Athens Metro

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Athens Metro
Μετρό Αθήνας
Attiko Metro roundel
Grey subway train with orange stripe in a station
Athens Metro subway train
Owner Attiko Metro S.A.
Locale Greater Athens and East Attica
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 3
Number of stations 60 (served)
56 (owned)
6 (under construction)
Daily ridership 1,353,000[1]
Website STASY S.A.
Began operation 1904
Operator(s) Statheres Sygkoinonies S.A.
Number of vehicles 294 Railcars
System length 83.3 km (51.76 mi)[2]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (standard gauge)
Electrification 750 V DC Third rail
25 kV AC
System map including Proastiakos services

Athens Metro Map (December 2013, English).svg

The Athens Metro (Greek: Μετρό Αθήνας, Metró Athínas) is a rapid-transit system in Greece which serves the Athens conurbation and parts of East Attica. It incorporates the former Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways (ISAP), which opened as a conventional steam railway in 1869, and which was electrified in 1904 and is now part of Line 1. Beginning in 1991, Attiko Metro constructed and extended Lines 2 and 3[3] and the Attiko Metro Operations Company (AMEL) operated these lines from 2000 to 2011.[4] The metro network merged in 2011 when the Greek government created the Urban Rail Transport Company (STASY), a subsidiary of the Athens Urban Transport Organization (OASA).


Athens-Piraeus Railway[edit]

Until 28 January 2000, Line 1 was the only rapid-transit line in Athens and Piraeus. The Athens and Piraeus Railway Company (SAP) opened the line on 27 February 1869 as a steam railway between Piraeus and Thiseio. It was electrified in 1904, and extended in stages to Kifisia in 1957.

From 1976 to 16 June 2011, the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railway Company (ISAP) operated Line 1 independently from the rest of the metro and tram networks.[5] Unlike Lines 2 and 3, it runs almost entirely above ground.

1990s projects[edit]

Since the current Line 1 opened the government has proposed many expansions to the subway network, including a 1963 plan for a fourteen-line subway network.[6] Construction of Lines 2 and 3 began in November 1992 to decrease traffic congestion and improve Athens' air quality by reducing its smog level.[3] Both lines were constructed underground. Lines 2 and 3, built by Attiko Metro and operated until 2011 by Attiko Metro Operations Company, are known respectively as the red and blue lines and were inaugurated in January 2000. Line 3 was extended to the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in summer 2004, and Line 2 was extended to Anthoupoli and Helliniko in 2013.


Until 17 June 2011,[5] the operational management of the Athens Metro network was similar to that of the London Underground network before the creation of the London Passenger Transport Board and the absorption of the Metropolitan Railway on 1 July 1933. The Greek government attempted to absorb ISAP into Attiko Metro under Law 2669/1998 so the latter would be responsible for the whole network,[7] but this initiative failed.[why?] Athens Metro operations were consolidated when the Greek government enacted Law 3920/2011,[8] replacing AMEL, ISAP and Athens Tram with Urban Rail Transport (STASY) (Greek: ΣΤΑΣΥ Α.Ε.), a subsidiary of OASA.[9]

Stations and lines[edit]

Athens Metro lines
Line Map colour[I][10] First section
Elec. Latest section
Latest station opened Route Length (km, mi) Sta.
Athens Metro Line 1.svg Green 27 February 1869 1904 10 August 1957 6 August 2004 (Nerantziotissa)[11] PiraeusKifisia 700125600000000000025.6 km (15.9 mi)[12] 24[11]
Athens Metro Line 2.svg Red 28 January 2000 2000 26 July 2013 26 July 2013 (Elliniko)[13] AnthoupoliElliniko 700116400000000000016.4 km (10.2 mi)[14] 20[14]
Athens Metro Line 3.svg Light Blue+ 28 January 2000 2000 14 December 2013 14 December 2013 (Agia Marina) Agia MarinaDoukissis Plakentias/Airport 700137600000000000037.6 km (23.4 mi)[14] 21[14]
Athens Metro Line 4.svg Orange Proposed Proposed Proposed Proposed Petroupoli – Ethniki Odos 700133000000000000033.0 km (20.5 mi)[15] 29[15]
Athens Metro Line 5.svg Dark Blue Proposed Proposed Proposed Proposed Fyli – Nea Elvetia Unknown Unknown
Athens Metro Line 6.svg Pink Proposed Proposed Proposed Proposed Amalia Fleming – Vryoni/Perama Unknown Unknown
Athens Metro Line 7.svg Yellow Proposed Proposed Proposed Proposed Chaidari – Poseidonos Unknown Unknown
Athens Metro Line 8.svg Brown Proposed Proposed Proposed Proposed Circular Unknown Unknown
+ Dark blue on signage.


