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.

>> For more information, head to the dedicated site


Following some reprogramming, the Programme’s current budget is 2,234,450,014 euro, broken down as follows:

  • The financing quota of the ERDF fund is 1,173,322,511 euro;
  • The contribution from the National Revolving Fund is 391,107,503 euro;
  • The ERDF – REACT-EU funding share is 666,765,000 euro whilst the national counterpart is 3,255,000 euro.

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 INTERVENTIONS FINANCED BY THE 2014–2020 INFRASTRUCTURE AND NETWORKS NOP (acknowledgement of 21/10/2022 with Prot. 0017924)
SIPONREM code Region Project Name Priority Axis Line of Action Eligible Cost
11112 Campania NA-BA route, 1st section: Variant for the Napoli-Cancello line. I I.1.1 178,255,129.56
11113 Campania Napoli-Bari route, doubling the Cancello-Benevento section, first Cancello-Frasso Telesino functional lot. I I.1.1 209,966,739.03
11105 Sicily Palermo-Catania-Messina Rail Link. Doubling the Bicocca-Catenanuova section. I I.1.1 135,000,000.00
11203 Calabria Metaponto-Sibari-Paola (Sant’Antonello juncture): Priority phase. I I.1.2 99,021,981.00
11101 Campania Technological enhancement of the Napoli node. I I.1.1 55,004,443.00
11102 Puglia Bari-Sant’Andrea Bitetto doubling. I I.1.1 96,340,478.00
11104 Puglia Bari node: Bari Parco Nord CBI and alternative entrance at Bari Centrale. I I.1.1 10,058,110.00
11201 Sicily Speeding-up of the Catania-Siracura-Bicocca-Targia section. I I.1.2 82,816,962.00
11103 Sicily Doubling of the Palermo-Messina-Fiumetorio-Ogliastrillo section. I I.1.1 143,555,558.92
11106 Sicily Messina-Siracusa Command and Control System. I I.1.1 6,336,281.00
11107 Calabria Adaptation of the Battipaglia-Reggio Calabria Tyrrhenian track. Lamezia Terme Station Central Static Equipment and General Regulatory Plan (). I I.1.1 16,126,905.22
11202 Sicily Palermo rail link: La Malfa/EMS-Carini section. I I.1.1 18,731,472.00
11204 Calabria Measures to improve the railway infrastructure with a hydro-geological risk in the Region of Calabria. I I.1.2 2,852,542.71
11109 Calabria Adaptation of the Battipaglia-Reggio Calabria Tyrrhenian track: reconstruction of the Petrace Bridge, General Regulatory Plan modification to the station of Gioia Taura and entry into Centralsed Traffic Control. I I.1.1 20,070,826.00
11111 Sicily Palermo Node Command and Control System. I I.1.1 5,767,680.00
11108 Calabria Adaptation of the Battipaglia-Reggio Calabria Tyrrhenian track. Construction of the new Traction Power Substation in Vibo Pizzo and expansion of the Sambiase and Gallico Traction Power Substation. I I.1.1 4,713,150.28
11110 Calabria Adaptation of the Battipaglia-Reggio Calabria Tyrrhenian track: addition in Reggio Calabria of a Central Traffic Controller. I I.1.1 6,888,959.62
22201 Miscellaneous Wi-Life Station project. II II.2.2 7,496,725.00
TOTALE 1,099,003,943.34

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

AXIS 4 – Specific Objective 4.6 – Action 4.6: “Expand Sustainable Mobility in Urban Areas”

Following RFI’s proposal to introduce measures for additional stations and the Campania Region’s review of their coherence with the objectives to improve urban accessibility and usability, a second Agreement was signed on 12 December 2018 to implement the “Smart Stations Programme – Stage 2”, with RFI S.p.A. as the recipient of a total maximum amount equal to 23.283 million euro.

Smart Stations Programme of Initiatives – Stage 2 ELIGIBLE COSTS FUNDED
Aversa 2,400,000.00
Bagnoli Agnano Terme 1,100,000.00
Cavalleggeri Aosta 500,000.00
Napoli Centrale 12,234,500.00
Napoli Piazza Garibaldi 1,800,000.00
Nocera Inferiore 2,700,000.00
Pompei 988,500.00
Agropoli-Castellabate 1,560,000.00
Total 23,283,000.00

AXIS 7 - “Transport”, Specific Objective 7.3: “Improvement of Regional Mobility, Modal Integration and Improving Multimodal Connections”

Following the Agreement between RFI and the Region of Campania, through which RFI was allocated 69,713,888 euro from the resources of the 2014–2020 ROP Campania ERDF, interventions are underway aimed at the: “Electrification, speeding up and modernisation of the existing railway infrastructure of the Salerno-Mercato San Severino-Avellino-Benevento line and the Mercato San Severino-Codola-Sarno section”.

The investment will contribute to a reduction of CO₂ emissions in the environment, especially locally, where the trains run. In addition to the electrification of the Benevento-Avellino-Mercato San Severino-Codola section, the re-commissioning of the Codola-Sarno section and the reclassification of the Avellino-Mercato San Severino section to Category C3, an alternative route from Benevento and Avellino to Nola-Cancello-Scalo Maddaloni Marcianise will also be created. Thanks to the latest interventions, a new corridor will be gained for the needs of freight operators both in a northern direction (Sarno-Cancello) and to the south (Salerno) with improved accessibility to rail services for urban and industrial areas. In addition, the Napoli-Caserta-Benevento-Avellino-Salerno rail loop will be closed by connecting the Avellino station to the electrified rail network, the only one in Campania not yet so, with the possibility of a new model operating on the Salerno-Avellino-Benevento link.

