Athens Metro

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Athens Metro
Attiko Metro roundel
Black & White Train with green stripe
Athens Metro train (3rd generation stock)
Native nameΜετρό Αθήνας
OwnerAttiko Metro S.A. (Stasy S.A.)
LocaleGreater Athens and East Attica
Transit typeRapid transit
Number of lines3
Number of stations61 (6 under construction)
Daily ridership1,353,000[1]
Annual ridership493,800,000 (2013)
WebsiteSTASY S.A.
Began operation1869; 150 years ago (1869)
Operator(s)Statheres Sygkoinonies S.A.
Number of vehicles294 railcars
System length25.6 km (15.9 mi) (Line 1)[2]
58.9 km (36.6 mi) (Lines 2 & 3)[1]
84.5 km (52.5 mi) (Total; includes 20.7 km (12.9 mi) of mixed use suburban rail[1])
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Top speed80 km/h (50 mph)
System map including Proastiakos services

Public transport map of Athens.png

The Athens Metro (Greek: Μετρό Αθήνας, Metró Athínas) is a rapid-transit system in Greece which serves the Athens conurbation and parts of East Attica. It incorporates the former Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways (ISAP), which opened as a conventional steam railway in 1869, was electrified in 1904, and is now part of Line 1. Beginning in 1991, Attiko Metro constructed and extended Lines 2 and 3[3] and the Attiko Metro Operations Company (AMEL) operated these lines from 2000 to 2011;[4] the metro network merged in 2011 when the Greek government created the Urban Rail Transport Company (STASY), a subsidiary of the Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA). First Chairman and CEO of the merged company became Kostas Vassiliadis, a former Chief Engineer and later CEO of Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways; the system is noted for being modern and efficient, in its own right and in comparison to other subway systems elsewhere.[citation needed] It has significantly changed Athens by providing a much-needed solution to the city's traffic and air pollution problem, as well as revitalising many of the areas it serves. An extension of Line 3 is under construction towards Piraeus and also other extensions of existing lines, as well as a new line, are under consideration; the Athens Metro is actively connected with the other means of public transport, such as buses, trolleys, the Athens Tram and the Proastiakos suburban railway. The Athens Metro is hailed for its modernity and many of its stations feature works of art, exhibitions and displays of the archeological remains found during its construction. Photography and video-taking is permitted across the whole network[5] and street photographers often work in Athens Metro.


Athens-Piraeus Railway[edit]

Until 28 January 2000, Line 1 was the only rapid-transit line in Athens and Piraeus; the Athens and Piraeus Railway Company (SAP) opened the line on 27 February 1869 as a steam railway between Piraeus and Thiseio. It was electrified in 1904, and extended in stages to Kifisia in 1957.

From 1926 to 1976 the line operated by Hellenic Electric Railways (E.I.S.). In 1976 the Hellenic Electric Railways was nationalized and renamed Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways.

From 1976 to 16 June 2011, the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railway Company (ISAP) operated the Line 1.[6] Unlike Lines 2 and 3, it runs almost entirely above ground.

1990s projects[edit]

Since the current Line 1 opened the government has proposed many expansions to the subway network, including a 1963 plan for a fourteen-line subway network.[7] Construction of Lines 2 and 3 began in November 1992 to decrease traffic congestion and improve Athens' air quality by reducing its smog level.[3] Both lines were constructed underground. Lines 2 and 3, built by Attiko Metro and operated until 2011 by Attiko Metro Operations Company, are known respectively as the red and blue lines and were inaugurated in January 2000. Line 3 was extended to the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in summer 2004, and Line 2 was extended to Anthoupoli and Helliniko in 2013.


Until 17 June 2011,[6] the operational management of the Athens Metro network was similar to that of the London Underground network before the creation of the London Passenger Transport Board and the absorption of the Metropolitan Railway on 1 July 1933; the Greek government attempted to absorb ISAP into Attiko Metro under Law 2669/1998 so the latter would be responsible for the whole network,[8] but this initiative failed.[why?] Athens Metro operations were consolidated when the Greek government enacted Law 3920/2011,[9] replacing AMEL, ISAP and Athens Tram with Urban Rail Transport (STASY) (Greek: ΣΤΑΣΥ Α.Ε.), a subsidiary of OASA.[10]


Lines and stations[edit]

