It’s back on track. The long-disputed Lyon – Turin railway line will be constructed by 2020, French President François Hollande has announced.
“We can now say the Lyon-Turin railway line is not only in the pipeline, but has been launched,” announced Hollande. “It will take time to come to fruition, but there are, as of today no brakes on the project and no obstacles lying in the way of its completion.”
He and his Italian counterpart Matteo Renzi signed off on the project to connect the cities during a summit in Paris on Tuesday (February 24).
The leaders will ask the European Commission to foot 40 percent of the bill, to the tune of around 3.4 billion euros.
France will provide 2.2 billion euros of financing and Italy 2.9 billion. Approximately one billion euros has already been put into preparatory work.
There have been several rallies against the construction of the line, which will include a 57-kilometre long tunnel through the Alps – protesters say the project is pointless and too costly.
The so-called “freight and passenger highway” is expected to be up and running from 2028.