Italy Plans To Improve Railroad Safety

(MENAFN- IANS) Rome, Nov 30 (IANS) The Italian government government has decided to allocate 500 million euros ($550 million) to upgrade the country's railway safety systems, following a tragic collision between a train and a truck that resulted in two deaths.

On Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Matteo Salvini announced the plan, with a special focus on the level crossings-points where rail lines intersect with each other or with roads at the same level, reports Xinhua news agency.

Late Tuesday in the southern region of Calabria, an oncoming train ran into a truck blocking the rail line, leading to the death of both the truck driver and the train operator.

This was the second deadly rail incident in Italy over the past three months.

In late August, five railway maintenance workers were killed when a late-night train sped through a station in Brandizzo, a town in northern Italy.

Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI), the country's rail network operator, has launched an investigation into the accident.

"Modernising and securing the railways throughout Italy with billions of euros of investments is an absolute priority that we are pursuing with the utmost commitment," Salvini said via social media, sending condolences to the families affected by the latest accident.

Salvini said RFI and fire, police, and emergency services were investigating the deadly crash on Tuesday.

Trade unions representing rail workers said they would walk off the job for eight hours on Thursday in protest of what they say is unsafe railway infrastructure and equipment that endangers both rail workers and those who interact with the railways.

According to RFI data, Italy has nearly 25,000 km of rail lines for transportation and cargo, facilitating an estimated one billion passenger trips annually.

The network is operated by RFI and used by its subsidiary Ferrovia dello Stato, the private rail company Italo, and private cargo transport companies.




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