Construction has commenced on a tunnel to accommodate the Milan-Rome railway in northern Florence, Italy. The tunnel will serve a new dedicated high-speed station at Belfiore, located 20km west of Florence. The project has a budget of £2.4 billion. It features the construction of a 7km twin-bore tunnel and the development of the Belfiore station. Both are expected to be completed by 2028.
The tunnelling work began on 15 May 2023, with the launch of the first tunnel boring machine near Campo di Marte station, 2km east of Florence’s city centre. The tunnel excavation will create a separate route for high-speed trains. As a result, it will free up capacity on the existing surface tracks leading to Santa Maria Novella in central Florence. This will eliminate the need for reverse movements of through trains and enhance the efficiency of the rail system.
Milan-Rome Railway’s Tunnel and Station Project
The tunnel will run at an average depth of 20m. It will thus connect Campo di Marte to the existing line on Viale XI Agosto, situated between Castello and Rifredi stations north of the city. The excavation is expected to operate at total capacity in the coming weeks, with two tunnel boring machines advancing at 12m daily.
The new Belfiore station will cover a 45,000 m2 area. Furthermore, it will feature a 450m-long and 50m-wide structure with a maximum height of 25m above street level. Additionally, it will support two high-speed services, enhancing regional connectivity.
New High-Speed Station and Twin-Bore Tunnel to Enhance Rail Connectivity in Italy
The project is being implemented by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), the organisation responsible for managing Italy’s rail infrastructure. The construction division of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, a state-run railway operator, is carrying out the project on behalf of RFI. Italferr, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane’s project management arm, handles project management responsibilities.
The tunnel’s construction and the Belfiore station’s development are part of a comprehensive plan to streamline high-speed and regional traffic in the area. The Milan-Rome railway project aims to improve the efficiency. This is as well capacity of the rail network. As a result, it will facilitate smoother and more reliable transportation for passengers travelling between Milan and Rome.