The three-line Athens Metro network serves 61 stations. It owns and operates 57 of them, and OSE owns the remainder on the airport section. The network has four metro interchanges, enabling the lines to interchange with each other at least once. Each line also has at least one station connecting with the Proastiakos Suburban Railway and Athens Tram; however, Line 3 will not have a direct interchange with TrainOSE until the extension to Dimotiko Theatro opens.

Line 2 and the Attiko Metro portion of Line 3 is entirely underground. Line 1 is primarily in the open, with a tunnel section in central Athens. The airport section of Line 3, east of the tunnel portal near Doukissis Plakentias, is open. In the tunnel sections up and down lines share a common tunnel, except for approaches to stations with an island platform (such as Egaleo).

The network uses standard gauge electric trains which run on 750 V DC third rail. Line 1 has historically had its own fleet, and the airport section requires trains which can use overhead lines of 25 kV AC, 50 Hz. Nevertheless, there are rail connections between Lines 1 and 2 near Attiki and between Lines 2 and 3 near Syntagma. Train maintenance facilities are located at Attiki, Faliro, Irini, Piraeus and Thiseio for Line 1, and Doukissis Plakentias, Eleonas and Sepolia for Lines 2 and 3.

As of April 2008 the blue line (Line 3) was 16.4 km long,[16] not including the suburban railway line to the airport or (as of February 2008) 21.2 km of the line it shares with the Athens suburban railway system. As of July 2008, the red line (Line 2) was 10.9 km,[16] bringing the overall length of the green, red and blue lines to approximately 74 km.[needs update] The Athens Metro carries about 1,353,000 passengers daily.[17]

Rolling stock[edit]

The Athens Metro uses standard gauge trains, and classifies rolling stock by "batch" for Line 1 and "generation" for Lines 2 and 3 because ISAP and AMEL used different classification systems for rolling stock before consolidation. Six types of rolling stock operate on the network, all equipped to run on 750 V DC third rail; however, only seven second-generation trains can serve Line 3 from Doukissis Plakentias to Airport. Differing signal systems prevent batch stock from running on Lines 2 and 3 and generation stock from running on Line 1.

The eighth batch (introduced in 1983) is the oldest rolling stock in passenger service, while the second generation (introduced in 2003) is the latest rolling stock in passenger service. The eighth- and tenth-batch stock is externally similar, but the former has split-flap headsigns in Johnston typeface and a cream-and-green interior colour scheme.

London Underground lines
Line Stock Image Introduced
Athens Metro Line 1.svg 8th-batch stock Square grey-and-red train pulling into a station 1983
Athens Metro Line 1.svg 10th-batch stock Same type of train passing evergreen trees 1993
Athens Metro Line 1.svg 11th-batch stock 20070523-NERATZIOTISA.jpg 2000
Athens Metro Line 2.svg Athens Metro Line 3.svg 1st-generation stock Same type of train passing line of parked cars 2000
Athens Metro Line 2.svg Athens Metro Line 3.svg 2nd-generation stock Subway train in station 2004
Athens Metro Line 2.svg Athens Metro Line 3.svg 3rd-generation stock 2013
  • First series (delivery): 28 six-car electric multiple units made by AlstomSiemensAdtranz (2000); maximum speed 80 km/h[18]
  • Second series (delivery): 21 six-car EMU made by Hanwa-Rotem-Mitsubishi (2004). Seven of these trains can also operate on OSE lines with 25 kV AC −50 Hz overhead electrification system and are used for airport service. All second-series trains are air-conditioned. Maximum speed 80 km/h
  • Third series: Athens Metro ordered 17 additional trains.
  • Four service hybrid locomotives made by Kaelble-Gmeinder-Siemens. They can operate from a third-rail 750 V DC system or their own diesel generators. They have a B-B configuration, with a maximum power of 550 kW under diesel traction and 600 kW under electric traction.[19]
  • One road-rail Unimog
Batch Year Configuration Type Numbering Description
1st 2000 DT-M-MD+MD-M-DT DT A01-A56 56 EMU-3 "half-trains" operating as 28 EMU-6 trains. Made by Alsthom-Siemens-ADtranz. MD railcars have an auxiliary driving facility used only for shunting.
M B01-B56
MD C01-C56
2003–2004 DM-T-M+M-T-DM DM D201-D228 28 EMU-3 "half-trains" operating as 14 EMU-6 trains. Made by Hanwa-Rotem-Mitsubishi.
T T201-T228
M M201-M228
2003–2004 DM-T-M+M-T-DM DM D251-D264 14 EMU-3 "half-trains" operating as 7 EMU-6 trains. Made by Hanwa-Rotem-Mitsubishi, can also operate on 25 kV AC, 50 Hz lines.
T T251-T264
M M251-M264
3rd 2012–2013 DM-T-M+M-T-DM DM D301-D334 A contract for 17 air conditioned EMU-6 trains was signed on 2009-09-16 with Hanwa-Rotem.[20] 34 EMU-3 "half-trains" will enter service as 17 EMU-6 trains in July 2013.
T T301-T334
M M301-M334

