The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a key EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs, and competitiveness through targeted EU-wide investments in transport, energy, and digital services.

With specific reference to Transport, the CEF aims to develop a high-performance, sustainable and efficient Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). For this to be possible, it is necessary to:

  • remove bottlenecks, increase rail interoperability, and implement missing links;
  • promote innovative low-carbon and energy-efficient transport technologies, while optimizing safety;
  • promote the integration and interconnection of different transport modes.

RFI is participating in the Transport CEF under the 2014-2020 programming and the 2021-2027 programming.


14-20 programming was established by Regulation (EU) no. 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and Council of 11 December 2013 in order to grant EU financial assistance to trans-European networks and, in particular, to infrastructure projects of common interest in the fields of transport, telecommunications and energy, exploiting potential synergies between these sectors.

RFI participates in the 14-20 CEF with the following projects:

Veneto Intermodal is the European project co-financed by the CEF Programme, led by Interporto Quadrante Europa of Verona, which includes amongst its partners the Veneto Region, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana and the North Adriatic Sea Port Authority.

The Objective of the Project. The Veneto Region's Transport Plan is the general framework for the project, particularly with regard to the section on freight and logistics. The action as a whole aims at enhancing the so-called “last mile” of three regional infrastructures of Community interest, being the Interports of Verona and Padua and the Port of Venice, all core nodes of the TEN-T network, as infrastructure that allows trade interchange with the rest of Europe and the world for companies located in the region.

The project has a total budget of 4 million euro, 50% of which is co-financed, and will be completed at the end of 2021.

More specifically, at the preliminary and executive level, RFI will design the expansion of the Verona Quadrante Europa station, the new 750-metre intermodal terminal and its connections to the Brenner route and the line towards Bologna. In addition, RFI will develop the feasibility and preliminary design of a new direct connection from the east (direction Venice) of the Padova Interporto station to connect the interport directly with the Mediterranean and Baltic-Adriatic Corridors.

"Designing the upgrade of Italian railway stations on the MED, BAC, RALP and SCAN-MED TEN-T Core Network Corridors"

The project starts with the elaboration of a technical-economic feasibility analysis up to the executive design related to upgrading or adaptation to interoperability standards of station areas located in strategic (multimodal) hubs. The aim is to give stations a renewed centrality, to fully express their potential as transport junctions and service hubs to promote public transport and sustainable mobility.

The activities will concern stations along the railway lines of the four TEN-T Corridors crossing Italy, namely: MED, BAC, RALP, SCAN-MED.

In particular:

  • Baltic-Adriatic and Mediterranean Corridor – planning the Padova and Venezia Mestre stations;
  • Reno-Alpi Corridor – design of the Milano Greco Pirelli, Monza and Seregno stations;
  • Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor – design of the Verona Porta Nuova, Pesaro and Cattolica San Giovanni Gabicce stations.

Needs addressed by the Action

The design of the measures responds to the needs arising from the increase in rail transport supply, particularly on high-speed lines. It is thus necessary to promote the integration of railway stations as interchanges also for urban mobility. Further needs arise from the expected surge in passengers at future events such as the Milano-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics, which will affect the stations of Venezia Mestre, Padova, Verona, Milano Greco Pirelli, Monza and Seregno, and from the need to adapt the routes affected by international traffic, as is the case for the Milano Greco Pirelli, Seregno and Monza stations.

Objectives and outputs

These investment projects are aimed at the upgrading, development and functional redevelopment of stations that have a significant impact on the territory.

In detail, the project includes:

  • Works to raise platforms to the standard 55 centimetres in height from the track level aimed at improving train accessibility;
  • Adaptation of underpasses to interoperability standards;
  • Interventions for improving the accessibility of the railway infrastructure for persons with reduced mobility in accordance with Article 10 (2)(b)(v) of the CEF Regulation (installation of lifts with consequent removal of architectural barriers).


21-27 programming was established by Regulation (EU) no. 1153/2021 of the Parliament and Council of 7 July 2021 – repealing Regulations (EU) no. 1316/2013 and (EU) no. 283/2014 – with the aim of accelerating investments in the field of trans-European networks (transport, energy, digital) and stimulating both public and private investments by achieving greater synergy and complementarity between the sectors that comprise the three components of the programme.

