Itinera awarded contract for construction of Lyon-Turin base tunnel

The contract for the excavation and construction of the Italian side of the base tunnel of the Turin-Lyon high-speed/capacity railway line has been awarded to the ASTM Group major works company Itinera.

The contract award was announced last Thursday, 31 August, at a public meeting by the top management of the Public Promoter “Tunnel Euralpin Lyon Turin” (TELT).

Itinera has experience in railways Itinera has experience in railways. // Credit: Itinera

Construction will be a joint venture between Itinera, Ghella and Spie Batignolles. Itinera will lead the project as leader with a 41% share, with Ghella having a 39% share and Spie Batignolles a 20% share.

The contract is worth about €1.1 billion euros, and is the latest contract for the major civil works in the international part of the new railway line between [1] and [2].

Itinera civil and contruction projects Itinera has experience in civil construction projects. // Credit: Itinera

When complete, the line will be 65 km long international stations at Saint Jean de Maurienne in [3] and Susa in [4], where there will be a junction with the existing line. The main part of the work is the Moncenisio base tunnel, which has the longest double-bore single-track railway tunnel ever built at 57.5 km long.

The specific part of the contract awarded to Itinera is for construction of the tunnel from Susa in Italy to the French border. This includes constructing about 10 km of the base tunnel, which will be divided into two bores, the down-ramps and the by-passes. The total length of the tunnels to be built is about 30 km, of which 18 km will use a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) and 12 km will be bored using traditional methods.

Itinera airports Itinera has experience in airport construction projects. // Credit: Itinera

Excavation will produce about 6 million tons of material, while about 730,000 cubic metres of concrete will be required, including for jet-grouting and casting pre-cast segments. The contract is planned to take 91 months to complete, and at its peak will employ about 700 man/days.

Work on the French side began in 2021, and this award for the Italian side marks a crucial step in this strategic infrastructure which forms one of the main components of the Mediterranean Corridor, which is one of the nine axes of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). Eventually, this axis will provide a rail connection between southwestern Europe and countries in central and eastern Europe.

Once this new Turin-Lyon railway line is in full operation, which is planned to be in 2032, it is expected that over 1 million trucks will be removed from Alpine roads, with a saving of 3 million tons of CO2 each year.

As well as this contract, Itinera is also carrying out excavation on the French side of the tunnel, between the entrance portal at Saint Julienne Mont Denis and Saint Martin La Porte. It also has other major international transportation projects, including the new 3.8 km-long Storstrøm Bridge in Denmark, providing a rail and road connection between Copenhagen in Denmark and Hamburg in Germany.


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