Railcar codes: DM: driving motor car, DT: driving trailer, M: motor car, T: trailer, MD: motor car with auxiliary driving facility.


Line 1 uses two-aspect red/green home signals, yellow/green distant signals and a passenger information system (PIS). The current system replaced 1950s-era semaphore signals.

Lines 2 and 3 use the Alstom automatic train supervision system (ATS) and a passenger information system (PIS). Two-aspect red/white colour signals are used at points and junctions only.

Ticketing policy[edit]

Purchased tickets are valid for 90 minutes after validation, and can be used for several trips on the network (lines 1, 2 and 3) and on most other public transport in Athens (buses, trolleybuses, trams and the urban part of the suburban railway between Piraeus, Magoula and Koropi—excluding the airport). Passengers must validate their tickets once, using the machines at the station entrance at the start of their first trip.[21]

There are daily and weekly tickets, and monthly cards. Fares are checked frequently, and passengers who do not have a validated ticket or monthly card are required to pay 60 times the price of a standard ticket.

Airport fares[edit]

Travel to and from the Athens International Airport costs €8; in February 2011, the round-trip fare (within 48 hours) was €14. There are also two- and three-person one-way fares.

Archaeological excavations and exhibits[edit]

Open indoor area with ticket windows, fare-collection machines and an escalator
Concourse level of Syntagma Metro station

During construction of the metro tunnels, artifacts of archaeological interest were discovered and rescue archaeology was employed. Teams of archaeologists worked ahead of, then with, engineers for six years, protecting and recording archaeological finds (streets, houses, cemeteries, sanctuaries, public workshops, foundry pits, kilns, aqueducts, wells, cisterns, drains and sewage tunnels). This afforded new insight into the city's ancient topography, through unprecedented infrastructure development combined with the study and preservation of archaeological data. Exhibitions of ancient artifacts or replicas are found at a number of metro stations, including Monastiraki and Syntagma.


Line 4[edit]

A line between Alsos Veikou and Maroussi was planned, but was unfunded as of May 2009.[22] On 4 November 2010, it was announced that a call for bids for construction of the western branch would be issued in late 2011. Geotechnical investigations are occurring at a number of locations on the proposed route.

According to the Metro Development Study, two lines would be constructed as branches of existing lines: a Line 2 branch from Panepistimio to Alsos Veikou and a Line 3 branch from Panormou to Maroussi. Further study showed that construction of a separate line joining the branches is preferable.[23] The proposal also recommends lighter rolling stock than the type used in Lines 2 and 3, which would operate without a driver. The proposed route for Line 4 is:

Subway-station platform, with train on one side
Agios Dimitrios station
  • Alsos Veikou
  • Galatsi
  • Kypseli
  • Dikastiria
  • Alexandras
  • Exarhia
  • Panepistimio (new station, with an underpass connection to existing Line 2 station)
  • Kolonaki
  • Evangelismos (existing Line 3 station)
  • Kaissariani
  • Ano Ilissia
  • Zografou
  • Goudi
  • Katehaki (existing Line 3 station)
  • Faros
  • Filothei
  • Sidera
  • O.A.K.A.
  • Paradissos
  • O.T.E
  • Maroussi (existing Line 1 station)

Proposed expansion[edit]

Athens metro lines 1,2,3 and 4, according to expansion plans

In April 2009, the Hellenic Ministry of Public Works released a preliminary proposal for expansion of the Attiko Metro as part of its Regulatory Plan for Athens and Attica.[24] The proposal was intended as a basis for expansion of the rapid-transit system in the Attiki basin, and would take at least 20 years. It will cover 85 percent of the Attica basin, encouraging citizens to drive less.

