A pair of Stadler GTW 2/6 DMUs were used for testing the new line on February 25 (Photo: Nikos Klonos).

GREECE: A 17 km freight line connecting the Neo Ikonio container port near Piraeus with Thriasio on the Athens – Kiato route was inaugurated on February 28.

The project was announced in 2000 but subsequently delayed by two years due to financial problems. The total cost was €156⋅6m, split equally between national sources and EU cohesion funding. Aktor was responsible for the civil works, J&P Avax for railway systems and Alstom Transport for signalling.

The alignment is designed for 90 km/h operation, is fully fenced and has no level crossings. There are 10 bridges with total length of 1 400 m, seven tunnels totalling 7 000 m and two cut-and-cover sections totalling 800 m.

Hewlett-Packard has reached an agreement with port operator COSCO and national passenger and freight operator Trainose under which 16 000 to 20 000 containers a year could be moved through the port to destinations in central and eastern Europe. There will be an initial two trains a week to the Czech Republic, and the government expects similar agreements to be reached with other major companies.

• The government is hoping to sell 100% of Trainose to the private sector in June.