High speed in Calabria returns to year zero: the “Apennine” route is skipped


By John

As in the game of goose, we are back to square one on the Salerno-Reggio Calabria high-speed railway project. The risk of a new great unfinished business is truly around the corner. In the response recently provided by the government in the Chamber committee to a question from the MP Paola De Micheli (Pd), we read: «The construction of the underground works makes it necessary to carry out important drainage interventions both during construction and permanently, in the subsequent phase of railway operation, which are complex from the point of view of environmental sustainability and which, moreover, they would require huge costs for the maintenance and management of the plants during operation as well as leading to an extension of construction times”.

The news for Calabria and the South is that the route imagined so far – the one that cuts inland from Praia a Mare to Tarsia – is difficult to achieve. «They are underway – the undersecretary for Infrastructures repeats – Tullio Ferrante – further design insights to identify a route with greater environmental sustainability that allows an improvement of the geomorphological and hydrogeological context, the possibility of connection with the historical line, the execution of the intervention in phases, with shorter implementation times and a better time of travel due to a reduction in the length of the route”.

What happens now? Put in these terms, the transit from Cosenza would be skipped – net of the connections guaranteed by the new Santomarco tunnel and the original route would be returned. There is one document to consider in this story. It is the feasibility study drawn up by the Italian railway network at the beginning of 2022. Yes, because taking into consideration 5 route alternatives: Tyrrhenian, motorway, Ionian, motorway plus Ionian, Tyrrhenian plus Ionian, the Tyrrhenian was the best.