Webuild has secured a new $764.29m (€640m) contract to double the Palermo-Catania-Messina high-capacity railway capacity in Sicily, Italy.

The design-and-build contract has been awarded for works on the Fiumefreddo-Taormina/Letojanni Functional Lot one, a subsection of the Giampilieri-Fiumefreddo railway.

The company recently secured a $1.19bn (€1bn) contract to deliver works on the second Functional Lot of the Taormina-Giampilieri portion of the railway.

Webuild has been commissioned by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (Gruppo FS Italiane).

The works will be executed by a consortium, in which Webuild has a 70% stake while Pizzarotti owns the remaining 30%.

The lot involves work along 15km of the railway line passing from Fiumefreddo to Taormina/Letojanni, between Messina and Catania.

In a statement, Webuild said: “It includes an interconnection at Taormina/Letojanni, the dismantling of installations along the existing line between Fiumefreddo and the link with the historic line.”

Under the new contract, the company will also construct an underground station at Taormina and two viaducts at Fogliarino torrent and Alcantara viaduct.

An artificial tunnel at Fiumefreddo, along with three natural tunnels at Calatabiano, Letojanni and Taormina, will also be built.

The project is being executed under the axis of the Messina-Catania-Palermo railway, which is part of the Scandinavia-Mediterranean corridor of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) sustainable mobility initiative.

After completion, commuters will be able to cover the journey between Messina and Catania 30 minutes faster.

The company is currently doubling the capacity of the Bicocca-Catenanuova portion of the Palermo-Catania railway.

As a result, the trains on this section will start operating at a speed of up to 200km/h.

These railway development projects have received funding from the Piano Nazionale di Ripresa and Resilienza (National Plan of Recovery and Resilience).

Prior to this, Webuild emerged as the best bidder for a contract involving the design and construction of the Orsara-Hirpinia section on Italy’s Napoli-Bari high-speed railway project.