FOCUS ON: the new Arcisate-Stabio trans-border line

The line on January 8th, 2018.

Italferr, the engineering company of Gruppo FS Italiane, has been assigned the Supervision of Works.

The Italian Minister of Transportation and Infrastructures, Mr. Graziano Delrio, inaugurates the new Arcisate-Stabio railway line, the first trans-border pass between Italy and Switzerland connecting Lombardy with the Canton of Ticino, going from Varese to Mendrisio, without a border station. The railway line came into service on 1 December, the date on which the technical tests were started to assess the conditions and the technological systems installed.

The Italian section

The Italian railway section (over 8 km long) starts at the bridge over the Olona River, north of Varese, and ends at the border with Switzerland, crossing through the urban settlements of Induno Olona and Arcisate, the valley of the Bevera Stream and on into the Gaggiolo plain (municipality of Cantello) to join the Stabio-Mendrisio line constructed by the Swiss Federal Railways. The existing Varese-State Border-Mendrisio line has been interred and doubled from Induno Olona to the Bevera fork in the direction of Porto Ceresio (4.6 km), while the section that reaches the border (3.6 km) consists of an entirely new double track line. In the municipalities of Induno Olona and Arcisate, the tracks run in a deep cutting (from 6 to 8 metres below ground level). This solution has allowed to remove any interferences with the road system and has reunited urban areas.

General technical characteristics of the line

The line is intended for passenger transportation and has three stations: Induno Olona, Arcisate and Cantello Gaggiolo.
Maximum speed on the line is 100 km/h, and the maximum slope is 22‰. The line is powered with 3 kV DC up to the borderline, where the power voltage changes to 15 kV AC, as customary on Swiss railroads. Train safety spacing is managed using an axle-counter block system up to the Bevera shunting yard.
The shunting yards of Induno and Bevera are controlled using new Itinerary-based Interlocking Control Panels (ACEI), run by the Controlled Point of Milano Greco Pirelli. Protection of train direction on Italian territory is obtained using the Discontinuous Train Cab Signalling system (SCMT), while in Switzerland it is obtained using the EuroSignum-EuroZUB system. The connection point between the two national systems is at the State border.


There are three stops along the line: Induno Olona, Arcisate and Cantello Gaggiolo.
The bridge-like configuration of the stations, therefore accessible from both sides of the line, allows to achieve a pedestrian junction right at the station. The new stops have been designed and constructed based on the standards defined in the Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) of the EU railway agency, so as to ensure better accessibility to trains even for persons with reduced mobility and for the disabled. Every stop has a waiting room, a shop, toilets, staircases for reaching the tracks from road level, tactile paving for the partially sighted, a lift at each platform, sidewalks 250 m long and 55 cm high to facilitate train boarding, traveller information systems with monitors and audio announcements. At the Cantello Gaggiolo stop there are also the Customs offices.
Outside each station there is a new square with passenger parking. In addition to all this, parking areas for buses and cars (on a kiss & ride basis) so as to boost transport intermodality.

The Induno tunnel

The “Induno” tunnel (950 m long) crosses through the municipality of Induno Olona. The tunnel consists of an intermediate section made using an underground tunnel (478 m long) and of two external sections made using artificial tunnels. The whole tunnel develops along a bend, at a depth of over 50 metres below the previous railway tunnel that has been transformed into a cycling and pedestrian path. The tunnel was made by excavating simultaneously from the Varese end and the Stabio end. The last diaphragm was knocked down on 30 January 2017.

The Bevera tunnel

The “Bevera” tunnel (970 m long) is located West of the municipality of Gaggiolo (Varese), North of the Provincial Road No. 3 (SP3). The structure consists of a central section made using an underground tunnel (862 m long) and of two external sections made using artificial tunnels. The whole tunnel develops mainly along a bend. Excavation was performed simultaneously from the Arcisate end and from the Stabio end. The last diaphragm was knocked down on 12 July 2017.

The Bevera viaduct

The Bevera viaduct spans the municipalities of Arcisate and Cantello, after the Bevera shunting yard and immediately prior to the Bevera tunnel. Overall, it is 438 m long. The viaduct consists of 7 large spans each 60 m wide.