At the top end of the Adriatic sea. At the intersection of the main European tra
At the top end of the Adriatic sea. At the intersection of the main European transport corridors and of the Motorways of the Sea.

The Port of Venice is in a position to act as the European gateway for trade flows to and from Asia.

New railway bridge over the West Industrial Canal in Marghera


The North Adriatic Sea Port Authority of Venice (AdSP MAS) participates in the project "Node Enhancing Waterways Bridging Adriatic - Ionian Network" - NEWBRAIN, which is co-funded by the Interreg ADRION programme. The project aims at implementing and promoting the development of efficient solutions for multimodal transport as described in work package WPT2 "Preparation of investment for the strategy implementation".

Project activities are part of AdSPMAS’s effort to improve railway infrastructures and optimise rail shunting services in accordance with Italy’s national guidelines (e.g. Strategic Plan for Ports and Logistics). The implementation schedule is detailed in AdSPMAS’s three-year Operational Programme 2018 – 2020.

To better meet the growing expectations of the market, railway infrastructures in the port district are being improved to eliminate interference between road and rail traffic flows in Via dell'Elettricità. Further actions are being considered to meet transport demand, reduce shunting time and curb environmental pressure on the zones closest to the built-up areas.

Among other things, AdSPMAS is planning a railway bridge that will link the south-west main line of the Port to the Venice Marghera Scalo station. In 2018 this artery generated 5,543 trains (sum of arrivals plus departures) equivalent to 2.6 million tonnes handled (approximately 100 trains/week), with an annual increase of 13%.

Rendering of the new railway bridge
Rendering of the new railway bridge

he infrastructure will make it possible to

  • stop shunting trains twice at the Mestre railway station;
  • improve capacity and safety;
  • reduce interference between the road and rail networks and cut the overall time needed for shunting operations in the south-west part of the port which is the origin of 40% of the overall traffic flows.

The plan foresees a curved bridge equipped with a non-electrified single-track railway infrastructure. It will be used by shunting trains (approx. 20-25 passages/day, including transfer trains and locomotives) with a load of up to 2200 t/train and a theoretical maximum speed of 30 km/h and will connect with the existing infrastructure on the east and west bank of the West Industrial Canal (Via Banchina dell'Azoto and Via Banchina dei Molini respectively). In Via Banchina dei Molini the plan also provides for the intersection with the rail track that runs along the West Industrial Canal, so as to serve users located there (Cereal Docks and Grandi Molini Italiani).

The bridge can open to let pleasure boats and other vessels pass through it: the opening will be over 8m wide and no height restrictions will apply.

It will have a pivoting central span (swing bridge arrangement) and rest on direct deep foundations – more specifically, full displacement piles (FDP) encased in steel tubes. This solution was chosen after accurate technical and economic cost/benefit analyses which considered also maintenance aspects.


Rendering of the new railway bridge
Rendering of the new railway bridge

The following systems will be implemented to operate the new bridge:

  • control system for opening and closing the railway bridge;
  • traffic light system for managing rail/sea traffic;
  • electrical system to operate the level crossings in Via dei Molini and Via dell'Azoto.

The estimated total cost for the project is approximately € 6 million.