ECONOMY

Great western rail link

The European Union’s Transport Ministers’ Council has approved plans for a major Greek railway project, linking the country’s western region from north to south and branching off to the west across its central mountain range of Pindos. The project, to be implemented between 2006 and 2013, is is one of 29 major works to be financed from Community funds. One branch of the new line will link the northwestern port of Igoumenitsa with Ioannina, Kalambaka and Kozani to the west and north, and another will span almost the entire western length of the country down to the southern port city of Kalamata on the Peloponnese. The two lines are projected to be ready in 2012 and 2014 respectively. The first line will complement an already existing one from Kalambaka to Volos, linking the Ionian with the Aegean seas. Trains will travel at speeds of up to 160 kilometers (100 miles) per hour.