ITALIAN infrastructure manager RFI has awarded a partnership led by Hitachi Rail and including Alstom Ferroviaria and Ceit, a €500m framework agreement to design and implement ERTMS on 700km of lines across Italy.

This includes around 480km in Sicily, 150km of lines built by the former Central Umbrian Railway in Umbria, and 80km of the Roccasecca - Avezzano line in Lazio and Abruzzo. Alstom says it will install ERTMS Baseline 3 Level 2 on the sections it is responsible for.

The agreement is being financed by Italy’s National Plan for Recovery and Resilience, and includes installing a new, harmonizing, automatic train protection system, and introducing GSM-R.

“We are very proud of this award: ERTMS represents 50% of the first objective set by the European Union for the implementation of technological projects financed by PNRR,” says Mr Michele Fracchiolla, executive officer, sales & projects EMEA & Australia, Hitachi Rail. “The system will enhance the safety of the railway and allow digital traffic management systems to enable more trains to run on the network, while improving their punctuality at the same time.”