RFI is participating in CEF 21-27 with the following projects:

As part of the larger global project located in the cross-border section Turin-Lyon, in the Mediterranean corridor of the Core Network, the main objective of the Action is developing the final design of the railway access section from Orbassano to Avigliana, which will then continue to the Turin-Lyon base tunnel.

The project envisages the construction of a new line as a route variant from Avigliana to Orbassano station, for a total length of some 24 kilometres. The tracks at the Orbassano freight yard will be upgraded to allow the tracks of the new railway line to enter. The route runs within tunnels beneath the Collina Morenica between Avigliana and Orbassano (about 14 kilometres), followed by a section in an artificial tunnel (about 3 kilometres) and an open-air section entering and crossing the Orbassano freight yard located in the railway-road terminal. Subsequently, the new line will join the existing line accessing the urban hub of Turin (a node belonging to the TEN-T Core Network).

The Project Coordinator is RFI (also being a mono-beneficiary).

The total budget is 19.776 million euro, with 50% co-financed.

The conclusion of the project phase, together with the relative authorisation phase, is scheduled for 30 April 2025.

Objectives: The Action (linked to that already co-financed by the EFC and currently underway, the Cross-border section of the new Lyon-Turin Mont d’Ambin Base Tunnel – TBM), will ensure the connection of the new railway line to the Orbassano rail-road core terminal and increase the capacity of the Turin junction by improving the articulation between long-distance and local traffic.

Benefits: In the long term, there will be an improvement to the modal shift from road to rail and interoperability in the railway system. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions, road congestion and road accidents shall decrease. In addition, there will be a reduction in noise due to the removal of rail freight traffic from inhabited urban areas and suburban areas between the municipalities of Orbassano and Avigliana. The new line will even increase international competition by offering a faster, cheaper mode of transport with a higher service quality between Italy and France.  

The project is part of the overall “Southern Access Line to the Brenner Base Tunnel” project, concerning the main cross-border section of the Scandinavia-Mediterranean corridor of the TEN-T Core Network. It runs from Fortezza to the Ponte Gardena station (Lot 1) and has a total length of about 22.5 kilometres. It unfurls almost entirely through two tunnels (the Scaleres and Gardena galleries), with the exception being when it crosses the Isarco River within a viaduct.

The intervention consists of the construction of part of Lot 1 and, in particular, part of the main tunnels of Scaleres and Gardena (at about 5 kilometres each). Additionally planned are the construction of four tunnels, Forch and Albes windows (belonging to the Scaleres tunnel), the Funes window and the Chiusa descent (belonging to the Gardena tunnel) along with their respective entrances. Finally, the northern entrance to the Gardena tunnel will be completed.

The Project Coordinator is RFI (which is also a mono-beneficiary).

The total budget is 150 million euro, with 50% co-financed.

It is scheduled to conclude on 31 December 2026.

Objectives: To contribute to increasing the quality and quantity of the rail offer, considering that the current Brenner railway line has now reached a high level of saturation and the pressure of the community and local governments is equally strong in their pleas to transfer to rail the heavy traffic that today goes mainly by road along the Brenner motorway, with considerable impact in terms of air and noise pollution.

Benefits: In the long term, the project will facilitate the separation of freight transport from passenger traffic (local and long-distance services), with enormous benefits for passengers. The completion of Lot 1 will also reduce the noise impact caused by heavy traffic and the energy consumption for electric traction by 40%, thus also reducing CO₂ emissions. The project will create the conditions for a modal shift from road to rail. 

This project includes upgrading the Firenze-Pisa railway line belonging to the “Scandinavian-Mediterranean” TEN-T Core Corridor plus upgrading the Udine-Cervignano railway line belonging to the “Baltic-Adriatic” TEN-T Core Corridor.

The Project contributes to adapting the TEN-T Central Network railway infrastructure for efficient and cost-effective freight transport, as well as military mobility for training and defence purposes, thus enabling the dual civil and defence use of the Firenze-Pisa railway line (connecting the Florence hub with the urban area of Pisa and the ports of Livorno and La Spezia) along with the Udine-Cervignano railway line (connecting the Udine junction with the urban area of Cervignano and the ports of Monfalcone and Trieste). The adaptation to 740 metres will be carried out in the Palmanova station with the extension of Tracks 1, 2, 3 and 4, and in the Pontedera station with the extension of Track 4. Adjustments of the safety, signalling and electric traction system shall be carried out for both stations.

