The project is part of an upgrade to the Naples - Bari line, which forms part of the EU’s TEN-T core network. The EU says the line is a crucial transport link for the region’s economic growth and regional development.

“Investing in better rail connections in southern Italy means investing in the real economy of the region and it will directly benefit local businesses and improve their territorial cohesion in the country, comfortable travel conditions and, ultimately, better air quality in the region,” says EU commissioner for transport, Ms Violeta Bulc.

The project is due to be completed in October 2022.