That legendary unfinished tunnel in the Alps

very fast train view

Italy shape is known to everyone, as a long shoe with beautiful cities and beaches and surrounded by crystal clear seas. But maybe not everyone knows that the ”boot” is not flat and smooth, but is mainly made of mountains and hills.

So, as everywhere there’s mountain, transportation on the ground can become quite difficult. Alps and Apennines are covering almost 70% of the soil and create a real obstacle for train and cars.

Drive up and down the hills

To enter in Italy, coming from France, Switzerland, Austria or Slovenia, which are the country Italy has border with, you need to pass through the Alps, unless in the two coastal road on east (Friuli) and west (Liguria).

Next to beautiful mountain and lakes, you’ll be able often to admire man made miracle to facilitate transportation, such as tunnels long more than 10km through majestic mountains. Frejus or Mont Blanc just to name two of the most fascinating ones. But also San Gottardo in Switzerland has its charme.

Now, those tunnels mainly support transportation via vehicles, such as cars and vans, but there’s no real good solutions when it comes to train.

This is a missed opportunity. It excludes the transportation by train in and out the peninsula and doesn’t leverage the impressive internal investments, made with regards to fast trains.

So, there’s a project, which is running now since early 2000s to build an impressive. TAV, Treno ad alta velocity. High Speed Train.

It consist in a railway line of 235km for train transportations, for goods and people, in between Turin and Lyon, connecting the two cities, separated today by a wall of mountains even more.

Via High speed train anyone will be able to travel quickly and safely from the south of Italy to the North of Europe. Reducing the distances and improving drastically the connections.

The reason of No TAV

The Turin-Lyon railway sound as an idyllic plan that everyone should love, but isn’t. It isn’t because the project brings together with a fast train connection, also very high expenses and an immense work on the beautiful alpine landscapes between the Italian and French city.

Citizens grouped under the name ”No TAV” have been expressing their opposition to the project since the very beginning, trying with several method from institutional to more radical approach to stop it.

The reason of Si TAV

As the new Italian government, led by the quite explosive couple made of 5 Star movements and Lega are reviewing if this great effort is necessary at all, a new group of citizens has emerged, the ”Si TAV”.

”Si TAV” is a group led by 7 women and 1 man. 7 influential business women and a former secretary of the minister of transportation of Berlusconi government. To lobby for the realization of the project, claiming the immediate benefits for the economy and to generate new business, directly and indirectly thanks to the new easy way of transport goods and people.

Some of the points raised by the ”Si TAV” group includes the fact that 70% of italian export need to pass through Alps and it could connect via train Paris to Turin in circa 3 hours.

What’s next

As mentioned, the new government is evaluating the project, although in reality is trying to find its own internal balance to come with a joint conclusion. The two souls of the government couldn’t be more far on this topic, with the 5 star movements that has always claimed that once on power will stop the project, while Lega much more in support of the realization.

News and decisions are expected for this spring. And consequences may be way bigger than expected.

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Categories: ListenItaly.com

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