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Athens-Thessaloniki within three and a half hours by train after 2017

18 December 2014 / 14:12:44  GRReporter
3264 reads

It will take less than three and a half hours to travel from Athens to Thessaloniki by train after 2017.

Yesterday ERGOSE Ltd., the Greek state railway OSE subsidiary for infrastructure projects, delivered the facility built in Mount Othrys, including a double tunnel with a length of almost 7 km in each direction. This is the second longest tunnel in Greece (after the 10 km one on Kallidromo Mountain) and one of the longest in the Balkans.

This project will allow trains to travel up to 160 km/h.

The delivery of the site for use by railway transport will shorten the length of the Athens - Thessaloniki route by one hour. At the same time, it will increase many times (up to 5 times) the transport capacity of railway transport, facilitating the transportation of cargo goods. Furthermore, it will provide cheaper transport for the Greek railways, since it is known that the cost of travel with the use of electricity is equivalent to only 1/5 of the cost of travel using petrol.

Upon delivering the site, ERGOSE president and CEO Costas Spiliopoulos spoke of a "very important project for Greece." In particular, he said, "A project full of many technical difficulties due to the mountainous terrain has been completed, with the best possible results and within the prescribed period at that. Moreover, it costs nearly 3 million euro less than envisaged in the budget." Then subsequently Spiliopoulos underlined the significant experience that the Greek construction companies have already gained.

"The capacity of the Greek construction companies has already reached a degree of maturity that allows them to successfully deal with the most difficult projects both within the country and abroad", stressed in turn president of Aktor construction company Dimitris Koutras.

In particular, the site in Mount Othrys includes the following:

• Construction of a 6.4-km-long double tunnel, with a further electrification of the railway line. Construction of connecting tunnels at every 500 m along the length of the main tunnel for safety reasons. This is one of the largest railway tunnels in the Balkan Peninsula.

• Construction of five railway bridges with a total length of 1,796 m planned for a double electrified railway. The construction process used the most advanced systems for seismic response of technical sites.

• Construction of an underground technical tunnel with a total length of 432.50 m. It is a railway tunnel for an electrified double railway line.

• Construction of double covered exits from the tunnels, with a length of 630 m each.

• Road construction activities to serve the adjacent agricultural lands and restore the circulation of vehicles on the road network in the country.

• Construction of drainage facilities to drain the new railway line. Construction of embankments and trenches in the open part of the site and interventions to meet the existing environmental requirements.

The initial project budget was 324 million euro. During the selection procedure the contractor offered a 35.3% discount and the contract price of the project amounted to 209.7 million euro. However, the project has been completed with 2.8 million euro less than the agreed value.

Tags: TunnelInfrastructure siteGreek state railway OSEERGOSE
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