Transport infrastructure is the backbone of economic and social development throughout the territory, influencing productivity, facilitating trade with other areas and markets, along with improving economic inclusion and social cohesion.
The Infrastructure business Hub will be instrumental in realising accessible, integrated, resilient and interconnected road and rail works and shall consist in engineering services to accelerate investments. The companies in this Hub are Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, Anas, Italferr and Ferrovie del Sud Est. The Parent Company of the sector shall be RFI.
Placing RFI and Anas in the same Hub aims to maximise industrial synergies, ensuring full integration of rail and road infrastructures. Together, the two companies manage around 50,000 kilometres of arterial roads and railway lines, almost 4,000 tunnels and over 40,000 bridges, subways and viaducts.
Realising infrastructure investments within certain timeframes, improving Italy’s transport infrastructure equipment by effectively integrating the rail and road networks with other infrastructure and urban centres, ensuring the safety and resilience of infrastructure in an increasingly challenging context, accelerating the ecological transition of the Group and the country, as well as seizing the opportunities offered by new technologies for innovative maintenance activities and services are amongst the most vital priorities to be pursued by the Group.
The investments of the Hub are ambitious. In order to be realised, in addition to a ten-year vision, certainty of investment readiness and an independent cost-benefit analysis is required. RFI foresees a total of around 110 billion euro in technical investments in extraordinary maintenance, technology, regional networks, port/interport connections, routes of national interest (High Speed/High Capacity), safety and upgrading, in addition to lines for tourists, metropolitan cities and airport connections. The completion of the works in the pipeline shall be decisive in terms of increasing the regularity of the service, with an extensive introduction of the most modern distancing systems (ERTMS). During the plan, a number of reductions in journey times along the main rail routes will be achieved. For example, the cities of Milan, Turin and Genoa can be connected in about one hour and Naples–Bari in just two hours.
As far as Anas is concerned, technical investments of around 50 billion euro are planned for network development, extraordinary maintenance and other activities necessary for completion of the plan. The company’s integration into the Infrastructure Hub will also form the basis for accelerating the digitalisation and connectivity of roads (as Smart Roads).
To maximise industrial synergies, Italferr’s contribution for design and construction supervision will also be a determining factor. In order for Anas to become an integral part of the Group with RFI and Italferr, a number of regulatory and legislative issues need to be addressed, such as streamlining the system of rules and procedures.
The objectives are ambitious in aiming to upgrade and integrate the rail and road networks, making them both more modern, resilient, interconnected and accessible to all. This synergy must be present right from the planning phase of the works, defining and specialising the roles of the various infrastructures in conjunction with those of the design, technological development and maintenance. This connection between the two entities is intended to bring Italy closer, cutting travel times between the main capitals and reaching all the country’s urban centres in a capillary manner.
The rail-road synergy will render it possible to integrate around 50,000 kilometres of arterial roads between railway lines, highways and motorways, which accommodate over 9,000 trains and 7.4 million vehicles per day.