All of us who like to visit Thessaloniki are familiar with traffic jam and lack od parking space, which can make really difficult stay in this city. For that reason we are all looking forward, after 12 years od waiting, the Thessaloniki Metro to be finally completed and released.
The first to suggest an underground Metropolitan Railway system for Thessaloniki was Ernest Hebrard during the redesign of the city in the early 1920s. This proposal was meant to allow easy access from the city centre to the planned outskirts of the city to the east (now called Kalamaria).
The idea for constructing a metro was seriously considered in the 1980s, but after several failed contract competitions and appeals, the project has never been materialised, until June of 2006.
A great number of important archaeological finds have occurred during the construction of the metro, which postponed the finalisation of the project (for almost three years). In the next four years there were some legal and financial issues, which also stopped the project. The construction workings were finally continued in April of 2016, and according to the current plans, it will be open to the piblic in 2020.
The inital plan included only city line (base project), but in 2009 the project considered and Kalamaria extension, which prolonged the workings and additionally cost.
Thessaloniki Metro will be similiar with the one in Copenhagen. There will be 18 driverless metro units; the trains will go in separated tunnels in every way. All 18 stations were eqquiped with platform screen doors. Construction is carried out by a Greek-Italian consortium and overseen by company which also oversaw the construction of Athens Metro.
The inital plan included also several big garages; two of them will be placed nearby Railway station, with four underground levels for 450 and 600 vehicles. Additional parking will be created at the terminus of city’s main University (1000 parking spaces) and Nea Elvetia (650 parking spaces).
33 km of the main line is set to open to the public by 2020. The extension to the airport will be a mix of underground, grade-level, and elevated railway elements. This idea is not official yet.
Over 300 000 archeological important discoveries has been found during the metro project, and the most recent one and maybe the most important one is headless statue of Aphrodite.
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