The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a $68m loan to Italian railway authority Ente Autonomo Volturno (EAV).

EAV will use the loan to procure 40 electric trains for the Campania region.

It provided the loan via the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI falls under the Investment Plan for Europe, also known as the Juncker Plan.

EAV has planned to invest €220m over the next five years to replace the 40 old trains with electric trains. These will operate on the Circumvesuviana railway network that serves the province of Naples.

It expects this to reduce pollution and traffic in the area. The new trains will reduce the CO₂ emissions in the region, helping EIB meet its climate action goals.

The new trains will run on six rail lines of Circumvesuviana. The railway network serves 2.5 million residents across 47 municipalities, making them Europe’s most densely populated areas.

EAV aims to maintain the rail network in Naples, which is affected by the rising tourist traffic in the region.

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It expects this investment to improve the safety and the operational and energy efficiency of the EAV fleet.

EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco stated: “In the metropolitan area of Naples, the Circumvesuviana railway lines are strategically important for commuters and tourists.

“I am proud therefore that the EIB is supporting this project in view of its social impact and because the move to new electric trains will have a considerable impact on reducing pollution, thus helping to meet the ambitious but achievable goals set by the European Union and the EIB.”

Last year, EIB agreed to provide a €200m loan to improve Danish rail network connection to the Fehmarnbelt link, a future undersea tunnel connecting Germany and Denmark.