With starting up of the Aurora tunnel boring machine, the mechanical mole that is 100 metres long, with 18 motors and total power of 6,3 Megawatts, excavation began on the Grottaminarda tunnel in the Avellino Province, on the section between Apice and Hirpinia of the new Naples - Bari HS/HC line.
Italferr, the Engineering Company at Gruppo FS's Infrastructure Hub, has been entrusted with Direction of Works for construction of this strategic project provided for by the "Sblocca Italia" Legal Decree. The works are also financed under the PNRR [National Resilience and Relaunching Plan] and are an integral part of Core "Scandinavia - Mediterranean" (Helsinki - La Valletta) Corridor n° 5, and the Gruppo FS Infrastructures Centre are constructing it to upgrade the railway network in the South of Italy.
In this new route we are seeing the construction and, in part, modernisation of the existing train link between the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic mainlines, which is currently interrupted in a few places, with a highly tortuous route that lacks infrastructural homogeneity.
The work's impact on the area is significant, making it possible to travel from Bari to Naples in two hours, and Bari to Rome in three hours, improving Puglia's and Campania's connections to the Naples - Rome - Milan HS Line.
The Grottaminarda Tunnel is about 2 km long and is the first of three tunnels planned on the essential (18 km long, 12 km of which underground) Apice - Hirpinia section of the new Naples - Bari HS/HC Line.
Completion of the works is planned for 2027.
This is part of the Cantieri Parlanti project, the Gruppo FS's initiative developed in collaboration with the Infrastructure and Transport Ministry, which "gives a voice" to more than 30 Strategic Works throughout Italy. The aim is to give a transparent account of the activities and aims of the works by means of public initiatives, infopoints and a dedicated section of the FS Italiane website, which is continuously updated and deals with strategic works.