Acharnes Railway Center
Athens Airport–Kiato railway
|Tracks||15 (2 for the Athens - Thessaloniki line, 1 for Proastiakos Trains, 1 for freight trains from Piraeus and Thriasion to Northern Greece, 4 tracks from/to Peloponnese and 7 unused tracks.|
|Opened||5 April 2011|
|SKA (1st phase, 2010)|
The Acharnes Railway Center (Greek: Σιδηροδρομικό Κέντρο Αχαρνών) or SKA is a two-level railway station in the north of the Athens Metropolitan Area in the municipality of Acharnes, where some important railway lines converge. It is a busy passenger interchange station, opened in April 2011.
Lines and Services
The lines that converge in the junction are:
- The main Piraeus–Platy railway line from Piraeus and Athens Central (Larissa station) to Oinoi and Thessaloniki.
- The Athens Airport–Kiato railway line connecting Athens International Airport and East Attica with the Athens Metropolitan Area, Corinth and Kiato.
As of 2013[update] the station is served by eight trains per day to Thessaloniki, one train per hour between the Airport and Kiato, three trains per hour between the Airport and Ano Liosia, and one train per hour between Piraeus and Chalcis.
The station has 8 platforms, as well as one low level platform in the median of Attiki Odos Motorway. Currently, only this platform and two others are used.
Usage of the 7 remaining platforms
Apart from the 2 platforms on the Athens to Thessaloniki Line and the Proastiakos platform low level platform, the station has 6 platforms that remain unused. Those platforms exist in order to accommodate future services, especially after the completion of the P.A.Th.E./P..
- Platforms 1 and 2, which serve tracks 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively, will open after the completion of the Athens to Patras line. Trains go through these tracks daily, however they do not call at the station. The Athens to Patras line has already been completed as far as Kiato. The next sections are under construction (the link to the city of Patras is still under planning) and will open is stages from 2017 onwards.
- Platforms 3 and 4 serve tracks 5, 6, 7 and 8. They will be used in case the Acharnes Bypass is completed. If completed, intercity and regional will be redirected through a tunnel, bypassing Acharnes, that will allow them to reach higher speeds, thus reducing travel times. Construction of this bypass seemed likely because the line north of Athens is expected to suffer from capacity issues and become a major bottleneck in the Greek Rail Network. Lack of finance as well as another proposal with the same goal, the Thriasion - Thiva Line have put this project on hold.
- Platforms 5 and 6, which serve tracks 9, 10 and 11 are terminating platforms. Usage of these platforms is highly unlikely because extending services further from the station instead of having them terminate there is more favourable because of financial reasons, as well as the fact that they would attract more passengers.
A future station has been proposed on line 5 of the Athens Metro. It will not open before 2030.
Low usage of the station and its unnecessarily large size and number of platforms have led to the project being criticised as a white elephant.