Construction launched for Florence high-speed bypass

Florence high-speed bypassRete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) started the construction of Florence high-speed bypass running which includes the railway under-crossing of the city and the new Florence Belfiore high-speed station.

The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Matteo Salvini, the President of the Tuscany Region, Eugenio Giani, the Mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, the CEO of FS Italiane, Luigi Ferraris, and the CEO of Impresa Pizzarotti & C, Carlo Luzzatto, attended the official event held on May 15, 2023.

The bypass will run for about 7 km underground with two parallel tunnels 20 metres below the surface, completed with two above-ground terminal sections: to the north between the Firenze Castello and Firenze Rifredi stations and to the south near the Firenze Campo di Marte station. The tunnels will be excavated using mechanised techniques availing of EPB TBMs (Earth Pressure Balance Tunnel Boring Machines) with a diameter of approximately 9.5 metres.

In November 2022, the Florentia Consortium comprising Pizzarotti and Saipem was awarded the EUR 1.3 billion contract and in December 2022 the first delivery of the construction site areas took place while in January 2023 the consortium started the preparatory activities.

Excavation is expected to begin in the summer of 2023 when work will also start for the new Belfiore station. Completion of the work is scheduled for 2028.

The new Firenze Belfiore high-speed station has been designed by the Foster & Partners and Ove Arup & Partners. The new station will be built in Belfiore-Macelli area adjacent to the existing railway area. The plan of the new station has a dimension of 450 metres x 50 metres, being partly underground and partly elevated. The depth of the track and platform level is approximately 22 metres, whilst the roof rises approximately 18 metres in height. The structure consists of four levels – the platforms for train access, the mezzanine floor (acting as a distribution element for the flow of passengers), the ground floor and the first floor. The first two levels are underground, whilst the first floor is above ground and located inside the roofing.

The Belfiore station will be interconnected with the existing Florence Santa Maria Novella station  and with the public transport network such as the new people-mover that will operate between the new station and Santa Maria Novella, tram line 2 and the new surface-level railway stop, with duly-enhanced connections with city buses.

Under the project, Italferr has been assigned the management of the works which have a total value of EUR 2.7 billion.

The Florence high-speed bypass is carried out the Infrastructure Pole (Polo Infrastrutture) of the FS Group which will allow a separation of the regional and high-speed traffic, increasing the capacity of the surface network for the benefit of the local transport. The new railway will eliminate any interference between the two different types of service. This will improve the regularity of regional services and will increase the capacity of the network by up to 50%.

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