Italy’s transport minister, Graziano Delrio, has attended the opening of a new high-speed line between Treviglio and Brescia.

The transport minister and other officials were on board a Frecciarossa 1000 for the maiden trip on December 11 – the day the new European timetable was introduced.

The Cepav consortium that built the line said more than 5,000 workers and 500 companies had been involved in its construction.

The new line, part of the Milan-Verona corridor, includes 39.6 kilometres of dedicated high-speed railway, plus several kilometres of connecting lines to the existing network. Italian State Railways estimates the cost of line at around €2 billion.

The Milan-Treviglio section of the line was completed in 2007. The extension to Brescia will reduce travel times between Brescia and Milan from 46 minutes to 36 minutes. The new line will support commercial speeds of 300 km/h and features ERTMS Level 2 signalling.

As well as reduced travel times, the new line will significantly increase the capacity of the railway, allowing more paths for passenger and freight services.

The next phase of the Milan-Verona high-speed railway will be the section linking Brescia and Verona. Work is expected to begin in the second half of next year. This will be followed by a branch connecting Verona and the city of Padova on Italy’s Adriatic coast.

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