By the end of 2019 a trip by train from Athens to Thessaloniki will take 3.5 hours , according to the CEO of the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE), Konstantinos Petrakis.
Speaking on radio, Mr. Petrakis explained that by the end of this year the new Tithoreas-Domokos section of the railway line is expected to become operational, an important step towards the achievement of the 3.5-hour target.
"By the end of the year we hope that the new track from Tithorea in Domokos will be operational. The mountainous part that caused long delays will be left out of the main axis be replaced by a new double line, two large tunnels, which pierce the mountain, reducing the distance and this is the first step towards the 3.5 hour goal, which will be possible by the end of 2019, when the electronic traffic management systems will be completed," the CEO of OSE said.
The Italian firm that owns TRAINOSE are planning to bring from Italy Frecciabianca ("white arrow") trains that reach a maximum speed of 250 km / h.
According to Mr. Petrakis, the Athens - Thessaloniki axis is at the moment the focus of all the big public works undertaken by the Greek state through the construction branch of OSE, ERGOSE.
"The Athens-Thessaloniki axis is the big bet for OSE and is currently a huge construction site," said Petrakis, reminding that besides passenger transport, which is the social dimension of its work, OSE has already completed two major interventions for upgrading and developing freight transport, making them more profitable per train.
The CEO of OSE argued that "the program is evolving smoothly and it is a bet that the railroad family and the state have won in order to finish these projects, which were in the making for 18-19 years"