We had to wait more than a decade to see a part of the never-ending railway works in Peloponnese, finish. Infrastructure Minister, Christos Spirtzis and ERGOSE administration addressed a press conference in order to inform the public regarding the progress of the construction works.
Ypodomes.com attended the event and, after posing a question about the progress of an ongoing “sweep” contract that aims to complete Kiato-Rododafni section, just 35 km before Patras, the Minister answered that in the summer 2017, it will be “fully ready and operational”. TRAINOSE Chairman, Filippos Tsalidis, also confirmed that train services will resume in the area by next summer, as “TRAINOSE are doing their duty”.
The electrification of this section will take place while the railway line will be in operation. For the duration of the upgrade, trains will be starting from Athens with electric engines and switch to diesel engines in Kiato station (currently the end of the electrified network). This will mean a slight delay for the passengers.
The distance between Athens and Rododafni will be covered in just 2 hours, on a fully upgraded, double track, high speed line that has nothing to do with the pre-2005 state. When ready, train stations will be also modernized and fully refurbished with new facilities, disabled access and parking spaces. The electrification of Kiato-Rododafni section is expected to be completed in 2019.
The final railway project plan for Patras area
Regarding the train line extension from Rio to Patras Port, Infrastructure Minister made clear that there cannot be a plan that bisects the town.
“On the other hand, the option for “heavy” infrastructure with multiple underground parts and tunnels is also very costly, therefore a more affordable and technically viable option is being investigated along with the municilpal authorities and other local bodies”, Mr. Spirtzis said. “Nevertheless, we do not want to catch anybody by surprise with unilateral decisions regarding the project”, he added.
Apart from the line electrification in Kiato-Rododafni section, a contract for the superstructure, electrification and signaling between Rododafni and Psathopyrgos is also expected to commence in 2017. Finally, over the next few months we expect the initiation of railway infrastructure works in Psathopyrgos-Rio section, while the contract for superstructure, electrification and signaling will start in 2018 and be completed roughly in 2021.