The two railway tenders of ERGOSE for the electrification of the Palaiofarsalos-Kalambaka section and the completion of the double line Aigio-Rio are in the final stretch. The two projects are in their pre-contract period and the goal is to sign the contracts within the Autumn.
According to information, the two projects have completed the audit of the contracts by the Audit Court. It remains an approval from the Administrative Authority which is expected from day to day. Subsequently, the two projects will be presented to the Parliament. It is worth mentioning that the contract for the Palaiofarsalou-Kalambaka electrification project has been approved by the Court of Auditors since the summer.
With these projects, the tendering of major railway projects through the NSRF 2014-2020 is completed and a “next installment” will follow with the new NSRF 2021-2027. Contractors are: AVAX for the first project and the TERNA-MYTILINEOS scheme for the Aegio-Rio line
Two very important projects for the development of the network
The above two projects are extremely important for the improvement and development of the Greek railway network. The electrification of the Palaiofarsalos-Kalambaka section will enable the routing of modern trains from Athens to the city of Meteora.
With the operation of electrification, the Athens-Kalambaka route will be able to be covered in less than 3 hours with an upgrade of railway safety and the passenger experience. If there are no delays, in 2026 the first routes with electric trains will be able to start.
At the same time, it is the first step for the future planned extension of the single railway line to Ioannina and Igoumenitsa. For the new line there is an approved fund from CEF II to proceed with the studies.
The train to Patras
The second project concerns the reopening of the line from Aigio to Rio. It will no longer have anything to do with the old metric line. It will be double, electrically driven, with signaling and the possibility of speeds up to 200 km/h in some sections.
It will make the return of the train to Patras a reality as it will literally reach the entrance of the city. If the schedule is met, 2026 will see the start of the first commercial routes with electrified trains. The journey with an express train will take less than 2 hours.
The Aigio-Rio section also includes the Panagopoula tunnel where, at 4.5 kilometers, it will become the 4th longest in the country, behind Othrios, Kallidromos and Tempos.
On the new Aigio-Rio line, the stations will all be new, as happened also on the Kiato-Aigio section. Of course, an important element will be to foresee the existence of road accesses for their smooth integration into the operation of the areas they will serve.
Finally, with this project there will now be the last section left from Rio to the new port of Patras, which completely completes the Athens-Patra railway line. The competition for this section started this year.
The next generation of projects
For the new NSRF 2021-2027, the tendering of new important projects that complement or upgrade the network has been foreseen. The most important of them in terms of new projects are the upgrade of the infrastructure in the SKA-Oinoi section amounting to 120 million euros and the electrification of the Thessaloniki-Promahonas line.
With the first project, trains will be allowed to develop much higher speeds, while with the second, the Greek and Bulgarian electrified railway networks will be connected.
At the same time, the electrification projects Kiato-Aigio, Palaiofarsalos-Kalambaka, Larissa-Volos, Phase B of Athens Central Station and the Aigio-Rio line will be completed through the NSRF 2021-2027 as bridge projects, i.e. projects financed by two consecutive European programms.