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New Athens metro extension opens May 24, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Transport Air Sea Land.
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The Monastiraki-Egaleo metro Line 3 connecting the centre of Athens with the outlying southwest working-class district of Egaleo opened to the public.

Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias hailed the project’s completion and the new underground mass transit link between the centre of Athens and its western suburbs.

The long-awaited expansion of metro service to Egaleo includes three stations, Keramikos, Eleonas, and Egaleo, while the 4.2-km-long distance separating with Egaleo with Syntagma will be covered in seven minutes and finally link Athens’ western suburbs directly with the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, Greece’s largest facility. 

In addition, noted archaeological findings during construction will be displayed at the Egaleo and Eleonas stations.

Souflias stressed that a 450-car capacity underground garage will soon be constructed under Estavromenos Square in Egaleo, while similar parking spaces will soon be constructed in Keramikos and Eleonas as well.

The expansion of the metro service to the adjacent Haidari district will be ready by the end of 2008, while an 8.2 km-long metro line expansion to the port of Piraeus, Greece’s primary commercial and passenger shipping hub, is also underway with seven stations planned.

After the metro service expansion to Piraeus is eventually completed, Line 3 from the airport to Piraeus will be 50kms long, while next year additional Line 2 stations in Peristeri will be ready, namely, the City Hall and the Anthousa Stations.

UPDATE > Friday, 25 May 2007

Confusion over metro extension > The extension of Metro Line 3 to Aegaleo was declared open by Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias yesterday but nobody seems to have informed the operating company, which said that it still needs to conduct a few more days of safety tests, daily Kathimerini reports.

Souflias visited Aegaleo station yesterday and told journalists that all three stations on the Line 3 extension, Aegaleo, Kerameikos and Eleonas, would open to the public today. However, moments later the metro operator, AMEL, issued a statement saying that commuters would not be able to use the stations until next week because safety checks had not been completed. To add to the confusion, the company constructing the extension, Attiko Metro, said that all the safety tests had been carried out.

The Public Works Ministry is responsible for overseeing Attiko Metro, whereas AMEL falls under the purview of the Transport Ministry. The project has already suffered several delays. Souflias said last year that the 553 million extension would open by April this year. In April, officials said it would open in early May.

UPDATE > 30 May 2007

The latest extension to the metro was opened on Saturday as the underground train line spread westward with three new stops added after Monastiraki in central Athens. The 4.2-kilometer extension includes three new stations, Kerameikos, Eleonas and Aegaleo, and is expected to be used by some 80,000 commuters each day. Metro officials described initial commuter traffic on the extension as being satisfactory but did not give any figures.

There was confusion last week over the opening date of the new line. The Public Works and Environment Ministry had announced the new extension would be operating as of last Thursday but Transport Ministry officials said that a few more days would be needed to complete final safety tests. The next scheduled extension to the metro is expected in late 2008 with the western line going one stop further to Haidari.

Related Links > www.ametro.gr

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