Mont d'Ambin Base Tunnel
The Mont d'Ambin base tunnel (also known as the Mont Cenis base tunnel) is the largest engineering work of the Lyon–Turin rail link project. Reconnaissance work began on the French side in 2002 with the excavation of access points at Modane, then Saint Martin la Porte (2003) and La Praz (2005),[failed verification] and on the Italian side in 2011 at La Maddalena. Construction has yet to start officially, but the 9 km reconnaissance gallery that is being tunneled from Saint Martin de la Porte towards Italy is bored along the axis of the South tube of the tunnel and at its final diameter. In March 2019, the Italians published calls for tender for tunneling of the French portion and in July 2019 for tunneling of their portion.
Following protests against the original alignment of the base tunnel in the Susa valley, its length was increased from 52 to 57.5 km (35.7 mi). This will make it, when it opens, one of the longest rail tunnels in the world, ranking with the Gotthard Base Tunnel (57.1 km) the Seikan Tunnel (54 km) and the Channel Tunnel (50 km).
The cost of the joint Franco-Italian section (from Saint Jean de Maurienne to Val Susa) is estimated at 8 billion euros (in January 2018 value). The cost will be borne by the French and Italian governments, and from EU funds.
The tunnel will be used by freight trains and freight shuttles running at 100 km/h and by higher speed passenger trains operating at 220 km/h.
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