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Athens suburban railway plans to Lavrio and Rafina remain stagnant

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

Δημοσιεύθηκε

στις

Συρμός του Προαστιακού Αθηνών

The ministerial decision for the extension of Athens Suburban Railway in Rafina and Lavrio is still considered to be far. In a reply document by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, to the MP, Mrs. Maria Apatzidis about the possibility of extending the network in the two major ports of Eastern Attica, two things have become clear once again.

The first is that neither of these two major railway projects is included in the current NSRF 2014-2020. Despite the continuous announcements by all the Ministers of Infrastructure from 2004 onwards, in none of the cases has the inclusion of these projects been ever achieved in the current programming period.

In particular, in the last five years, an effort has been made for these projects to be combined with the upcoming extensions of Attiki Odos. As a result, today these two most important projects that will cover a large area of Easter Attica remain stagnant.

Out of NSRF 2014-2020

As mentioned in the answer to both documents (one for each project) by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr. Kostas Karamanlis, the projects of the current NSRF do not include interventions by ERGOSE SA for the extension of the Suburban Railway to Rafina and Lavrio. The issue was also raised by ypodomes.com, in a recent report.

The second thing that is clear is that the absence of these projects from the NSRF indicates their “immaturity”, in terms of design. Every project, in order to be able to be funded and included in the NSRF, must be “mature” enough in terms of planning, that is, to have a completed and finalized design, studies, licensing and the necessary expropriations to have been launched.

Out of these, according to the same document, the only progress that has been made since 2009 is an “Advanced recognition study for the design of a suburban railway line in the section from Koropi-Lavrio junction” with a guaranteed preliminary environmental Assessment and Evaluation (EPP) by the Ministry of Environment & Energy (since 2013) and a corresponding study for the extension to Rafina.

What are the possibilities for the extensions?

Although the issue of the Suburban Railway’s extensio to Rafina and Lavrio is a constant request of the local authorities, institutions and residents in the wider area, to date we are at a very early stage.

According to railway sources, in order for these two so-called “orphan projects” to be implemented, the rest of the studies and maturation processes must begin and an effort must be made to integrate them into the upcoming NSRF 2021-2027.

This emerges from the response of Mr. Kostas Karamanlis, as, in both documents it is noted that if the extension projects are prioritized during the defition of the general strategic planning of transport projects, necessary resources for their maturation, in order to make the construction of the tender possible, will be found.

What is positive about both projects is their connection with important urban centers and ports, which gives them significant chances to be funded in the period 2021-2027. In addition, for EU and the Commission, railway project have now become a priority.

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