The Greek Minister of Infrastructure, Kostas Achileas Karamanlis, has unveiled the design concept for an underground Patras railway link which envisages the construction of a double-track including a 5 km underground rail section.
The new design of the line with the underground section will avoid the surface infrastructure in the city centre, which will increase the suburban railway services including to Rio, a suburban area of Patras, and will also contribute to urban regeneration, as it is the best option to reduce the impact on the environmental. The underground concept will release a 17-acre public space which will be regenerated.
The 5.16 km underground section will be constructed between the Kanellopoulou Street in Patras and the Dymaion Coast and the section will have the connection to the Port of Patras on the Aghios Dionysios-Aghios Andreas section. “When constructing the underground section, we will practically avoid the dense urban area of Patras,” the Minister said.
While the section will be constructed, the suburban railway services will operate normally maintaining the connection to Pyrgos. The project also envisages the modernisation of all 8 existing stops of which six will be constructed in the underground. As part of the project, at the Port of Patras, a new stop will be constructed, and all the level crossings will be replaced, and ten pedestrian bridges will be built to ensure the safety of the passengers.
The underground Patras railway link will be double-tracked and electrified which will allow the removal of the diesel trains and the introduction of electric multiple units.
The tender for construction works will be launched in second half of 2021. EUR 540 million is the value of the project which is expected to receive European funding.
The project will reduce travel time and will allow trains to run from Athens to the Patras Port within 1 hour and 40 minutes. The passenger traffic is estimated at 1.1 million per year and by 2040, 1.5 million passengers will use the transport services. In addition, it will determine the increase of the suburban train services to more than 1.9 million per year and 2.6 million by 2040. It is also expected that in the first phase, 3 daily freight train services will serve the Corinth-Patras connection and by 2040, 4 daily services will be provided on the Thriasio – Patras railway connection.
The new rail link between Rio and Patras is a section of the Athens-Patras railway corridor which is part of the Orient/East-Med Corridor.