The ceremony was attended by Mr Pietro Salini, CEO of Webuild (formerly Salini Impeglio), Italy’s infrastructure and transport minister, Mr Paola De Micheli, Mr Calogero Mauceri, extraordinary commissioner for the Terzo Valico dei Giovi and the Node, Mr Maurizio Gentile, CEO of RFI, and the Archbishop of Genoa, Monsignor Marco Tasca.

Resumption of tunnelling follows the signing of a contract between RFI and the Cociv consortium led by the Webuild Group for the design and construction of the Terzo Valico dei Giovi project.

The Genoa Node scheme involves the completion of civil works on the Colombo, San Tomaso and Polcevera tunnels within 30 months at a cost of €120m. Webuild says this will accelerate work on the new 250km/h 53km line between Genoa, Novi Ligure and Tortona, which is 40% complete, and includes 37km of tunnels.

RFI and Cociv also signed a contract for a link to connect the new line with the existing railway in Novi Ligure and to construct a siding for freight trains at San Bovo. The scheme includes the construction of connections with the existing rail network at Voltri, Genoa Parco Campo, and Tortona.

When it opens, the Terzo Valico project will cut the journey time between Genoa and Milan from 1h 39min today to 50 minutes and improve freight connections between the port of Genoa, northern Italy, and northern Europe. Terzo Valico will form part of the Rhine-Alps TEN-T corridor linking Genoa with Rotterdam, Antwerp and Zeebrugge.

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