AV Station of Belfiore

The Florence HS node project, which is part of the larger Scandinavian-Mediterranean corridor project, aims to foster development, competitiveness and mobility of users, goods and services.

Three main interconnected interventions are planned:

  • the construction of the “rail link”, which is an urban crossing that will run underground through the city for 8 km from north to south, connecting the Rome-Florence railway line with the Florence-Bologna HS/HC line;
  • the construction of the new Florence Belfiore HS/HC station, within the city’s former municipal Macelli area, designed by Foster & Partners and Ove Arup & Partners;
  • the re-environmentalization of the Enel mining area of Santa Barbara.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

The project aims to improve the mobility of Florence and the surrounding areas, safeguarding urban and environmental balances and providing it with new sustainable infrastructure, mainly built underground. To this end, two tunnels and a new station dedicated exclusively to high-speed trains will be built, thus creating new underground infrastructure that will allow high-speed trains to operate without interfering with regional trains. This will improve punctuality and make it possible to increase the number of trains running above ground, facilitating increased local ridership. The new station will serve as a main hub and connection point to other public transportation, such as streetcars, buses, cabs, bike paths, and pedestrian routes.

ADVANTAGES OF THE INTERVENTION

  • Improving urban mobility;
  • saving 15 minutes on the journey of all trains from Milan to Rome with a stop in Florence;
  • noise reduction;
  • upgrading of the metropolitan rail service by separating flows between regional and high-speed trains;
  • development of soft mobility through the construction of pedestrian cycle paths;
  • recovery of degraded areas, creating a natural park open to the public as a nature trail in the former mining area of Santa Barbara;
  • creation of new aggregation spaces at the HS/HC railway station and a new park that will offer increased accessibility and regeneration of outdoor areas;
  • clean energy production thanks to the photovoltaic system provided for the new HS/HC station.

THE NUMBERS OF THE PROJECT

  • 100 km/h maximum speed of the urban section
  • 8,350 km new HS line
  • 2,735 billion € investment
  • 400 workers per day

TBM

  • 111 m in length
  • 12 m average daily advance
  • 1,500 t weight
  • 9,4 m excavation diameter

Territorial classification

THE NEW HIGH SPEED STATION

The future high-speed station Firenze Belfiore will rise in the Belfiore-Macelli area, adjacent to the current railway station. Designed by Foster & Partners and Ove Arup & Partners, the structure will have dimensions of about 450 meters long and 50 meters wide, with an area of about 45,000 square meters. Positioned up to 25 meters below road level, the station will feature a glazed roof supported by a steel structure that will rise for about 18 meters.

The station will be divided into four levels: the platforms for boarding trains, a mezzanine floor for passenger distribution, the ground floor and the first floor. The first two levels will be underground, while the first floor will be located inside the roof, which will ensure natural lighting, environmental and acoustic control, Air exchange and smoke evacuation through a structure composed of elements with structural variations.

The project incorporates innovative technological solutions to reduce environmental impact, using renewable materials and reducing energy consumption and polluting emissions. The Florence station is a completely new model for Italy, with its underground structure that offers natural lighting even at the lower levels, facilitating the orientation of passengers. The lowered vaulted roof, enriched with photovoltaic cells integrated in the panels, will act as an “artificial sky”, adjusting the sunlight and reproducing the external colors inside the station.

COVER SYSTEM

The roof structure has the shape of a barrel vault with a plant size of 350×52 m plus the two ends in question. The height reached with respect to Level 0 is about 16 m. At the longitudinal extremities the vault continues tapering cantilevered to form 2 «nails» for a total overhang of 50 m per part.
The typical structure consists of a rhomboidal mesh (diagrid) of arches resting on the two longitudinal sides of the chamber.

CAMERONE
The camerone has a floor size of about 480×52 m. Includes the station platforms with services connected to them and the transit areas of the underground levels. The system of foundations is of type to platea (sp. variable from 2,75 to 4 m) on poles (F variable from 1,2 to 2,1 m; variable length from 25 to 50 m).

NATURAL TUNNELS

  • Single-track tunnels: of circular cross-section with an internal diameter of 8,3 m
  • Double-track tunnels: polycentric

Single-track tunnels shall be mechanically excavated with face-supporting cutters (TBM-EPBS) to maintain pressure on the front at all times and to contain cable deformation by covering the tunnel at a very short distance from the front with waterproof prefabricated rings, limiting water infiltration with the help of additives injected directly into the excavation chamber. The earlier tunnels will be excavated by traditional method and the use of freezing technology for the consolidation and waterproofing of the soil. It is planned to consolidate the soil before the passage of the TBM to ensure the safety of excavation.

SUSTAINABILITY OF THE PROJECT

In addition to focusing on urban mobility and safeguarding the urban environment of Florence, the project has the important objective of involving and informing the community in a transparent way about the implementation of the new infrastructure. These, which are essential to alleviate surface traffic and significantly reduce environmental impact, are designed with a long-term vision that also considers the value and responsible management of the subsoil as a valuable natural resource.

REDUCTION OF GHG EMISSIONS

GREEN SUPPLY
Sourcing cement and steel from suppliers with EPD certification and using more sustainable modes of transportation.

Supply of over 30% of electricity certified with a guarantee of origin from renewable sources.

  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions scope 2 30%
  • For every MWh consumed, 230 kg of CO2 shall not enter the atmosphere

MOBILITÀ SOSTENIBILE
Use for over 70% of:

  • mobile machinery meeting low emission standards (STAGE V or equivalent);
  • Euro 6 vehicles for the transport of steel, concrete and building land with low environmental impact;
  • environmentally friendly passenger vehicles (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle or Full Electric).

In addition, it is planned to install, at various points of the yard, columns for charging electric cars, connected to solar panels placed on the shelters provided for the coverage of parking.

The train for the transport of the lands and rocks from excavation will be used that will be employed for plans of rinaturalizzazione of external sites to the yard.

FIRST MERCITALIA TRAIN
AND START OF PRODUCTION OF PRECAST RINGS

WATER SAVING
Closed circuit washing system, with 100% recycling of the water used.

WASTE REDUCTION AND RECYCLING

  • Sending to recovery of all recyclable waste produced during construction activities.
  • Reuse of land and rock for excavation in situ and naturalistic restoration of external sites.
  • Reduction and production of waste by choice of materials with less packaging and construction methods that do not involve waste.

ENVISION PROTOCOL
Envision is a rating system introduced to assess the impact that an infrastructure may have on the community and the local area during its entire life cycle. In particular, the effects on the quality of life and mobility, the degree of community involvement, the possible economic development following the construction and use of the infrastructure itself, as well as the degree of use of natural resources and renewable energy during and after construction, the degree of protection of the natural environment and the reduction of emissions will be evaluated.

Thus, with the adoption of the Envision protocol, it is intended to proceed with the certification of the “Platinum” level of sustainability of the “Florence High-Speed Node” project, the objective of which must also be pursued by all future contractors involved in various capacities in the implementation of the project.