Tortona, 12 January 2024 - The first 8.5 kilometres of the new railway line of the project “Progetto Unico Terzo Valico dei Giovi/Nodo di Genova” between Rivalta Scrivia and Tortona were officially opened today, marking the return of regional trains between Tortona and Novi Ligure. The new tracks constitute the final, northbound section of the future HS/HV line being built by the General Contractor led by the Webuild Group on behalf of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, the lead company of the Infrastructure Hub of the FS Italiane Group and the client of the entire project, operating under the coordination of Government Commissioner Calogero Mauceri.
Onboard the first train departing from Tortona this morning were Edoardo Rixi, Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Calogero Mauceri, Commissioner of the Terzo Valico project, Genoa Junction and Campasso project, Alberto Cirio, President of the Piedmont Region, Giovanni Toti, President of the Liguria Region, Franco Lucente, Councillor for Transport and Sustainable Mobility for the Lombardy Region, Marco Gabusi, Transport Councillor of the Piedmont Region, Enrico Bussalino, President of the Province of Alessandria, Gianpiero Strisciuglio, Managing Director and General Manager of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, Marco Rettighieri, President of the General Contractor led by Webuild together with representatives of Trenord and the Mayors and Institutions of the territories involved.
“The government has secured all the necessary funds to complete the work within the timeframe set by the NRRP. This deadline commits everyone involved, from the Commissioner to the companies, to keep to the timetable in the realisation of Europe's largest railway project. The excavations are well advanced and the technical solutions have been outlined. We must continue to work in this direction,” said Edoardo Rixi, Deputy Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. Calogero Mauceri, Commissioner of the Terzo Valico project, added: “today we have achieved our first goal, that of opening the first section of the future Terzo Valico dei Giovi line to citizens. We travelled 8.5 kilometres northwards by train, a feat achieved thanks to the continuous efforts of engineers and workers and despite logistical challenges encountered along the way. The commitment of all those involved is to continue the realisation of such a complex but equally important work for the region”.
“Today's inauguration marks the start of a project of strategic importance for the future of the country,” said Gianpiero Strisciuglio, Managing Director of Rete Ferroviaria Italiana. "Today we are entering the implementation phase of a project that is finally becoming a reality, bringing tangible benefits for passengers and freight traffic. This demonstrates that the investments that the NRRP has allocated to the FS Group offer modernity, innovation and sustainable services to Italy’s regions”.
From Monday 15 January, six Trenord regional trains will run between Tortona and Novi Ligure and back along the Milan-Novi Ligure/Arquata Scrivia line. The service will also make a stop at the station in Pozzolo Formigaro, which is now reopen after a period of closure to allow infrastructure upgrades and restyling work to be carried out. Journeys between Novi Ligure and Arquata Scrivia will also include a stop in Serravalle Scrivia.
Three trains will run at prime commuter times in the morning and evening, allowing passengers to once again travel comfortably by train for the first time since the service was suspended six years ago.
There are also benefits for freight traffic thanks to the new Rivalta Scrivia terminal, the new Rivalta Scrivia station master plan and the connection of the Terzo Valico line at Tortona and on the Alessandria-Piacenza route, allowing freight convoys to reach the new Rivalta Scrivia terminal and further promoting the development of the Interporto, a fundamental logistics hub for the area. The work carried out in Rivalta Scrivia, involving four new tracks of 750 metres in length and the dual access to the RTE and Interporto connections, will increase the capacity of the existing depot and allow longer trains to stop there.
The work, carried out in several stages to ensure the functionality of the freight yard and its accessibility at all times, will continue by equipping the railway yard with a modern fire-fighting system to handle the transport of dangerous goods, further expanding its market potential. At the same time, new shelters, subways and walkways will be built in the Rivalta Scrivia station, making it more usable and accessible in 2024, with special attention to people with disabilities or reduced mobility.
The project called “Progetto Unico Terzo Valico dei Giovi-Nodo di Genova” will allow trains to travel at a maximum speed of 250 kilometres per hour through the provinces of Genoa and Alessandria to the city of Milan. This marks a real revolution for rail transport in northern Italy, an area of important strategic value for Europe. The primary beneficiary of the new line will be the entire port system of Genoa, but the link will also optimise the Rhine-Alps Corridor of the Trans-European TEN-T transport network. Freight services will benefit from a preferential route, making the transport of goods to the port of Rotterdam more efficient and offering considerable benefits for the environment.