World

France and Italy launch a train line project to ease freight transport across the Alps

  • Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, left, watches French President Francois Hollande gesturing during a family picture as part of a French-Italian summit at the Elysee Palace, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 in Paris (AP Photo/Jacques Demarthon, Pool)

    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, left, watches French President Francois Hollande gesturing during a family picture as part of a French-Italian summit at the Elysee Palace, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 in Paris (AP Photo/Jacques Demarthon, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • From the left, front row, Italian Economy and Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, French Environment Minister Segolene Royal, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, French President Francois Hollande, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano and French Finance Minister Michel Sapin  pose for a picture during a French-Italian summit at the Elysee Palace, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 in Paris (AP Photo/Jacques Demarthon, Pool)

    From the left, front row, Italian Economy and Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, French Environment Minister Segolene Royal, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, French President Francois Hollande, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano and French Finance Minister Michel Sapin pose for a picture during a French-Italian summit at the Elysee Palace, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 in Paris (AP Photo/Jacques Demarthon, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

French president Francois Hollande and Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi have signed an agreement for a long-standing rail project to ease transport of freight across the Alps.

The agreement was signed Tuesday at a summit in Paris. The project, which would connect the cities of Lyon in France and Turin in Italy, includes the construction of a 57-kilometer (35.4-mile) tunnel for an estimated cost over 8 billion euros ($7 billion). The line would not open before 2028.

The European Union authorities promised to finance 40 percent of the project.

Ultimately the line could also be adapted for a high-speed passenger trains.