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Agreement reached on €8.5bn tunnel through Alps

An agreement has been reached and construction has recommenced on the first phase of a high-speed rail link between Lyon, France and Turin, Italy. The first phase of this extensive infrastructure project will cost €8.5bn and see a 57km base tunnel created through the Alps between Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, France and Susa, Italy.

BBC Correspondent Christian Fraser this morning reported on the often violent backlash that the project has attracted, with protestors kept at bay by the Italian Army. He explained: “In Italy, they have lobbied tenaciously - and at times violently - in their fight against the rail link between Lyon and Turin. Some 400 people were injured in clashes with the police last year when the tunnel site was first fenced off.”

Once complete in 2023 the tunnel will enable users to travel from Paris to Turin in 4 hours and Lyon to Turin in 2 hours, a drastic reduction from the current 7 and 4 hours journeys. 40% of the €8.5bn first phase will be funded by the EU.

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