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Kiato-Aegion railway line to operate in June

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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The operation of the new Kiato-Aegion double-track railway line is near. Due to the coronavirus crisis, the scheduled delivery for April was not been achieved and now the new goal, according to OSE President and CEO, Mr. Kostas Spiliopoulos, is for the line to operate in June.

According to ypodomes.com, after the end of the lockdown, the preparation for the operation has been restarted and what remains to be done is the safety drill with the participation of the Fire Brigade (which in the previous period could not conduct this exercise due to the situation) in the last tunnel of the section, in order to be certified.

According to sources close to the subject, a contact has been made with the General Secretariat for Civil Protection for the drill to take place by the end of this month.

The inauguration of the line, based on the current developments, is scheduled at some point in June. The most probable scenario is for the relevant ribbon-cutting event to be addressed by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr. Kostas Karamanlis. For the record, it will be the first project to be inaugurated by Mr. Karamanlis, after he assumed his ministerial role.

The itineraries

What seems to be secured is the way itineraries will be conducted from Athens to Kiato. According well-informed sources of ypodomes.com, although the use of diesel trains were discussed, in the end the idea didn’t prevail due to the cost.

What would prevail is the launch of TRAINOSE electric train from Athens to Kiato. In Kiato, the train will stop and switch engines (from electric to diesel-powered). The delay is estimated at about 5-6 minutes. Then the diesel-powered train will continue its route from Kiato, terminating at in Aegion.

In the opposite way, the route from Aegio to Athens will take place. Travel time is calculated in less than two hours. Based on what is known so far, 4 itineraries will be carried out daily from and the town of Aegion.

One of the important news for the passengers of this route is that with one change at Ano Liosia train station they will be able to easily reach the airport of Athens and from Athens Central Railway Station to the port of Piraeus.

The trains that will be launched will be the same as those that currently run on Athens-Thessaloniki line. After all, for several years now, until the electrified network finally came into operation, engines had been switching daily on all routes.

Aegion to become a transport hub

What emerges as an important news is that the new terminal of the line, Aegion, will be transformed into a major transport hub for the prefecture of Achaia. The station is located 35 km outside the city of Patras and since everything points to the fact that the city will not see trains arriving for several more years, Aegio will be upgraded and will become the center of railway travel to Athens or more broadly to the country’s railway network.

A passenger who starts from Patras will be able to reach Aegio by TRAINOSE buses and from there continue his journey to Athens or the Airport or the port of Piraeus. It will be interesting to see if there will be a wider planning, so that the KTEL of Achaia or Ilia prefectures can be connected to the new railway line.

The new Kiato-Aegion line

It is noted that the new railway line is 71 km long and will be reopened after 10 years including three railway stations: Xylokastro, Akrata and Aegion as well as six stops Dimini, Lykoporia, Lygia, Platanos, Diakopto and Eliki.

The train will be connected to the rack railway at Diakopto station and thus the connection of the scenic route with the national network will be restored.

Kiato-Aegion line is part of the wider Athens-Patra axis. The first projects started in 2007 and it took several contracts to be completed. At this stage, this new section will operate without electrification. Modern electric trains will be expected to use the line in 2023, when the relevant contract is completed by ERGOSE.

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K. Karamanlis proposes extensive undergrounding of the train line reaching Patras

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A very interesting panel was held today in Patras, within the framework of the 8th Regional Growth Conference organized by “Peloponnisos” newspaper.

During the session entitled: “Regional Policy and New Infrastructure”, the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr. Kostas Karamanlis,referred to major infrastructure projects in the region and announced the government’s proposal for extensive undergrounding of the train route to Patras (between Kanellopoulou Street and Dymaion Coast, with a total length of more than 5 km) and its connection to the port of the city (section Aghios Dionysios-Aghios Andreas).

