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7 major railway projects are seeking funding from CEF – NSRF 2021-2027

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From this year, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and ERGOSE are thrown into the “battle” for the financing of the major railway projects by the CEF and the NSRF 2021-2027. After the clarification of the projects that can proceed through the NSRF 2014-2020, it was decided to move projects that did not manage to mature in terms of design, and therefore proceed to implementation in the current programming period.

More specifically, according to information from ypodomes.com, the railway projects concerning the infrastructure upgrade in the SKA-Oinoi section, the project for the electrification in the Thessaloniki-Promachonas section and the project for the new line Rio-Limenas Patras, were excluded from NSRF 14-20 due to lack of time and not having the required maturity.

For these three projects, along with several others, their inclusion will be attempted either in the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), or in the new NSRF 2021-2027. Specifically for SKA-Oinoi and Thessaloniki-Promachonas, the studies are at an advanced stage and are expected to be completed this year, so they have a high chance of being approved for implementation through CEF.

The EU funding mechanism covers projects with design maturity and in the past has financed other Greek railway projects with a more recent example, the Sepolia Railway Tunnel. Its available funds are about 2.1 billion euros, an amount that gives hope to the country that it will be able to put other projects in the “bag” of CEF.

The railway connection with the ports

The main goal after the completion of the main corridor, Athens-Thessaloniki, is the connection with ports, industrial areas and airports. Immediate priority is given to the connection with the important ports of the country and in this context, we have the line Rio-Port of Patras, a project of 516 million euros, the line Koropi-Lavrio and Airport-Rafina that close key issues of the past.

That is, on the one hand, the main PATHEP corridor of the country is completed (Patra-Athens-Thessaloniki and up to the borders of Eidomeni and Promachonas), but also the Athens Suburban Railway. Both cases concern projects with an important commercial and passenger character and absolute financing.

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The connection with Patras covers the third largest city in the country (with a population reaching 300 million euros) with one of the most strategic ports connecting the country with Western Europe. The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Costas Karamanlis, announced from the summer the connection of Patras through a 5.1 km tunnel that will at the same time serve the needs of the Suburban Railway with 9 stops.

The completion of the Athens Suburban Railway will serve the two complementary ones of Piraeus, the ports of Lavrio and Rafina, but also the whole of Eastern Attica, an area with more than half a million inhabitants, making the commercial success of the project a given. The ports serve many ferry destinations while the port of Lavrio has facilities for cruise ships-cargo use.

The Eastern Railway Egnatia

The visionary project of the Eastern Railway Egnatia is part of the same program for the connection of the railway with the ports. We refer to the construction of the new line Thessaloniki-Kavala-Xanthi and the upgrade of the line to Alexandroupolis and Ormenio.

The interconnection of the ports of Thessaloniki-Kavala-Alexandroupolis will create a continuous flow of goods and with the necessary connections of the railway with Eidomeni-Promachonas will give great potential for development in the aforementioned ports.

Also here will be sought funding from CEF or NSRF 2021-2027 and market sources note that especially the new line Thessaloniki-Kavala-Xanthi that has mature studies gathers great chances of approval.

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