Metro’s late hours a concern

The company that runs the Athens metro is concerned that track maintenance could suffer if trains operate for longer hours, as the capital’s mayor, Nikitas Kaklamanis, has requested. AMEL, the operating firm, and Kaklamanis have discussed the possibility of running a pilot scheme whereby trains will run into the early hours of Saturday and Sunday rather than stop just after midnight. However, sources said yesterday that AMEL is worried that under this revised schedule, the time engineers have to maintain the tracks will be reduced from seven hours each day to five. AMEL also estimates that extending the timetable by two hours every Friday and Saturday night will cost the company some 300,000 euros a month. Two-thirds of this cost would be staff overtime. If the pilot scheme is carried out, it is likely to take place between February and March when the service between the Ethinki Amyna station and Athens International Airport will be suspended so that the new stations at Holargos, Nomismatokopeio and Aghia Paraskevi can be opened.