More than 150 French public figures have signed a letter asking them to halt the construction of the Turin-Lyon railway tunnel and redirect investment to other railway routes. The letter was published in Reporterre, an independent French publication. The signatories include the mayors of Lyon and Grenoble, as well as members of the European Parliament. Railway Supply magazine writes about this with reference to RailFreight.


The signatories of the letter accuse the supporters of the project of a five-fold reduction in trains between France and Italy. Moreover, they claim that the 200 million euro intended for the railway in the Alps was used to finance the road tunnel in Fréjus. Another accusation included in the letter is that not a single truck was taken off the road, despite the fact that the existing rail line is 30 percent cheaper than using the road. Finally, they note that the project has a significant impact on the environment, especially on the forest in Maurienne.

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First and foremost, the signatories are demanding that the existing railway should be used again at the same pace it had in the 2000s. Moreover, they want the money to be invested in the Turin-Lyon tunnel to be immediately channeled into the opening of a transshipment platform in the Amberieux-en-Bugey area, east of Lyon.

They also demand that the 20 million euros in annual revenue from the Mont Blanc road tunnel be used solely to fund the transition from road to rail. In addition, they want the 200 million euros spent on the Frejus road tunnel over the past 10 years to be returned to the railways. For example, they proposed to increase the capacity of existing lines in the Lyon area.

The signatories are demanding that, in 2023, companies involved in road transportation in the area should be offered rail shuttle options. Finally, they are asking for the “decision to open the safety gallery of the Fréjus road tunnel to be canceled and that the latter be reserved exclusively for emergency vehicles”.

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