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Italian study says US$10 billion Turin-Lyon rail link proposal not viable

AN Italian government cost-benefit analysis of a US$10 billion rail link between Turin and Lyon will say that the project is not economically viable, according to two people familiar with the situation, reports Bloomberg

Italian study says US$10 billion Turin-Lyon rail link proposal not viable

AN Italian government cost-benefit analysis of a US$10 billion rail link between Turin and Lyon will say that the project is not economically viable, according to two people familiar with the situation, reports Bloomberg

04 January 2019 - 19:00

AN Italian government cost-benefit analysis of a US$10 billion rail link between Turin and Lyon will say that the project is not economically viable, according to two people familiar with the situation, reports Bloomberg.

The first high-speed trains between the industrial centre of Turin and Lyon, France's second-biggest city, are to run in 2030, financed by Italy, France as well as the EU that promises to pay 50 per cent of the cost.



Five Star, which is part of the country's populist government along with the rightist League, historically opposed the rail link, known as TAV, and has promised voters a review.



This caused a clash with the pro-business League, which backs the project.



A final decision by the Infrastructure and Transport Ministry on whether works will continue on the project, is only expected at a later stage, after a review of the administrative burden to halt it.



This is only the latest episode in a 10-year long saga that has pitted the business community against environmentalists. The Ministry declined to comment.



Earlier this month, Italy's infrastructure ministry asked Telt - the company that is building the link and is co-owned by Italy and France - to postpone the publication of new contract tenders.



In November, French Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne told the Italian government that it needed to make a decision on TAV by the beginning of 2019.



With extensive preparations already completed and contracts signed for additional works, walking away would cost Italy EUR2 billion (US2.27 billion), according to TAV administrators.



The review, which was done by a commission appointed by Five Star Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli, is the eighth cost benefit study on the project. Mr Toninelli has repeatedly said he opposes TAV as it would damage the local community and cost too much.


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