The European Union’s cohesion policy is also pursued through the allocation of specific Structural Investment Funds for financing infrastructure projects and initiatives in each European region. Their main feature is that national and regional players are involved in managing and using them. These are their characteristic features: • the amount available is made up of a contribution from the Community budget and a contribution from the budget of each member country benefiting from it; • the programme and operational guidelines are based on, implemented and monitored through a process of collective consultation involving, in addition to Community institutions, national, regional and local authorities, as well as social partners and civil society organisations, in order to best reflect local and regional needs and priorities; • the Operational Programmes (POs), which are the outcome of the Structural Fund planning phase, have a specific role to play at national and regional level (so-called POR and PON, regional and national operational programmes); • management (including the definition, publication and awarding of tenders, the monitoring of projects, the provision of contributions, etc.) is not the responsibility of the European Commission but the Management Authorities operating at national and regional level: for this reason, the Structural Funds are also known as indirectly-managed loans.

The 2014-2020 National Operational Programme (NOP) on Infrastructure and Network contributes to the achievement of the European Union’s priorities on transport infrastructure (rail, ports, last mile connections and ITS – Intelligent Transport Systems), encouraging improvement of the conditions for the mobility of people and freight and ensuring competitive development of the less developed regions of southern Italy (Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Puglia, Sicilia) in order to support economic, social and territorial cohesion and connection throughout Europe


The programme has a budget of €1,843,733,334, 75% of which (€1,382,800,000) is from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
RFI is involved in the NOP with the following initiatives approved for funding by the Management Authority of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

LIST OF RFI INITIATIVES FUNDED BY THE 2014-2020 NOP ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND NETWORK Eligible costs pursuant to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport Decree of 6 March 2019

SIPONREM codeRegion Project titlePriority AxisLine of ActionEligible cost
11112Campania NA-BA route, 1st section: Modification to the Naples-Cancello lineII.1.1178,263,043.19
11113Campania NA-BA route, Doubling of the Cancello-Benevento section, First lot Cancello-Frasso TelesinoII.1.1209,977,093.41
11105Sicilia Palermo-Catania-Messina Rail Link. Doubling of the Bicocca-Catenanuova sectionII.1.1135,000,000.00
11203Calabria Metaponto - Sibari - Paola (Bivio S. Antonello): Priority stage II.1.1103695587.00
11101Campania Naples node technological enhancementII.1.155004443.00
11102Puglia Bari - S. Andrea Bitetto doubling II.1.196340478.00
11104Puglia Bari node: Bari Parco Nord CBI and entrance alteration at Bari CentraleII.1.110,058,110.00
11201Sicilia Speeding-up of Catania-Siracura - Bicocca-Targia section II.1.182,816,962.00
11103Sicilia Palermo-Messina - Fiumetorio-Ogliastrillo section doubling II.1.1143,555,558.92
11.106Sicilia Messina-Siracusa CCS II.1.16,336,281.00
11107Calabria Battipaglia-Reggio Calabria Tyrrhenian track modification Lamezia Terme Station DHW and PRG (general urban development plan)II.1.116,126,905.22
11202Sicilia Palermo rail link: La Malfa/EMS-Carini sectionII.1.118,731,472.00
11204Calabria Measures to improve the railway infrastructure with a hydro-geological risk in the Region of CalabriaII.1.22,852,542.71
11.109Calabria Battipaglia-Reggio Calabria Tyrrhenian track modification: reconstruction of the Petrace Bridge, PRG (general urban development plan) amendment to the station of Gioia Taura and entry into the CTCII.1.120,070,826.00
11.111Sicilia Palermo Node CCSII.1.15,767,680.00
11.108Calabria Battipaglia-Reggio Calabria Tyrrhenian track modification Construction of the new ESS in Vibo Pizzo and Sambiase and Gallico ESS improvementII.1.14,713,150.28
11.11Calabria Battipaglia-Reggio Calabria Tyrrhenian track modification: addition in Reggio Calabria of a Central Traffic Controller (Dirigente Centrale Operativo)II.1.16,888,959.62
21.201Puglia Linking of Taranto port complex railway to the national network (1st stage 2nd lot: Casgioni and Taranto Logistical Platform)IIII.1.224,595,524.00
22.201MiscellaneousWi-Life Station projectIIII.2.27,496,725.00

4 AXIS - Specific Objective 4.6 – Action 4.6 “Increase in sustainable mobility in Urban Areas”

Campania’s Regional Operational Programme (ROP) is the Campania Region's planning document providing the framework for using Community ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) funds to ensure full convergence of Campania with the developing Europe. The Programme sets out the regional growth strategy identifying eleven priorities for assistance.

On 18 April 2018, RFI having been identified as a recipient, the Agreement between Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) and the Campania Region was signed in order to implement the “Smart Stations programme of initiatives” aimed at redeveloping the state rail infrastructure at regional level and improving its usability for a total maximum amount of 22.7 bn euros.

The goal is to enhance the railway stations to improve their accessibility and ease of usability.

The activities set out in the Agreement involve:

  • Execution of works at the station to improve train accessibility, making it easier to get on and off by raising the platform to 55cm from the platform level.
  • Elimination of architectural barriers by installing lifts, ramps, escalators, tactile paving and maps for persons with reduced mobility.
  • Creation of new underpasses – or the renovation of existing ones – used to access platforms safely.
  • Improved variable public information (monitors, information display systems, etc.) to update travellers efficiently and in real time, also by installing Wi-Fi at the station.

