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A new road and railway detour is being prepared in Attica



Railway projects on PAThE corridor are now under completion, establishing more efficient transport links between the country’s largest cities: Athens and Thessaloniki. In this context, the capacity that these routes is being investigated more thoroughly. Regarding the motorway connection, there are at 3 lanes per direction up to Schimatari area.

During the “era of affluence”, traffic congestions were often observed. Now, in the midst of the financial crisis, this is not the case, but there are also major changes in the characteristics of transport.As far as the railway is concerned, the never-endingl works of Attica will be completed this year and SKA-Thiva section will be finally featuring a double-track line, one per direction.

This is where the factor of future traffic loads comes into play. People who know well about road and rail transport note that the big difference derives mainly from freight transport. The emergence of Piraeus port, as the gateway for Chinese goods to Europe, brought many other multinational companies that also sought for significant time reductions for shipping their products via Greece.

Following the acquisition of PPA’s majority stake, COSCO is expected to invest substantial sums in order to increase the container capacity in the 3 Piers of the Port. To make a comparison, it is enough to say that in 2010, 660,000 containers were transported, while in 2018 this figure will be tenfold, reaching almost 4mn containers in 3 Piers without counting in the increase that will come from the fourth Pier, currently managed by PPA).

These numbers are indeed magical for the economy and the employment prospects of the country, but in order for the transport system to operate and maximize its performance, adequate infrastructure is needed. Existing road axes and railway corridors, especially within Attica which accommodates roughly 4.5mn people, are expected to “suffocate” at a very fast pace, over the next years.

Furthermore, the increased operation of Suburban Railway, which is expected to start more frequent services in 2017 already, will make the double railway line to Thiva carry all Suburban, intercity and cargo trains, posing new challenges to the existing infrastructure.

It is noted that ERGOSE has budgeted an amount of around 100mn euros for targeted upgrades of the infrastructure in SKA-Inoi section, that is problematic and will accept the bulk of the aforementioned traffic.

Attica Detour

As has already revealed, OSE is planning the future solution that is going to have a double effect. The new double railway line between Thriassio-Thiva will bypass almost all of Attica region and reduce the overall distance by 30 km.

Regarding the project’s financing, its inclusion to existing funding packages will be pursued in the coming years, as there are many other projects in line. Its operation will allow the partition of the traffic in 2 different corridors, will put new areas on the railway map and will turn Thiva in one of the most important hubs of the network.

It is noteworthy that there was an corresponding road concession project, Elefsina-Thiva-Yliki, which was finally canceled in 2015 due to funding problems. The original design included the construction of a new covered motorway with 2 lanes (+ emergency lane) per direction that would completely override Attica shortening the journey distance by almost 50 km.

At the moment,  as we are in the process of planning the next generation projects, it is certain that the new road and railway detour of Attica will be of great interest in the coming years and, even though with shortage of funds, because, the reality and the market itself will demand its materialization.



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