To find out more, please go to the dedicated websites:

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


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”

On 26 November 2018, the agreement between the Basilicata Region, 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 2014–2020 Basilicata ERDF OP (Regional Council Resolution no. 1399 of 21 December 2017)”.
The financing amounts to 1,000,000.00 euro.
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 passengers with a quicker and more efficient road-to-road and road-to-rail interchange with local transport road vehicles and trains.

The work involved:

  • Converting the station forecourt into a car park to allow 5 local public transport vehicles to park there at the same time;
  • Building a car park with 35 spaces (including two for persons with reduced mobility);
  • Constructing suitable works to treat first-flush rainwater and subsequently transfer the treated water;
  • Fitting wooden/steel safety barriers, installing 12 new LED lamp posts powered by solar panels and all ancillary works for the removal of architectural barriers.

Works were completed in October 2019.

Sicily’s Regional Operational Programme (ROP) is the planning document for the Sicily Region, providing the framework for using Community monies from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to ensure full convergence of Sicily with the development of Europe. 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 were 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 with Decision C(2015)5904 of 17 August 2015 and acknowledged by the Regional Council in Resolution no. 267 of 10 November 2015, then amended with Decision C(2017)8672 of 11 December 2017 and Regional Council Resolution no. 105 of 6 March 2018, until the new version approved with Regional Council Resolution no. 369 of 12 October 2018 before being 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 euro, including 3,418,431,018 euro comprising EU support and the remaining quota of national public co-financing. 

AXIS 7 - Sustainable Transport Systems
Upgrading, equipment and technology, improving railway infrastructure safety on the Palermo-Trapani via Castelvetrano line

On 17 July 2019, RFI signed two Agreements with the Sicily Region for the implementation of upgrading, equipment and technology, improving railway infrastructure safety on the Palermo-Trapani via Castelvetrano line, to the tune of 54,500,000 euro and 3,400,000 euro respectively.
In accordance with the specific objectives of the 2014–2020 Sicily ERDF OP, the works were aimed at:

  • Contributing to the creation of an efficient, effective and safe logistical framework in the Mediterranean by giving the convergence areas a strategic role in developing the routes of European and national interest in accordance with the balance between the various modes of transport;
  • Contributing to the strengthening and securing of connections between infrastructure of European (Corridors 1 and 21) and national importance in order to increase the levels of competitiveness and usability of the logistics system;
  • Accelerating the creation of a transport system that ensures services able to 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 line, as well as in the comfort of customers whilst 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 cable throughs;
  • 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 the Trapani Birgi International Airport.

AXIS 7 - Sustainable Transport Systems
Completion of the G.P. Track-doubling for the Palermo Centrale-Carini Urban Section A

On 27 December 2021, an agreement was signed between RFI (as beneficiary) and the region of Sicily for the implementation of the “Completion of the G.P. Track-doubling for the Palermo Centrale-Carini Urban Section A” identified within Priority Axis 7 – “Sustainable Transport Systems”. The amount of financing for the Convention is 39,462,580 euro.

Works on Section A include track-doubling from the Palermo Centrale station to the Palermo Notarbartolo station, for an extension of approximately 6.5 kilometres, on the Palermo Piraineto-Trapani-Punta Raisi line, along with track-doubling the Palermo Brancacci-Bivio Oreto section for approximately 2 kilometres, which serves to link the Palermo-Messina line and the Palermo-Trapani line.

The track-doubling project for Section A, with sections of variants and sections running alongside the existing lines, includes restructuring the Palermo Centrale station forecourt (with works to speed up the tracks from 30 to 60 kilometres/hour), restructuring the Palermo Brancaccio station forecourt (with construction of a new platform and extension of the existing subway), burying the Vespri stop (with a double track) and adapting the Orleans station, as well as constructing the Lolli and Giustizia underground stops.

Within Section A, there is a tunnel consisting of a sequence of two sections. The first is the Vespri-Orleans single-tube section with a double-track base, including the Vespri and Orleans underground stops, along with a subsequent Orleans-Notarbartolo section (including the Lolli and Giustizia stops), in two separate tubes in which the even track is located in the existing adequate tunnel and the odd track will be built inside the new tunnel under construction. The two tubes converge into a single artificial tunnel just before the Notarbartolo station exit. The extension of the Vespri-Notarbartolo tunnel is 3.5 kilometres for the even track and 3.2 kilometres for the odd track.

AXIS 4 – “Sustainable Energy and Quality of Life”
Track-doubling Palermo Centrale/Brancaccio-Carini Railway Section B – Palermo Notarbartolo-EMS Palermo La Malfa

On 26 July 2021, the Agreement was signed between RFI (beneficiary) and the Region of Sicily for implementation of the “Track-doubling Palermo Centrale/Brancaccio-Carini Railway Section B – Palermo Notarbartolo-EMS Palermo La Malfa” identified within Priority Axis 4 - “Sustainable Energy and Quality of Life”. The amount of financing for the Convention is 144,746,642.30 euro.

This project involves doubling the existing track by constructing a natural single-track tunnel (odd-numbered track) that will extend from the Notarbartolo station to beyond the Via Belgio overpass and then continue in an artificial tunnel to the Francia stop, which will instead be constructed in a cutting between bulkheads.

The future even track will remain within the existing tunnel from Notarbartolo to Belgio and continue in an artificial tunnel to the future Francia stop.

The next section, from the Francia stop to the San Lorenzo station, as a result of the deep cutting of the San Lorenzo Colli station, will be realised in an artificial tunnel so as to also ensure the maintenance of the existing road axes.

The final section from the San Lorenzo station to La Malfa EMS, after a short section in an artificial tunnel, runs in a cutting that gradually decreases in depth until reaching the current ground level towards the end of the section.

The project includes the upgrading of the Notarbartolo station, burying the San Lorenzo Colli station and the construction of the new Lazio, Belgio and Francia stops.