Athens Suburban railway is one step away from its transformation. Neverending works for the line’s electrification are finally under completion making 2017 the year of Athens Suburban railway.
According to safe information provided at Ypodomes.com, the trial operation of the electrified network will be also completed by the end of Spring, allowing the commercial itineraries to commence shortly after.
The pending section, between Piraeus and Athens Central Railway Station (also recently electrified), is due to be completed in the Summer 2017. And once this last part of the line is upgraded, itineraries covering the totality of the distance between Piraeus and the Airport will be made available as well.
Admittedly, the most important change would be the reversal of the current, disappointing image of the Suburban railway’s network: rare itineraries (one every hour) and partial electrification that creates issues with regard to trains’ operation.
The long-desired electrification of the line will allow Desiro trains by Siemens to access Athens Central and Piraeus Terminal without the need of additional changes during the journey. Needless to point out the positive impact this emerging configuration will have to the quality of services provided.
New routes will be designed, trains’ frequencies will improve substantially (as the operational costs will drop significantly due the use of electricity) and trains will be able to run across the whole extent of the local network without any infrastructure limitations.
Another beneficial change would be the proper utilization of the urban part of the Suburban network, for the first time in its history. The line’s electrification is expected to build trust and reliance among passengers, as trains will become much denser, thus providing an attractive alternative for the suburbs, which currently depend mainly on bus lines. And that could secure the commercial success of a train service with a lot of potential.