A Webuild Group-led consortium has a secured $1.30bn (€1.07bn) contract to design and construct a section of a high-capacity railway spanning from the Brenner Base Tunnel between Fortezza and Ponte Gardena in Italy.

The 22.5km-long expansion project was commissioned by state-owned rail operator Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI).

The other member of the consortium is Swiss engineering firm Implenia.

Most of the work will be executed underground, including the interconnections at Ponte Gardena.

On completion, the under-construction 64km-long Brenner tunnel will become the longest railway tunnel in the world.

This tunnel will provide a connection between Verona, Italy, and Munich, Germany, through Innsbruck, Austria.

The project will significantly increase the capacity on the Verona-Fortezza line, along the Munich–Verona railway corridor, reducing travel time for the passenger as well as freight trains.

In a statement, Webuild said: “It will also improve the Munich-Verona line by adopting standards that exceed the speed and performance limits of the existing line, which currently obliges trains to travel at relatively slower speeds, especially on inclines.”

The company is currently involved in three major construction sites for the Brenner tunnel.

These locations include the underground crossing of the Isarco River, adjacent to the southern exit of the Brenner before the Fortezza station, and underground civil works at Tulfes-Pfons.

Webuild is also working on Mules 2-3, which is the core section at the Italian end of the tunnel.

Last month, the Iricav Due consortium signed an agreement with Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane) to commence work on the Verona-Padua high-speed/high-capacity railway in Italy.

The Iricav Due consortium consists of Webuild (83%) and Hitachi Rail (17%).