3. With the new rail link a large portion of freight traffic will be shifted from road to rail and travel time for passengers will be considearbly shortened.
In 2010 and 2011 alike almost 2.700.000 heavy trucks crossed the French-Italian alpine valleys, i.e some 7.400 trucks a day. France and Italy are both contracting parties to the Alpine Convention and as such they have to abide by the commitments undertaken. Shall we now just sit on the fence and do nothing to curb this unrelenting flow and to protect the environment from harmful emissions?
Over the same period only 1.200.000 trucks a year have passed through Switzerland. Yet, as of 2016 the new Gothard tunnel will become operational. It will be one of the longest railway tunnels in the world, the purpose of which will be to shift large volumes of freight to rail. It would seem somewhat paradoxical if this shift to rail were to remain the preserve of Switzerland, a country whose freight volumes are much lower than the ones crossing the French-Italian Alps.
By 2035, a new high capacity rolling motorway and a more effective traditional freight service will considerably curb freight traffic by road, provided that France and Italy show the political will to support intermodal freight transport. The Lyon-Turin project also fits in well in the “Motorways of the Sea” concept, i.e to support the truck-to-ship transfer system.
Passengers. Without the new Lyon -Turin rail link, by 2035 passenger traffic between the border stations of Bardonecchia and Modane could rise from 1.4 to 2.2 million.
On the contrary, it is estimated that more than 4 million passengers will be using the new rail link. 1.3 million people would prefer it to travelling by car or plane, thus making a positive impact on the environment.
Passenger traffic should not be overlooked in the project. Italy is the only Western European country not have a high speed transeuropean connection to neighbouring countries. As a result, nowadays, connections between the two countries are mainly ensured by car or plane.