Webuild has a 70% stake in the project, which has been commissioned by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana – RFI (Gruppo FS Italiane). Partner Pizzarotti will have the remaining 30% stake.

The contract, which is worth €1.003bn (£860m), is on the Giampilieri–Fiumefreddo section of the line. Work on the lot entails the construction of 28.3km of new railway, including the civil and related works such as electrification, signalling and communications. It will include the excavation of two single tunnels, six parallel tunnels and seven viaducts.

The work will be part of a new line between Messina and Catania that will join the existing one ahead of Fiumfreddo station, then reconnect to it at Giampilieri station. Most of the line will be through tunnels and further away from the coast than the existing line. It will include a hub at Fiumefreddo, a new underground station at Taormina and five new open-air stops. Letojanni station will remain.

In Sicily, the Webuild Group is already working on the Bicocca-Catenanuova section of the Palermo-Catania railway, which will allow trains to go at speeds of up to 200km per hour. It is developing the €192m project in a consortium that employs 430 people, directly and indirectly, as well as a supply chain of nearly 200 businesses, mostly local.

Both lines are part of an initiative promoted by the European Union to create the Trans-European Transport Network.

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