Under the agreement, which builds on a memorandum of understanding signed by the two parties on February 9, FS will act as a general contractor providing services to RAI through the design, construction, testing and commissioning phases of the two projects.

In addition, FS subsidiary Italcertifer will support the development of rolling stock and infrastructure test centres, while FS will provide training for RAI employees.

The agreement also unlocks Italian state export financing, which will be guaranteed by Sace, a subsidiary of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.

"This cooperation agreement confirms the strong international demand for Italian railway expertise," says Mazzoncini. "The expansion into foreign markets and the internationalisation of our activities, both in terms of infrastructure and operations, will be one of the key elements of the business plan we are working on."