Mr. Karamanlis announced the new approach for the train, aiming to satisfy the local community, releasing at least 17 acres of public space on the surface within the dense urban sprawl, while ensuring, at the same time, the good operation of the Suburban Railway and mainting the connection to Pyrgos. As he said the relevant tender is due to start in the second half of 2021 for a project worth in total 514m euros. When completed, travel time between Athens and Patras will be reduced to just 1 hour and 40 minutes.

The proposal of the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport is of great interest in the region, since the issue of the construction of the train  line has been present for more than 15 years.

The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport also spoke about Patras-Pyrgos Motorway, for which he promised swift developments in order to upgrade the existing, obsolete axis that is extremely dangerous for its users.

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CRRC successfully tests 600km/h maglev train

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China successfully completed low-speed dynamic testing of a 600km/h prototype maglev car developed by CRRC Sifang on a test line at Tongji University in Shanghai on June 21, a milestone for the project lunched in June 2016.

CRRC is developing the train alongside more than 30 companies, universities, and research institutes. The train has been identified as a key development under the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Advanced Rail Transit research and development plan.

The trial was undertaken following static testing and debugging, and included dynamic operating environments such as switches, curves and ramps. This allowed the testing of key components such as suspension guidance, speed and position measurement, the vehicle-rail interface, traction, and the communication systems.

Mr Ding Sansan, deputy chief engineer of CRRC Sifang and head of the maglev project, says the development of the maglev train requires four different elements, including the vehicle, power supply, communications systems and track. The tests allowed simultaneous testing of each element, with a large amount of data collected that will feed into further research.

“Under the test conditions of multiple scenarios, the suspension guidance of the vehicle is stable, and the operating condition is good,” Ding says. “The key technical indicators meet the design requirements and the design expectations.”

Five test cars are currently under development, with a full prototype capable of 600km/h operation expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Last year, China announced plans for a 200km maglev line in Hubei province to test operation of the prototype train at speeds in excess of 600km/h.

 

Source: railjournal.com

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Tram extension to Piraeus to operate in late 2020

Νίκος Καραγιάννης

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The operation of the Tramway extension to Piraeus is moved towards the end of 2020, as the works for the relocation of the Tram line in the area of ​​Faliro Bay will have to be completed first, as well as the rest of the project.

It is also reminded that Batis-SEF section, has been out of order since March 16, 2020, based on the planning of Attica Region, in the context of Faliro Bay Restoration project.

According to information, while initially the project provided for 45 days of construction works and an additional 15 days of testing, due to Covid-19 pandemic, these procedures were delayed.

Now, should there be no more delays, the new goal is for the projects to be completed with the reattachement of the lines on both sides, allowing the restoration of commercial operation, by the beginning of September. It is noted that the projects include the demolition of “Tzitzifies” and “Kallithea” stops and their reconstruction at a new location.

The building that stands in the way for the extension’s operation

The big demand from the above projects is the start of the commercial operation of the first large extension of the Tram from Faliro to Piraeus. The project has been completed and last February STASY S.A. was just a step away from receiving the new section from Attiko Metro.

Then, a fire at an adjacent conservation building, obstructed the delivery of the extension, as the use of the line was banned by the police, “trapping the project in the greek bureauratic procedures.

An autopsy was performed by the Ministry of Culture, deciding that the building could be demolished, apart from its facade. However, this requires a detailed demolition study by the Municipality of Piraeus.

At this point in time, Attiko Metro expects from the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality to address any interventions needed in order to remove the traffic ban and allow the completion of the remaining works that concern the installation of telematics and a substation.

Extension to operate towards the end of the year

Based on the above and having in mind the best prospects, the delivery of the 5.4 km long single-track line for the extension of the Tram to Piraeus, with 11 stops is expected to be operational by the end of the year.

At that point, the first lot of the “new generation” tramsets are expected to be delivered by Alstom, making the service of the line extension possible and reinforcing the existing fleet, which is now considered “missing”. A total of 25 tramsets will be received.

It is reminded that the project started in early 2013 with a completion schedule of 25 months. If it finally operates at the end of 2020 it will have completed 94 months (!), i.e. almost four times the period that was originally calculated.

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