EUROPE: A number of rail schemes are included in a €4bn allocation of Cohesion funding for 25 major infrastructure projects in 10 EU member states which was announced by the European Commission on April 2.
Czech Republic: €76m for the modernisation of the Praha – Plzeň line, including track renewals, a partial realignment and a 4 km tunnel which opened last year. This aims to shorten travel times on the rebuilt section of the route by 50% and increase the accessibility and attractiveness of Plzeň as a regional economic centre.
Italy: €358m for a 6·8 km underground extension of the 950 mm gauge Circumetnea railway in Catania, with eight stations. This aims to help reduce road congestion and pollution and improve the efficiency of the railway network. The project includes the purchase of rolling stock worth €60m.
Poland: €126m to support the Szczecin Metropolitan Railway project to enhance links radiating from the city to Stargard, Police and Gryfino, with the modernisation of 23·7 km of line 406 and construction of 10 stations and upgrading of 30 others. There is also €39m for the purchase 16 of electric multiple-units for use by Koleje Mazowieckie around Warszawa, and €58m for the purchase of 20 electric locomotives and refurbishment of 152 coaches for use by PKP Intercity.
Portugal: €199m to support upgrading of the Ovar – Gaia section of the Lisboa – Porto line as part of the Trans-European Transport Network, with passengers to benefit from shorter travel times, greater comfort and increased safety.
Romania: €97m for track and infrastructure renewals and new rolling stock on București metro Line 2.