Rome–Naples high-speed railway
The Rome–Naples high-speed railway line is a link in the Italian high-speed rail network. It opened from Roma Termini to Gricignano di Aversa on 19 December 2005. The final 25 kilometres (16 miles) from Gricignano to Napoli Centrale opened on 13 December 2009. When the line is completed trains will take 1 hour and 10 minutes between the two cities. The line is part of Corridor 1 of the European Union's Trans-European high-speed rail network, which connects Berlin and Palermo.
Construction of the line began in 1994. Between 2004 and 2005 a series of tests was carried out prior to the line being opened for commercial operations, to obtain approval for the line to be regularly operated at up to 300 km/h (190 mph). During these tests an ETR 500 train achieved a speed of 347 km/h (216 mph). These speeds were made possible by the line's 25 kV AC railway electrification system (rather than the traditional Italian use of 3 kV DC), and the new signaling, control and train protection system provided by the European Rail Traffic Management System/European Train Control System (ETCS). It was the first railway line in Italy to be electrified at 25 kV AC at 50 Hz and the first in the world to use ETCS Level 2 in normal rail operations.
The first 193 kilometres (120 miles) of the line was brought into service on 19 December 2005. The new line begins near Roma Prenestina station (4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles) from Roma Termini) and ends at Gricignano di Aversa, where a connecting line leads to the Rome-Naples via Formia line, which is used for the last 25 kilometres (16 miles) to reach Napoli Centrale station. The line features three other interconnections that link with the historical Rome-Naples via Cassino line, near Anagni, Cassino and Caserta.
On 13 December 2009, work was completed on the last 18 km line of the line between Gricignano and Napoli Centrale, which may eventually include a new station at Napoli Afragola to provide interchange with the Circumvesuviana line. The station was due to be open in 2009 when the construction contract was first awarded, but tenders have been called again and construction is on hold. In order to allow high-speed trains to and from Salerno and the south to bypass Napoli Centrale station, the Mount Vesuvius line may be built. When the Rome–Naples high-speed line is fully open the length of the high-speed section will be about 205 kilometres (127 miles). Afterwards, the Gricignano di Aversa connecting line will not be used for normal operations.
The longest tunnel on the line through the Alban Hills is 6,725 metres (4 miles) long. The minimum radius of curves is 5,500 metres (6,000 yards) and the centres of the running lines are 5 metres (16 feet 5 inches) apart. The maximum gradient of the line is 21 per thousand.
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