10 November 2016 – One month before the commercial opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the Minister of Infrastructures and Transport, Graziano Delrio, has met the Swiss Federal Councillor, Doris Leuthard.
“The Alps will no longer be a natural barrier but rather an hinge. By 2020 an harmonious connection with Switzerland will be ensured as well as the continuous transfer of freight traffic to rail, increasing the current percentage of 7,5% to around 30% by 2030”, Minister Delrio said.
"Italy –Delrio reminded– is crossed by Four Corridors which are of particular importance for our Country and which create a single European Transport Area. We have invested considerable resources and we intend to enhance the Rhine-Alpine Corridor in collaboration with Switzerland: the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel will offer an extraordinary potential for shifting freight traffic from roads to railways. Accordingly, the scenario will radically change in just a few years, also releasing the construction works for the implementation of the Arcisate-Stabio railway line which will be completed by 2017, as well as the Luino-Chiasso Corridor: our key target is the opening of a freight Corridor from Genoa to Rotterdam because the railway option is good for our cities and our companies”.
As for the Giovi Third Pass, Minister said that work is progressing and the project will be implemented by 2021. “We have financed the fourth lot of works with 1.6 billion euros. We are considering, with the National Anti-Corruption Authority (ANAC), the appointment of an ad hoc commissioner but construction works will not be slowed down”.
Besides the current state of implementation of the Rhine-Alpine Core Network Corridor, the other topics included in the Bilateral Meeting were: the new railway link through the Alps, freight traffic and lakes’ navigation services.
"After many words and many documents, now, we are able to see the action, which will produce positive results: not only the projects are being implemented but they will also be completed within the scheduled time” said the Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard. “In a month’s time the Gotthard Base Tunnel will be opened and this will allow to cover the rail link between Zurich and Milan in three hours and thirty minutes. With the implementation of the Ceneri Base Tunnel by 2020, the travel time will be reduced to three hours. Logistics is an important element for the economic development: we established an excellent and strategic cooperation with Minister Delrio and we also intend to work together in transport logistics sector as well as strengthening customs cooperation”.
The Press Conference held today, follows the Rhine-Alpine Core Network Corridor Conference “Together for jobs and growth: one month before the trade opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel”, which was organized yesterday in Rome by the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport (MIT). The meeting moderated by the European Coordinator for the Atlantic Core Network Corridor, Prof. Carlo Secchi, was attended by logistics operators and Italian/Swiss sector experts, who stressed the importance of the Genoa-Rotterdam European Corridor, as well as the economic opportunities arising from the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel”.
“The Infrastructure deficit and in general, an inefficient logistics system represent an handicap both for the companies and the competitiveness of our Country – said Minister Graziano Delrio, concluding the works”. “Our Government is acting on the basis of a comprehensive strategy aiming at changing wrong transport modes, mainly based on transport by road. Having put railway transport at the very centre of infrastructure planning as well as having redefined, at the same time, the Plan for Ports and Logistics as a whole, means opening a new way which needs to be supported by patience, time and sharing. This also means setting up a common strategy with sector operators and local people. We must listen to and understand the need of our territories which means to implement the necessary infrastructures in the right way. Without this new approach we will not be successful”.
“The cooperation between Italy and Switzerland is very good and is an essential part of the success achieved with the forthcoming opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel – said during her speech the Minister of Transport of the Swiss Confederation, Doris Leuthard”. “Multimodality and inter-modality Transport Systems represent the future of mobility and in this respect we appreciate the commitment of Italy for reforming and enhancing the Italian Port System. With the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, North Europe is approaching South Europe and this is important for increasing goods mobility. Switzerland has made important investments on freight railway transport which we consider of primary importance for the European economic development. The Gotthard Base Tunnel is a project of Europe as a whole; seen as a symbol of cohesion, also meaning that the Infrastructure projects are part of the economic success and competitiveness of our continent”.
“Today’s Initiative – stated in his welcoming speech Renato Mazzoncini, CEO of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group -, confirms the Italian and Swiss intention to tackle common challenges for promoting the mobility of the future. The Third Giovi Pass is a key project for the Rhine-Alpine Core Network Corridor, providing a direct connection between Genoa and Rotterdam sea Ports. On this axis there is the largest part of the freight traffic and about one-third of that one going through Switzerland. The new railway tunnel will ensure a modern infrastructure project, reducing gradients and travel time and most of all, it will make it possible to increase freight traffic. The real problem is that almost 90% of goods are carried by road and only 7,5% by rail. We must aim at increasing this rate to 30% by 2030. It is the first time in 15 years that we have been undertaking the important task of relaunching freight transport by rail. This joint action will also see the establishment in the Italian FS Group of Mercitalia, the new company in which all transport freight activities will be managed which will make investments for 1.5 billion euros for modernizing locomotives and carriages.
The work carried out by the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport for a new framework approach of the Italian Transport policy, is based on three pillars: planning, programming and designing, stated in his speech Ennio Cascetta, Coordinator for the New Mission Technical Structure of the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport. “With the entering into force of the New Public Procurement and Concession Contracts Code, we have overcome the so called “Objective Law”, along with starting again the efficient and effective planning and programming implementation of infrastructures and priority projects for the development of Italy also including a New General Plan for Transport and Logistics as well as the multi-annual planning Document. These tools will lead our Country to the adoption of a medium-and long-term strategy with defined mobility targets. The new infrastructures will have to meet the following key requirements, that is, they must be useful, streamlined and shared”.