Greek Transport Min. discusses new railway projects in Greece with European TEN-T coordinator Grosch

Greek Infrastructure & Transport Minister Christos Staikouras on Tuesday discussed prospects for the financing of a series of new railway projects in Greece with the visiting European Coordinator for the TEN-T Orient-East Med Corridor, Mathieu Grosch, it was reported on Wednesday.

Key points in their talks included:

– Restoration and damage repair works on Greece’s railway network caused by the recent onset of the storm ‘Daniel’, funded by the Resilience & Recovery Fund

– Funding the construction, development, modernization and completion of a series of railway infrastructural works that are key to the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) policy through the Connecting Europe Facility

– The development of the Thessaloniki-Kavala-Alexandroupolis-Bourgas-Varna-Ruse (Sea2Sea consortium), that will contribute significantly to the development of freight transport by creating an alternative route that will bypass the Bosphorus Straits

– The issue of Greece’s participation in the two new (railway) corridors of the Western Balkans-Eastern Mediterranean and Baltic Sea-Black Sea and Aegean.

Staikouras has already undertaken initiatives for the creation of a train route that will connect Greece’s Alexandroupolis port, Bulgaria and Romania with Ukraine, pursued by the prime minister in talks during the trilateral meeting of Bulgaria, Romania and EU representatives in Varna on October 9.

Grosch met on Monday with Alternate National Economy & Finance Minister Nikos Papathanassis. On Wednesday, Grosch paid a technical visit at the offices of Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) subsidiary ERGOSE. He then paid a visit to specific railway project sites, in the company of OSE CEO Panagiotis Terezakis, ERGOSE CEO Christos Palios, and officials from all related ministries.

During the visit to ERGOSE offices, Grosch discussed the mapping of damages to the Greek railway network, developments in terms of planning and promoting restoration projects, and addressing challenges in the implementation of resilient and updated railway projects. He also discussed in depth the rationalized use of financial support to promote the projects, which are of high European interest.

Finally, Grosch visited the ‘Larissis’ national railway station in Athens, where he was briefed on progress in the second phase of the station’s expansion and the project of turning a 1.9 km section into an underground line at Sepolia. He completed his visit at the new railway control center at the Railway Center of Acharnes (SKA), north of Athens.

“Greece has a very important project portfolio,” he noted, adding that “securing and absorbing the funds is critical. Good cooperation among all parties is the key to success.”