C. S.p.A., Itinera S.p.A. and Ghella S.p.A. for a total amount of 340 million euro, all under the supervision of Italferr. Excavation was completed using traditional methods, adopting monitoring systems that allowed work to be carried out in complete safety – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Overall, progress along this section is currently at 60%.

The Naples-Bari High Speed/High Capacity line, for which Rete Ferroviaria Italiana is the client and Italferr is responsible for the preliminary and final design, has a total cost of 5.8 billion euro, also being financed with PNRR (Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan) funds. By 2027, upon completion of the last Hirpinia-Orsara railway lot, the journey from Puglia to Naples and Rome will be even quicker. Indeed, it will be possible to depart from Bari and reach Naples in 2 hours or Rome in 3 hours and head from Lecce or Taranto to the capital in 4 hours. Before this date, however, progressive reductions in journey times are expected, thanks to the phased opening of the new sections of the line, starting with the new direct connection in 2024.

The realisation of the works is part of a broader process of integration and support for the development of Southern Italy, with considerable employment benefits for the entire population. To wit, with the activation of all worksites along the Naples-Bari line, approximately 7,000 people will be employed per day – including direct and indirect operators – creating allied industries for the entire socio-economic fabric of the South.

The commissarial management activities facilitated a significant acceleration of the works, leading to the completion in 2017 of the first two interventions along the route: the Naples/Afragola interchange and the Bovino-Cervaro railway lot. At present, the sections of Napoli-Cancello, Cancello-Frasso, Frasso-Telese, Telese-San Lorenzo, San Lorenzo-Vitulano and Apice-Hirpinia are in the construction phase, whilst from July 2022, work will also begin on the Hirpinia-Orsara and Orsara-Bovino railway lots.