Following RFI’s proposal to introduce measures at additional stations and the review by the Campania Region that said measures reflect the aim of improving urban accessibility and usability, on 12 December 2018 a second Agreement was signed to implement the operation “Smart Stations Programme – Stage 2”, with RFI as the recipient of a total maximum amount of 23,283 billion euros.

Smart Stations programme of initiatives – Stage 1ELIGIBLE COSTS FUNDED
Pozzuoli Solfatara2,258,300.00
Napoli Montesanto550,000.00
Napoli Piazza Cavour770,000.00
Napoli Piazza Amedeo2,309,899.92
Mercato S. Severino1,475,695.64
Smart Stations programme of initiatives – Stage 2ELIGIBLE COSTS FUNDED
Bagnoli Agnano Terme1,100,000.00
Cavalleggeri Aosta500,000.00
Napoli Centrale12,234,500.00
Napoli Piazza Garibaldi1,800,000.00
Nocera Inferiore2,700,000.00
Agropoli - Castellabate1,560,000.00

To find out more go to the dedicated website:

AXIS 6 – Line of Action 7C.7.3.1. – “Improve the regional and inter-regional public transport services on sections with potentially significant levels of demand, also through infrastructure and technological work, renewal of rolling stock, promotion of electronic ticket machines together with the action in pursuit of thematic objective 4”

Basilicata’s Regional Operational Programme is the Basilicata Region’s planning document providing the framework for using Community ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) funds. It has a co-modal approach aimed at pursuing growth that is more inclusive, since it is focused on encouraging more social and territorial cohesion, more dynamic and intelligent, since it is based on knowledge, creativity and innovation, more sustainable, since it is more efficient in terms of resources, greener and more competitive. It is focused on 8 priorities for assistance (Axes), each with one Europe 2020 Strategy thematic objective (TO).

On 26 November 2018, the agreement between the Basilicata Region, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) and the Municipality of Ferrandina was signed to implement the operation “Creation of the Ferrandina – Matera Scalo modal interchange area under Axis 6 – Line of Action 7C.7.3.1 of the Basilicata ERDF 2014/2020 O.P. (Decision of the Regional Council no. 1399 of 21 December 2017)”.

The financing amounts to €1,000,000.00.

The creation of the Ferrandina Station modal interchange area is in line with the general objectives indicated by the Regional Transport Plan through developing the external spaces of the RFI Ferrandina-Matera Scalo station, on the Potenza-Metaponto railway line, in order to provide travellers with a quicker and more efficient road-to-road and road-to-rail interchange with local transport road vehicles and trains.

The work involves:

  • converting the station forecourt into a car park to allow 5 local public transport vehicles to park there at the same time,
  • building of a car park with 35 parking spaces (including two for persons with reduced mobility), and
  • constructing suitable works to treat first flush rainwater and subsequently transfer the treated water.
  • The project also includes installing wooden/steel safety barriers, installing 12 new LED lamp posts powered by photovoltaic panels and all ancillary works for the removal of architectural barriers.

The works were completed in October 2019.

AXIS 7 - Action 7.3.1 “Improve the regional and interregional public transport services on railway routes with potential significant demand”

The 2014/2020 Sicily ERDF OP was constructed on the basis of an analysis of the relevant needs, problems and opportunities of the Sicilian Region with the involvement of the local community through a public consultation process. The thematic objectives and investment priorities have been identified on the basis of EU Regulations no. 1301/2013 and no. 1303/2013 and of the 2014/2020 Partnership Agreement for Italy.

The Operational Programme was adopted by the European Commission by Decision C(2015)5904 of 17 August 2015 and acknowledged by the Regional Council in Resolution no. 267 of 10 November 2015, and then amended with Decision C(2017)8672 of 11 December 2017 and DGR no. 105 of 6 March 2018, until the new version approved with Regional Council Decision no. 369 of 12 October 2018 and adopted by the European Commission with Decision (C) 8989 of 18 December 2018.

The Operational Programme consists of 10 Priority Axes and provides total funding of 4,273,038,773 euros, including 3,418,431,018 euros comprising EU support and the remaining part of national public co-financing.

On 17/07/2019, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana SpA signed two agreements with the Sicilian Region for the implementation of the

Upgrading, equipment and technology, with improvement of the safety of the railway infrastructure of the Palermo - Trapani via Castelvetrano line for an amount of € 54,500,000.00 and € 3,400,000.00, respectively.

In accordance with the specific objectives of the 2014-2020 Sicily ERDF OP, the work is aimed

- contributing to the creation of an efficient, effective and safe logistical framework in the Mediterranean by giving the areas of convergence a strategic role in developing the routes of European and national interest according to the balance between the various modes of transport,

- contributing to the strengthening and securing of connections between infrastructures of European (corridors 1 and 21) and national importance in order to increase the levels of competitiveness and usability of the logistics system, and

- accelerating the creation of a transport system that ensures services that contribute to development.

Specifically, the upgrades are aimed at achieving the following objectives:

- Improving infrastructure by renewing the track and completely renovating the track ballast to bring it into line with the new RFI standards, thereby improving the reliability and stability of the track, as well as in the comfort of customers while the train is running.

- Improving the transmission systems with total replacement of the copper supports used for the safety and signalling systems and telecommunications systems, in new underground pipelines or by cementing the cables in protruding ducts.

- Increasing the range of trains on offer to traditional customers and for tourism in the catchment areas of Western Sicily.

- strengthening the connection between the local transport network and the main traffic routes, fostering rail links to Trapani Birgi International Airport.