Within a festive atmosphere, TBM "Ippodamos" completed the opening of the tunnel for the extension of Athens Metro Line 3 (currently Aghia Marina-Airport), having passed through 5 stations, reaching the 6th and last station, which will also be the future terminal of the Line, “Dimotiko Theatro” (Municipal Theatre). With the presence of the Minister of Infrastructure, Mr. Christos Spirtzis, a number of other politicians as well as contributors of the project, the traditional breakthrough took place, amid celebrations and broad smiles.
With the advent of “Ippodamos” at the Municipal Theater, the underground journey of the “mole” came to its end, lasting 4 years and 2 months, in total. However, the TBM is expected to finish its course, 225 meters further and re-emerge on the surface from “Diligianni Well”, where it will be dismantled and withdrawn from action, permanently.
The TBM’s journey
The TBM that was manufactured in Italy, starting tunnelling from Aghia Varvara area in September 2013 to finally open 7.6 km of underground, double-track tunnel. It reached Aghia Varvara Station on June 16, 2014, Korydallos Station, on November 24, 2015, Nikea Station on April 22, 2015, Maniatika Station, on March 22, 2017, in October 2017 passed through the un-opened Piraeus Station and on the 29th of November it arrived at Dimotiko Theatro, concluding its works.
Other good news is that, on November 9, after a 4-year delay excavation works for Piraeus Station, commenced. The delay was a result of many factors, namely the localization of the water company’s main pipeline, a mine that was dug on-site from World War II and other bureaucratic problems.
The completion of the excavation is expected in 2018. With the operation of the station, the largest transportation hub of Attica will be created, as, 2 Athens Metro Lines (Line 1 and Line 3), the Suburban Railway’s Terminal, the Tram network’s Terminal, buses, trolley-buses and the Port, serving Piraeus’ ferry lines, will be interconnected for the very first time.
According to studies, the extension is expected to serve 130,000 passengers reducing car traffic by 23,000 vehicles and CO2 emissions by 120 tonnes on a daily basis. Time-distance between the Port and the Airport will be reduced to just 60 minutes.