Italians protest high-speed train link to France

2nd November 2005, Comments 0 comments

ROME, Nov 1 (AFP) - Fresh protests Tuesday against a new high-speed Alpine rail link between Italy and southeastern France caused blockages and delays on the Italian rail network, reports said.

ROME, Nov 1 (AFP) - Fresh protests Tuesday against a new high-speed Alpine rail link between Italy and southeastern France caused blockages and delays on the Italian rail network, reports said.

In the second day of demonstrations, five trains between Italy and France were affected when protesters occupied the platform at Borgone di Susa station, 40km outside Turin, the Ansa news agency reported.

Other groups of demonstrators blocked national road routes connecting Turin to the French border, causing long traffic jams of several kilometres.

The latest protests came after scuffles broke out Monday as hundreds of Italians tried to block preliminary drilling work on the new high-speed rail link between the northwestern city of Turin and Lyons in southeastern France.

The demonstrators included members of Italian environmental group Legambiente and residents from local villages in the Susa valley, who claim the link will disrupt the environment and local communities.

The Turin-Lyon track, a key link in a planned network of high-speed railways across Europe, would cost an estimated EUR 12.5 bn.

It is expected to pass through a 52-kilometre tunnel under the Alps and require the laying of some 300km of track.

Neither France nor Italy have formally agreed to finance the project until investment commitments are secured from the European Union.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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