Interporto Padova Spa has obtained a contribution of 4,494,336.38 euro from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport as part of the resources made available by the government for the completion of the national network of freight villages. The intervention for which Interporto Padova Spa has obtained the contribution concerns one of the three phases – obviously in sequence and synergic – of the Masterplan 2020, already started during this year and goes to complete the development path already recognised and supported in recent years also at European level, which involved the Intermodal Terminal, now equipped with 4 electric gantry cranes, 750-metre useful tracks, and a new automated road access gate. The contribution now obtained, which, as we recall, covers 60% of the investment, goes to finance a series of initiatives to complete the Intermodal Terminal’s functionalities with particular reference to the automation of loading/unloading operations for intermodal cargo units (containers, semitrailers and swap bodies), the adaptation and upgrading of the railway infrastructure connecting the Terminal’s strip of tracks to the RFI station at Padua Interporto, the creation of additional safe parking areas for road hauliers, and the adaptation of infrastructure for receiving and handling refrigerated cargo units. Interporto Padua President Sergio Gelain emphasises: “It is a great satisfaction to receive this financing, which confirms the quality of our Interporto’s infrastructural and management growth projects. A strategy that, as I recall, has allowed us to obtain two sequential grants (the only case in Europe of funding granted to a single beneficiary) from the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) Programme, which allocated us 4.4 million euros for our investment plan of more than 22 million euros to develop intermodal activities. This contribution helps us to continue our plan, which aims to confirm the role of Interporto Padua as a Core Node of the European TEN-T transport network. Even the new Regional Transport Plan, recently approved, identifies Interporto Padua as a pivotal structure for freight transport, a strategic role also confirmed by the recent signing of the Addendum to the Protocol of Agreement for the concretisation of interventions and the start of the consequent functional and design investigations for the enhancement of the Padua railway node between the Ministry of Transport, the Veneto Region, the Municipality of Padua, the Italian Railway Network and FS Sistemi Urbani”.
The general director of Interporto Padua, Roberto Tosetto, explains: “The strategic nature of rail transport, and of intermodal transport in particular, has become evident during the lockdown period, and the demand for rail freight transport is growing. We, also thanks to this contribution, are not only able to respond positively to the demand of the sector’s operators, but looking to the future, we have set up a development plan based on digitisation and automation. Infrastructure is very important, but managing all the information concerning trains, trucks, and containers through the latest digital procedures, and automating loading and unloading operations as much as possible, allows for a recovery of efficiency and handling capacity that is just as important.
This has already allowed us to expand our terminal’s activities to include semi-trailer traffic, with connections to central and northern Europe, and allows us to strengthen intermodal connections with southern Italy. A possibility therefore of greater connection and accessibility to freight traffic to and from the territories of our country with a mode of transport, which we must remember, is among the most sustainable from an environmental point of view”.