• France's news in English

France and Italy plan high-speed rail link

AFP · 31 Jan 2012, 07:37

Published: 31 Jan 2012 07:37 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

France and Italy on Monday signed an agreement to build a high-speed rail link between Lyon and Turin, the largest such project in Europe, despite opposition on the Italian side of the border.

The line, which is due to be completed by 2023, would allow high-speed trains to link Paris and Turin in just over four hours, compared to seven at present.

The Lyon to Turin connection would be cut back from just over four to just under two.

Work will begin with the digging of a 57-kilometre tunnel (35 mile) tunnel under the Alps to link the border areas.

The €8.5 billion ($11.2 billion) tunnel will funded by France, Italy, and the European Union, with Italian Deputy Transport Minister Mario Ciaccia saying he hoped the EU would pay 40 percent of the cost.

The new line will take account of human and environmental impact studies on the Italian side of the border where violent protests took place last year, French Transport Minister Thierry Mariani said.

Last week some 40 people were arrested, with 26 of them detained, following violent protests in July over the project.

"A minority cannot upset a shared decision, along with a national and EU programme," Ciaccia said, vowing to stand by the agreed timetable for building the link.

Early work to clear the way for the line started last summer in Italy's northern Susa Valley amid a strong police presence as protesters sought to break through barriers erected around the controversial site.

Susa Valley residents fiercely opposed the plan, saying construction of tunnels would damage the environment.


Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available