Berlin–Palermo railway axis

The Berlin–Palermo railway axis (German: Eisenbahnachse Berlin–Palermo) (Italian: Asse ferroviario Berlino-Palermo) is project No. 1 of the Trans-European high-speed rail network (TEN-R), which involves the creation of a 2,200-kilometre-long (1,400 mi) high-speed rail line between Berlin and Palermo.[1][2] It is designated as one of the main transport links connecting Central and Southern Europe, tracking through Germany, Austria and Italy.

From Berlin the line will run to the Central German Metropolitan Region of Halle/Leipzig, to Erfurt and to Southern Germany at Nuremberg, Ingolstadt and Munich. Crossing the border with Austria, it will continue through the state of Tyrol along Kufstein, Wörgl and the capital Innsbruck. It will enter Italian South Tyrol, passing Franzensfeste and Bolzano, run through Northeast Italy via Verona and Bologna, through Central Italy along Florence and Rome, and reach Southern Italy at Naples and finally shall ferry over to Messina and Palermo on Sicily.

The corridor begins at Berlin Hauptbahnhof opened in 2006 and runs via the rebuilt Anhalt Railway (up to Bitterfeld) and Dessau–Leipzig railway to Leipzig Hauptbahnhof. The line shall continue to Erfurt Hauptbahnhof on the Erfurt–Leipzig/Halle high-speed railway, which opened in December 2015. Likewise, the southern continuation of this route along the Nuremberg–Erfurt high-speed railway opened in December 2017.

In the meantime, service is provided by tilting ICE T trains running on sections of the Leipzig–Großkorbetha railway, the Thuringian Railway, and the winding Saal Railway via Jena Paradies station, bypassing Erfurt on their way from Leipzig to Nürnberg Hauptbahnhof. From Saalfeld station they cross the Rennsteig ridge of the Franconian Forest via the Leipzig–Probstzella railway and the Franconian Forest Railway and continue along the Bamberg-Hof railway (from Hochstadt-Marktzeuln) and the Nuremberg–Bamberg railway

Further to the south, the corridor runs via the Nuremberg–Munich high-speed railway line opened in 2006 to München Hauptbahnhof passing Ingolstadt Hauptbahnhof. The following section of the Munich–Rosenheim railway has already been upgraded to four-tracks up to Grafing station in order to separate mainline and suburban traffic. Finally the Rosenheim–Kufstein railway runs to the Austrian border and Kufstein station.

The heart of the Austrian section is the New Lower Inn Valley railway through the Tyrolean Unterland region. In particular the section between Wörgl and Baumkirchen is the most congested line of the whole TEN-network, a result of the Austrian national east-west traffic and the international north-south traffic sharing the same line. The largest section from Kundl to Baumkirchen is already completed and in operation since December 2012. The shorter section between Kundl and Kufstein (or Brannenburg in Bavaria), including a Wörgl bypass, is being planned. The Austrian section trains will be able to operate at up to 250 kilometres per hour (160 mph).

At the Baumkirchen rail hub, new high-speed curves link with the Innsbruck bypass including the Inn Valley tunnel (German: Inntaltunnel), which is already used by freight trains, but still needs to be upgraded for passengers and connected with the existing Lower Inn Valley railway line for trains calling at Innsbruck Hauptbahnhof. The Inn Valley tunnel will connect directly with the future Brenner Base Tunnel (Italian: Galleria di base del Brennero) bypassing the existing Brenner Railway across the Alpine divide up to the southern portal at Franzensfeste in South Tyrol, Italy. Construction of the main bore on the Austrian side began on 19 March 2015. The combined Inn Valley and Brenner Base tunnels will be the longest railway tunnel in the world (62.8 kilometres (39.0 mi)).

From the southern portal of the Brenner Base Tunnel at Franzensfeste, an upgrade of the 189 km (117 mi) long Brenner Railway section to Verona Porta Nuova is planned, bypassing Brixen and Bolzano/Bozen.

This page was last edited on 11 December 2017, at 11:47 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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