French and Italian transport ministers this week launched construction of a 32-mile tunnel under the Alps that will allow a high-speed rail link between the two countries.
The tunnel will link the French city of Lyon and Turin in Italy.
The two countries have long been studying plans for a high-speed train between them in order to ease traffic on overburdened highways and in Alpine tunnels.
The line will carry both passengers and freight and will cut the journey time between the two cities by more than half.
The project is expected to be completed by 2012.