Milano station passengers (Photo: Benfuenfundachtzig/Pixabay)

ITALY: A €300m scheme to provide direct government grants for the acquisition and installation of ETCS onboard equipment has been approved by the European Commission under EU state aid rules.

The programme running to the end of 2026 aims to encourage passenger and freight modal shift to rail by removing technical barriers to interoperability.

On May 26 the Commission said the state support was in line with the objectives of the EU Sustainable & Smart Mobility Strategy and the European Green Deal. The grants would have an ‘incentive effect’ as the beneficiaries would not otherwise carry out the investment, and they were restricted to the minimum necessary with a limited impact on competition and trade between member states.

Italian infrastructure manager RFI is aiming to deploy ERTMS on the entire national rail network by 2036.