The Project Coordinator is RFI (which is also a mono-beneficiary).

The total budget is 7.750 million euro, with 50% co-financed.

It is scheduled to conclude on 29 February 2024.

Objectives: To carry out infrastructure works, in line with European standards, to allow the circulation of trains with a length of 740 metres, as required by TEN-T Regulation 1328/2021 and in line with Regulation (EU) 2021/1328. This will be achieved through works at the Pontedera and Palmanova stations respectively.

Benefits: Infrastructure adapted to European standards will jointly improve civil and military mobility within the EU, also making it compatible for moving heavy military equipment (dual use).

The project falls within the Trieste-Divača cross-border railway section, part of two main TEN-T corridors (the Mediterranean and the Baltic-Adriatic). The overall project aims to ensure interoperability, adequate infrastructure capacity, the elimination of bottlenecks and the transition from road to rail on this TEN-T section between Italy and Slovenia. Through an intergovernmental commission, Italy and Slovenia agreed that the improvement of the railway infrastructure in this section should be realised through the modernisation of the existing infrastructure (the option of building a new railway line has been postponed for the medium- to long-term).

The Action envisages three work packages with: the redevelopment of the Villa Opicina station (WP1); the elaboration of the executive project for redevelopment of the Sežana station and the railway line between Sežana and the Italian border (WP2); the coordination between the beneficiaries of the Action and the key stakeholders (WP3). Co-operation between Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, Ministrstvo za Infrastrukturo and GEIE FERROVIA TRIESTE DIVAČA (EEIG Railway Trieste-Divača department) is planned.

The Project Coordinator is EEIG (European Economic Interest Grouping), whilst RFI is one of the beneficiaries.

The total project budget is 37.344 million euro, 50% co-financed. RFI’s quota is 33.314 million euro, with a maximum grant amount of 16.657 million euro.

It is scheduled for completion on 29 June 2026.

Objectives: Upgrading the Villa Opicina station in accordance with interoperability standards and TSI (Technical Specifications for Interoperability) on the TEN-T Core Network; removing the bottleneck on this railway line and making operations at the Villa Opicina station more efficient; completing documentation for the Executive Design to allow construction works to begin in the next phase of the Global Project.

Benefits: Through the Global Project, the Action will contribute to improving the technical parameters of the BC railway line IT/SI-Sežana, in particular with higher speeds, shall guarantee the possibility of using 740-metre-long trains for freight transport and will enable the achievement of interoperability standards as required by the TSI regulations.

This project intends to continue the Europe-wide implementation of the “TTR  (Timetable Redesign) for Intelligent Capacity Management” programme, with the aim of increasing the attractiveness and efficiency of international railways, so as to help up the competitiveness of rail and its market share in the European transport market.

The project coordinator is RNE (RailNetEurope), whilst RFI is one of the beneficiaries.

The total project budget is 147.812 million euro, with 50% co-financed. RFI’s quota is 12.6 million euro, with a maximum grant amount of 6.3 million euro.

It is scheduled to conclude on 31 December 2024.

Objectives: Support the parties involved in the implementation of activities related to IT implementations defined within the framework of the “TTR for Intelligent Railway Capacity Management” programme; adapt the legacy systems of Infrastructure Managers to enable cross-border data exchange (to facilitate integrated infrastructure capacity and traffic management); support Infrastructure Managers (IMs) and Railway Undertakings (RUs) in implementing the railway system and its subsystems and in ensuring compliance with TAF and TAP TSIs.

Benefits: Through the optimal transfer of data and the generated automations, the project will allow in the long term a redesign of the capacity planning and allocation process in order to offer Railway Undertakings a flexible, efficient and stable product by ensuring that the allocation of total freight and passenger capacity is carried out taking into account the needs of all stakeholders, whilst balancing the maintenance obligations of the operator. Finally, by providing an optimised distribution of capacity through medium- to long-term models (Capacity Strategy and Capacity Model), it will offer the possibility of requesting stable and flexible paths even during the annual timetable.