ISAP’s various types of delays

ISAP’s various types of delays

Overshadowed by Lines 2 and 3 of the Athens metro and their extensions, Line 1 (known as ISAP, or “Ilektrikos”), which launched operations in 1869 and connects Kifissia with Piraeus, is still waiting to enter the 21st century.

Damage to the electromechanical equipment, low performance or even nonexistent air conditioning, an insufficient number of trains, vandalism, indelible graffiti, rotten floors: These are some of the problems that historic ISAP still suffers from, as do the passengers who travel on it.

“Every day we have three or four breakdowns,” says the company’s management, claiming that Line 1 should have had at least 24 trains available but due to breakdowns the number of those available changes daily. At peak times 19 trains are needed, with the trains that entered service between 1983-1985 showing major problems.

Train delays are also a “thorn” for many passengers, with operating company STASY installing four old first-generation metro trains (from Lines 2 and 3) in order to increase the transport work and save time. Yet these cannot solve the problem, and don’t have air conditioning.

Meanwhile the attempt by STASY to have 14 old ISAP trains upgraded, a project that could bring back into circulation seven or eight trains that have been put out of service, is not progressing as planned. The State Audit Council blocked the signing of the amended contract between STASY and the Spanish CAF contractor that has undertaken the execution of the project in question.

The initial 65.5-million-euro contract, signed in December 2022, led STASY to expect the delivery of the first reconstructed train to the facilities this July. However, in December 2023 STASY’s Board of Directors accepted the contractor’s request for an adjustment of the total contractual price by 9.5% – i.e. €6.2 million – as well as the extension of the partial delivery times of the project.

Based on the new timetables, the receipt of the first upgraded train was set for February 2025 and the delivery of the first train dummy this July. However, even these timetables will be difficult to make.

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