Italy slows process for building Turin-Lyon rail line

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ROME — Italy’s prime minister has delayed the launch of a project to build a high speed rail link to France, a project which divides the two parties in the nation’s ruling government coalition.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte put on hold the finalization of tenders for the multi-billion-Euro project, which would create a high speed line from Turin, Italy, to Lyon, France, and would include a 58-kilometer (36-mile) tunnel through the Alps.

The Telegraph reports that Conte said he asked the company overseeing the project to delay the launch of the process to select contractors because his government is “totally re-discussing” the planned 20-billion-Euro project. The company, TELT, said it would still call for expressions of interests from potential contractors in order to avoid the loss of European Union funding, but it would not finalize any contracts without the consent of the Italian and French governments.

The two parties in Italy’s ruling coalition strongly disagree on the project. The League party supports the project but the Five Star Movement is strongly opposed, saying the funds earmarked for the project should be used to improve existing infrastructure. Reuters reports the disagreement between the two sides had escalated to the point that it could bring down the government.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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