Here is Monica Frassoni‘s comment on the article “Italy’s high-speed train line under the Alps gathers pace” written By John Hooper for The Guardian, which you can find HERE.

  • The Turin Lyon line is an underdeveloped, underused line (about 2% of its potential).
  • Transport on that aerea culd be fostered greatly BEFORE having to spend 8 billion euros in a tunnel.
  • This is the point; what t he issue is about is not a “line” is a tunnel. And a tunnel, no matter how expensive, will not put trains on that line by the simple fact of existing.
  • For that, you need to change the present policy which greatly favours tracks (in Italy it is the only category which received subsidies), you need to build trains; change the direction of traffic; solve the bottle necks of Turin; create a logistic system that works.
  • The madness of all this is to believe that a tunnel, expensive and disruptive, will by miracle bring traffic, wares and clients on this line. Indeed, the choice of the italian authorities to go for a so-called “low cost” alternative of the project, means that a series of workings that could have given sense to a tunnel in a far away future are simply taken out. Italy has a long history of what we call “cathedrals in the desert“. I am afraid that this will just be another one. As to the French, they built to exploratrory tunnels. And the french side of the Turin Lyon line will not start to be built before 2024. It is not included in the Sarkozy transport priorities of the next few years. Frankly, we have other priorities these days than to waste money in a heavy infrastructure in such a terrible financial situation and with soooo many other things to invest public money in. If you want to have a more detailed report of the situation and an answer to the arguments of the Monti’sGovernement (which are copied from old Virano Documents) please go to

Best regards
Monica Frassoni