The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a loan agreement with the Italian Economics and Finance Ministry to provide €950m in funding for Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI)’s investment programme.
This financial assistance will be allocated for the modernisation of conventional railway lines, as well as regional and local routes, in northern and southern Italy.
EIB vice-president Dario Scannapieco said: "Having been the main funder of Italy’s high-speed rail network, the EIB is now supporting local routes used daily by millions of Italians.
"Furthermore, I wish to stress the importance of our direct contact with the treasury. This arrangement will have a positive impact on the public finances and I hope that it can be replicated in other sectors."
This loan will help the Italian Treasury to make savings in terms of interest payments and the treasury will in turn lend the funds to RFI for its investment programme, EIB said.
RFI will be responsible to upgrade, adjust and maintain the entire Italian conventional rail network that serves millions of Italians.
According to economics and finance minister Pier Carlo Padoan, this investment will help to enhance the infrastructure and services available to the Italian people and to kick-start a period of investment to foster economic growth and job creation.
"We will work to enable the EIB to fund projects starting with those already identified by the national task force and conveyed to the European institutions," he said.
EIB recently agreed to provide a £480m loan for the Northern Line extension to Battersea, London, UK.
Image: The loan agreement was signed by EIB vice-president Dario Scannapieco and the Italian Treasury director general Vincenzo La Via. Photo: courtesy of European Investment Bank 2015.