After the good news of the Declaration of Public Utility (DUP) of Poitiers-Limoges, last 5 January, a new section of the Via Atlantica has been approved. This concerns the Lyon-Turin line, confirmed by the Italian-French summit of last 25 February. Shortly beforehand, the Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, had reaffirmed that the Lyon-Turin line was a priority of the Mediterranean corridor.
The application file for European funding, which is expected to cover 40% of costs, was submitted to the European Commission on 26 February.
The total cost is 8.6 billion euros for the 57 km base tunnel: 2.2 billion for France, 2.7 for Italy and 3.3 for the EU for a time-saving of 45 minutes, and a total gain of 2 hours 13 seconds once the accesses have been made. The base tunnel is expected to open by 2028.
A new company has been incorporated, to take over from LTF (Lyon-Turin Rail): Telt (Tunnel Euralpin Lyon-Turin )with a 50% holding by the Italian rail company FS and 50% by the French State.
Nevertheless, an estimated 3 billion is required for the 2014-2020 period, of which 1.2 billion is to be provided by Europe over and above the 26.4 billion allocated to transport infrastructures for the 2014-2020 period, in other words 5% of the total. This must be reassuring for the opponents who feared that the Lyon-Turin line would divert the majority of funds to the detriment of many other projects. France's share for this period would be 940 million, that is, 188 million per year for works beginning in 2016!
The French President and the Chair of the Italian Council have declared the Lyon-Turin line to be an essential part due to the heavy flows of traffic and the economic exchanges between the Iberian Peninsula and Eastern Europe via France and Italy. Could this be a prelude to the official recognition of the Via Atlantica?