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Parliamentary questions
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13 September 2018
Answer given by Ms Bulc on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003577/2018

The aim of the Lyon-Turin project is to create more favourable conditions for the return of large-scale commercial use of cargo trains. This is to be achieved by means of a modern, safe, capacious tunnel linking France with Italy as part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Mediterranean Corridor.

The existing railway line is not adapted to the requirements of a contemporary logistic chain. Its current technical characteristics unduly limit the maximum length of train convoys, the maximum size of transported containers, the use of special wagons, and require a minimum of two locomotives. All these elements have a negative impact in terms of cost, delays, energy consumption, pollution and make the current line less attractive and competitive from an economic perspective.

The economic crisis of 2008 has had a profound impact on freight traffic volumes across Europe. However, from 2013 onwards freight traffic between France and Italy has shown a strong recovery and it is currently approaching pre-crisis levels (40Mt/year).

Due to the obsolescence of the railway infrastructure a considerable proportion of this freight is not transported by rail but by road, generating noise, pollution and congestion in the sensitive environment of the Alpine and coastline regions. This shift can only be reversed by eliminating bottlenecks and increasing the capacity of this rail link.

The Lyon-Turin project is crucial for the timely completion of the Mediterranean Corridor and it will remain a priority for the Commission. Concerning the post-2020 financing, it is first necessary to conclude the negotiations on the Multi-Annual Financial Framework, assuring that it will include an ambitious allocation dedicated to EU transport and TEN-T policy.

Last updated: 13 September 2018Legal notice