A new high speed railway station in Tuscany’s southern provinces. This is the announcement recently released by the Umbria and Toscana regions, who will benefit from the new stop designed to serve a one-million traveler basin.
The station will be called “Media Etruria” and will probably be located between the cities of Arezzo and Chiusi, in the Siena district: a strategic location from the perspective of transportation in central Italy, as it is at the crossroads of the high-speed Florence-Rome rail, the “historic” railway line that connects Tuscany to Umbria, highway A1, the “two seas” E78 Grosseto Fano freeway, and important freeway nodes. The two regions’ infrastructure councilors have already taken the first step in the realization process, which will now require a study of the contextual feasibility for the location that is best suited to host the new station.
The model for “Media Etruria”, which once realized will constitute the only stop for high-speed trains on the Rome-Florence route, is the Reggio Emilia station, inaugurated a few months ago, which has become the intermediate stop in Emilia Romagna for the high-speed trains on the Milan-Bologna route. The “Mediopadana”, this is the name given to the work realized by architect Santiago Calatrava, was created to serve a basin of two million potential travelers, and it too was located in a fulcrum position between freeways with a lot of car traffic and other railway nodes: the project required a 79 million Euro investment on behalf of Rete Ferroviaria Italian and the Emilia Romagna region. The objective is to turn the new station into a “growth engine” for the territory and its economy, for both the southern portion of Tuscany and for Umbria, a region that till now was not touched by the high speed railways that have experienced a strong development in recent years because they are serviced by an increasing number of trains by two transportation operators. There are still no estimates regarding the connection times between “Media Etruria” and the two poles, Rome and Milan: Florence – the regional capital – can currently be reached by train in an hour from the capital [Rome] and in two hours from Lombardy’s metropolis [Milan].
The Italian High Speed/High Capacity system involves a network of new railway lines and of existing railway lines that were upgraded along the high-traffic itineraries from the Peninsula’s north to the south. Since the end of 2009, the direct line connecting Turin-Milan-Naples-Salerno (on which the Arezzo-Chiusi station would be inserted), which according to Rete Ferroviaria Italiana data is where approximately 65% of the mobility demand is concentrated, was opened to the public: this line, which spans approximately 1,000 kilometers, integrates with the European High Speed network, partly with the Mediterranean Corridor #3 and partly with the Helsiki-Valletta Corridor #5.