The proposed expansion will increase the system to eight lines (including ISAP Line 1) with a total length of 220 km and 200 stations. In addition to slight extensions to Lines 1 (which was canceled in late 2011 due to funding issues), 3 and 4, the proposed expansion will create Lines 5 (Ano LiosiaVyronas), 6 (MelissiaPerama/Piraeus), 7 (ChaidariAlimos, crossing the Attiki through downtown Athens) and 8 as a partial circle around Athens (KatechakiSepoliaKallitheaDafniPangrati).[25] As of March 2012,[26] these extensions constitute the Athens Metro Regulatory Plan and will be gradually implemented by Attiko Metro.

See also[edit]


I. ^ As of October 2012, none of the organisations behind the construction or operation of the Athens Metro specify the exact line colour values for web or print, but they agree on a general colour scheme for identifying lines.[10][27]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Athens Urban Transport Network in Facts and Figures (pdf) page 15". OASA. Retrieved 4 February 2007. 
  3. ^ a b "AttikoMetro Inside – Base Project". Attiko Metro S.A. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Law 2669/1988, Government Gazette Issue A 283/1998-12-18, Part 7, paragraph 2.
  5. ^ a b "Urban Rail Transport SA (STASY SA): Urban Rail Transport S.A". Urban Rail Transport S.A. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Hekimoglou, Achilleas (24 August 2013). "Οραμα για 14 γραμμές Μετρό στην Αττική από το 2000" (in Greek). Το Βήμα (To Vima). Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "Law 2669/1998". Εφημερίδας της Κυβερνήσεως (in Greek) (Athens: Government of Greece) A (283). 18 December 1998. Retrieved 24 September 2013. 
  8. ^ Law 3920, Government Gazette issue A-33, 3 March 2011.
  9. ^ Ministerial Decision 28737/2637, Government Gazette issue B-1454, 17 June 2011
  10. ^ a b "Athens Metro Regulatory Plan". Attiko Metro S.A. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Stations", ISAP – Athens Piraeus Electric Railways (Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways), 2007, retrieved 2 September 2012 
  12. ^ "Information on Line 1 – Technical Data", ISAP – Athens Piraeus Electric Railways (Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways), 2007, retrieved 2 September 2012 
  13. ^ "Urban rail news in brief – May 2013". Railway Gazette International. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Operation", AMEL – Athens Metro Operation (Attiko Metro Operation Company), 31 December 2010, retrieved 2 September 2012 
  15. ^ a b "Line 4", AttikoMetro Inside (Attiko Metro), 31 December 2010, retrieved 19 July 2012 
  16. ^ a b "AMEL – Athens METRO operation:OPERATION". 14 February 2009. Archived from the original on 24 April 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2009. 
  17. ^ Attiko Metro S.A. – The Company
  18. ^ G. Nathenas, A. Kourbelis, T. Vlastos, S. Kourouzidis, V. Katsareas, P. Karamanis, A. Klonos, N. Kokkinos (2007). Από τα Παμφορεία στο Μετρό (in greek) 2. Athens: Μίλητος (Militos). pp. 703–708. ISBN 978-960-8460-91-1. 
  19. ^ N. Sbarounis (December 2002). "Hybrid locomotives of Athens Metropolitan Network (Greek: Υβριδικές Ηλεκτράμαξες του Μητροπολιτικού Δικτύου Αθηνών)". Sidirotrohia (Greek: Σιδηροτροχιά) (in Greek) (23): 30–31. 
  20. ^ ATHENS METRO – Completion of the tender for the supply of 17 new trainsets for the Athens Metro (16/09/2009)
  21. ^ "AMEL – Athens METRO operation:Flat fare tickets". 14 February 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2009. 
  22. ^ June 2008 issue of the free Attiko Metro magazine available in the stations
  23. ^ "AttikoMetro Inside". Retrieved 4 May 2009. 
  24. ^ The future Metro extensions were incorporated into the New Regulatory Plan for Athens and Attica Prefecture
  25. ^ Map of the Athens Metro Regulatory Plan
  26. ^ Future extensions of Attiko Metro
  27. ^ "Athens Public Transportation Map". Athens Urban Transport Organisation. 26 July 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2012. 

External links[edit]