Metro Line 2 may open in August

Line 2 of the Attica metro system, which transports passengers to and from Athens International Airport, could by fully operational by the end of this month, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. A spokesman for the company constructing the network, Attiko Metro, suggested last month to Kathimerini’s weekly newspaper Athens Plus that a section of the line that has been closed since February would likely be up and running at the beginning of September. However, it now seems that Line 2 between Ethniki Amyna and the airport could be operational a few days earlier. Sources said that all the construction work has finished and that safety tests are currently being carried out. The full operation of Line 2 will also signal the opening of a brand-new station, Nomismatokopeio, which takes its name from the adjacent national mint in the northeastern suburb of Kato Halandri. Two more stations, Holargos and Aghia Paraskevi, are expected to be opened soon. Holargos is slated to be operational in December and Aghia Paraskevi by next summer. It will take commuters 10 minutes to travel from Nomismatokopeio to central Athens. The station will also have an underground car park with space for 630 vehicles. The station, through which an estimated 40,000 commuters will pass every day, will also act as a hub for several bus routes, as the terminus, which is currently located at Ethniki Amyna and Katehaki stations, will be relocated to Nomismatokopeio. Transport authorities have plans to use buses to link the new station with rapidly expanding suburbs such as Gerakas. The section of Line 2 between Ethinki Amyna and the airport had to be closed down so that the tunnel could be knocked through to construct the platforms of the new stations, as the rush to get things ready for the Athens Olympics in 2004 meant that this part of the project was not completed at the time.