Five months since Greek premier Alexis Tsipras unveiled the Thessaloniki Metro, the four carriages which will make up the first train arrived on Wednesday.
“Today is a historic day for Thessaloniki and also a vindication for those of us that worked hard and with consistency during the last 3-3.5 years,” Yiannis Mylopoulos, president of Attiko Metro, declared.
The carriages were transported to Thessaloiniki by truck from Reggio Calabria, Italy.
The carriages will now be placed on the tracks, assembled, and finally unveiled in the presence of Transport and Infrastructure Minister Christos Spirtzis, and a pilot operation of the train will begin immediately.
“There will be a series of test runs on tracks within the depot, and by the end of the summer or early autumn there will be a launch of the pilot metro itineraries,” Mylopoulos said.
Mylopoulos said that the carriages left Reggio Calabria and afterward were transported from Brindisi to Igoumenitsa by ferry. The weight and volume of the trains was obviously enormous, and the trucks which carried them could not move faster than 30 km per hour (18 mph).
Once the train is ready to begin traveling on its regular route, it will be able to reach speeds of up to 80 km per hour (50 mph), based on its technical specifications and the distances between stations.
“With passenger capacity of about 450 per train, Thessaloniki Metro will be able, when in full operation and during rush hour, to carry 18,000 passengers per hour in each direction,” Mylopoulos said. There will be eighteen total trains in the system when the routes begin operation.