Some milestones, five in particular, will lead to the operation of Thessaloniki Metro’s Main Line, since the stations are gradually being completed.
More specifically, civil engineering works and architectural finishes have already been concluded, but beyond the “visible” sides of the stations there are also the “invisible” ones; the installation of all electromechanical equipment, safety gates on the platforms and finally, ticket vending machines and passengers’ access barriers.
The first significant milestone is expected in April, when the first Metro train will arrive. It will be a historic moment, denoting the “beginning of the end” of the construction phase and -at the same time- the countdown for the trial operation that will last for a few months.
A second milestone will be in Autumn, with the completion of all superstructure works (i.e. the tracks) all the way from the New Railway Station to Nea Elvetia Station and Pilea Depot. At the same time, test itineraries are expected to commence.
A third milestone will be next Spring. By then, all trains will have been received and will be under rigorous testings at the Depot.
A fourth milestone will be the “green light” from Attiko Metro that everything works as expected, some time in the Autumn of 2020. Until then, the necessary training of the staff will have been completed, the Control Center in Pilea Depot will be fully operational and all stations and trains will be ready.
The fifth is the ultimate milestone. It will be the day, probably in the end of 2020 when, for the very first time, the country’s PM, politicians, journalists and other official guests will take the first ride with the Metro under the city of Thessaloniki. The gates of the first 11 stations will officially open for the public immediately probably even on the next day, following 14 long years of construction.
The 11 stations that will operate are: NEW RAILWAY STATION, DIMOKRATIAS, AGHIA SOFIA, SINDRIVANI/EKTHESI, PANEPISTIMIO, PAPAFI, EFKLIDI, FLEMING, ANALIPSI, PATRIKIOU, VULGARI and NEA ELVETIA.
Until then, the countdown will have begun also for Kalamaria Line, which will have 5 stations and will be connected to the Main Line at PATRIKIOS Station. Its operation is expected in the first half of 2021.