Railway Axis in Sicily to Be Upgraded Significantly Thanks to €101 Million EU Investment

The European Commission has approved a fund of over €101 million to be allocated for upgrading the Palermo-Catania-Messina railway axis in Sicily, Italy.

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According to a press release issued by the Commission, the investment will build two tunnels, 92.75 metres in width and 4.75 in length, with 17 viaducts to avoid bends in the tracks that go through uneven areas, reports.

Additionally, in some parts of the island, a second track will be established to allow travelling to happen simultaneously in two directions.

This project, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, is expected to reduce travel time evidently and also allow more frequent connections. In addition, some of the lands freed up will be turned into bicycle paths, as the project also aims at a slow transition toward green travelling.

“This is a crucial investment to boost the attractiveness of Sicily and encourage the use of a more sustainable mode of transport than roads. It will make Sicily a more accessible and attractive place to live and work. Step by step, we turn the European Green Deal into a reality,” Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira said.

She also pointed out that citizens and businesses in Europe will benefit from this investment, which will include better train connections – faster and more frequent, too.

The project also is anticipated to better the quality of the railway service and connections to the ports of Catania, Augusta, and Palermo, as well as the airports of Catania and Palermo.

It will also upgrade the Bicocca railway station in Catania by modifying the track layout, building new underpasses and ramps, and improving the station building.

This investment is an essential project to strengthen the socio-economic development of Sicily, considering it establishes a more effective, faster, and low-emission means of transportation for citizens and companies.

Recently, the European Commission published the members’ list of the newly founded Alliance for Zero-Emission Aviation (AZEA), which aims at limiting the pollution of aviation by using standards proposed by the EU for the air travelling sector.

So far, the European Union Aviation Safety (EASA) and Eurocontrol, which represent the European air traffic crucial management organisations, have joined the Alliance, initiated by the Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, three months ago.

As of September, the Alliance has 74 members who have joined in the first wave from the EU and abroad, with one of the main aspirations being the one for hydrogen and electric aircraft. The Alliance welcomes all actors in the aeronautical industry and from the aviation community, including energy producers.