France and Italy have signed an agreement for financing of a high speed rail link between Lyon and Turin that is expected to include 52km of tunnelling. Italian and French transport ministers signed a memorandum of understanding on 5 May.

The agreement for the US$14.5bn trans-Alpine link hinges upon a 20% European Union subsidy for the cross border part of the link.

  Last November, Italy succeeded in getting the twin tube rail tunnel through the Alps inserted in a list of projects aiming to boost the European Union’s economy. Reports said the work could begin by 2006, which would see the link opening by 2016.