• Freccia rossa 622
  • normal Fiorenzuola canon 22
  • plan generale mi-bo1 622
  • plan generale mi-bo2 622
  • Freccia rossa 622
  • normal Fiorenzuola canon 22
  • plan generale mi-bo1 622
  • plan generale mi-bo2 622


Milano Bologna High Speed rail line

Country Italy - Emilia Romagna
Client Snamprogetti S.p.A. - Milano
Services provided Detailed design
Period of execution 03/1992-12/2001
Construction cost € 450,000,000.00

180 km of line
60 km of crossroad rehabilitation
30 bridges and viaducts for a development of 80 km
60 Overpass
9 Tunnels


The Milan–Bologna stretch is one of the main sections of the Italian high-speed programme. The programme’s aims are not only to shorten north-south travel time, but also to clear the existing line of long distance traffic and thus indirectly improve service standards (regular schedules) for local traffic.


The main technical problems tackled concern the innovative nature of the works to be designed. Many of the specific high-speed techniques, regarding both the geometry of the line and its technological and structural specifications were being applied here, in the 90s’, for the first time in the country.
Another unusual technical problem in the design of civil works, particularly during the first phase of the project, has been the great number of technicians and experts working simultaneously, and thus necessitating a sort of ‘industrial’ organisation in a previously traditionally artisan context.
Mention should also be made of the designers’ commitment to hydraulic aspects, since the project area is criss-crossed by a dense hydrographic system that often impacts the horizontal and vertical alignment of the line.
Very early on, however, the design commitment for the Milan-Bologna high-speed line was revealed as being much more difficult than expected, because the confroming design, on which the detail design was based, was absolutely rejected by local authorities. For this reason, in full organisation progress in tackling a ‘detailed’ design, and even in parallel with its implementation, the Client requested us to study an alternative optimal ‘corridor’.
The Reggio Emilia–Modena stretch was the most demanding, since the selected alignment was located, owing to pressure from local authorities, in an area immediately adjacent to the A1 motorway, preferrable from an environmental point of view, in order to use a corridor already ‘contaminated’ by the motorway. Two motorway intechanges were completely redesigned in the Reggio Emilia region.
Infinite attention was needed however owing to the geometric differences between the railway and the motorway, to the presence of motorway intersections and railway junctions. In the end, the rail and motorway layouts were so fully integrated and so close to each other that a subsequent study was needed to analyse reciprocal traffic interference and safety provisions for operating.
A further peculiar aspect of the high-speed design was the cultural innovation produced. Indeed, up to the introduction of the high-speed line, railway engineering had been very traditional.
In relation to the fundamental requirement for safety, any innovation, however brilliant, had to deal with standards, instructions and, above all, a rather conservative mentality.


Detailed design of Railway, crossroads, hydraulics and related ancillary works for the high-speed line