EIB invests €1 billion in Austrian rail

By Helen Wright23 August 2011

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed off on a €200 million instalment of the total of €1 billion funding it plans to loan to Austrian Federal Railway's (ÖBB) Lower Inn Valley high speed rail project.

The latest tranche of funding brings the EIB's contribution to this Trans-European Network Transport (TEN-T) project to €800 million so far - making it one of the EIB's 20 largest financing operations and its biggest ever financing commitment in Austria.

The project will see the construction of 41km of new two-track high-speed rail to run alongside the existing rail track between Kundl-Radfeld and Baumkirchen in Austria's Lower Inn Valley.

Scheduled for completion in 2012, the new track will form part of the approach to the future Brenner base tunnel, which will run from Innsbruck in Austria to Fortezza in Italy, and be a key component of the Berlin-Palermo TEN-T axis 1.

The EIB is prompting high-speed rail projects throughout the EU and has provided loans over the last five years worth over €1.5 billion for projects in Austria's rail sector alone.

Meanwhile, the EIB approved a €552.5 million loan at the end of July for the Brittany to Loire Region high speed rail line ­- one of France's biggest rail construction projects.

This contract was signed just over a month after the EIB signed off on a €1.2 billion loan for the Tours-Bordeaux high speed rail project - the Bank's biggest ever private-public partnership (PPP) operation in France.

The EIB has committed to investing at least €75 billion on trans-European transport projects over the period between 2004 and 2013. In 2010, it lent €8.1 billion in support of TEN-Ts and major transport corridors.

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