The modern incarnation of Line 1 is 25.6-kilometre (15.9 mi) long,[2] and serves 24 stations. Together, Lines 2 and 3 are 58.9-kilometre (36.6 mi) long (including 20.7 kilometres (12.9 mi) of suburban rail line from Doukissis Plakentias station to the Airport on Line 3), and serve 41 stations.[1][11]

Athens Metro lines
Line Map colour[I][12] First section
Elec. Latest section
Latest station opened Route Length (km, mi) Sta.
Athens Metro Line 1.svg Green February 27, 1869 1904 August 10, 1957 August 6, 2004
PiraeusKifisia 25.6 km (15.9 mi)[2] 24
Athens Metro Line 2.svg Red January 28, 2000 2000 July 26, 2013 July 26, 2013
AnthoupoliElliniko 17.9 km (11.1 mi) 20
Athens Metro Line 3.svg Light Blue[*] January 28, 2000 2000 December 14, 2013 December 14, 2013
(Agia Marina)
Agia MarinaDoukissis Plakentias/Airport 18.1 km (11.2 mi) / 39 km (24.2 mi) 21
* Dark blue on signage.
System map (2013)
The west entrance to Athens Metro line 1 Victoria station.

The three-line Athens Metro network serves 61 stations, it owns and operates 57 of them, and OSE owns the remainder on the airport section. The network has four metro interchanges, enabling the lines to interchange with each other at least once; each line also has at least one station connecting with the Proastiakos Suburban Railway and Athens Tram; however, Line 3 will not have a direct interchange with TrainOSE until the extension to Dimotiko Theatro opens.

Line 2 and the Attiko Metro portion of Line 3 is entirely underground. Line 1 is primarily overground, with a tunnel section in central Athens; the airport section of Line 3, east of the tunnel portal near Doukissis Plakentias, is open. In the tunnel sections up and down lines share a common tunnel, except for approaches to stations with an island platform (such as Egaleo).

The network uses standard gauge electric trains which in most places run on 750 V DC third rail, but the section of Line 3 running to the airport requires trains which can use overhead lines of 25 kV AC, 50 Hz. Line 1 has historically had its own fleet, but nevertheless, there are rail connections between Lines 1 and 2 near Attiki and between Lines 2 and 3 near Syntagma. Train maintenance facilities are located at Attiki, Faliro, Irini, Piraeus, Kifisia and Thiseio for Line 1, and Doukissis Plakentias, Eleonas and Sepolia for Lines 2 and 3.

As of April 2008 the blue line (Line 3) was 16.4 km long,[14] not including the suburban railway line to the airport or (as of February 2008) 21.2 km of the line it shares with Proastiakos, the Athens suburban railway system. As of July 2008, the red line (Line 2) was 10.9 km,[14] bringing the overall length of the green, red and blue lines to approximately 74 km.[needs update] The Athens Metro's three lines carry approximately 1,353,000 passengers daily.[1]

Rolling stock[edit]

The Athens Metro classifies rolling stock by "batch" for Line 1 and "generation" for Lines 2 and 3 because ISAP and AMEL used different classification systems for rolling stock before consolidation. Six types of rolling stock operate on the network, all equipped with third rail current collection systems; however, only seven second-generation trains have the necessary overhead line equipment to serve Line 3 from Doukissis Plakentias to Airport. Differing signalling systems prevent batch stock from running on Lines 2 and 3 and generation stock from running on Line 1.

The eighth batch (introduced in 1983) is the oldest rolling stock in passenger service, while the third generation (introduced in 2013) is the latest rolling stock in passenger service; the eighth- and tenth-batch stock is externally similar, but the former has split-flap headsigns in Johnston typeface and a cream-and-green interior colour scheme.

Line Stock Image Introduced
Athens Metro Line 1.svg 8th-batch stock Square grey-and-red train pulling into a station 1983
Athens Metro Line 1.svg 10th-batch stock Same type of train passing evergreen trees 1993
Athens Metro Line 1.svg 11th-batch stock 20070523-NERATZIOTISA.jpg 2000
Athens Metro Line 2.svg Athens Metro Line 3.svg 1st-generation stock Same type of train passing line of parked cars 2000
Athens Metro Line 2.svg Athens Metro Line 3.svg 2nd-generation stock Subway train in station 2003 & 2004
Athens Metro Line 2.svg Athens Metro Line 3.svg 3rd-generation stock 20140622-Anthoupoli-62D304 (7872).jpg 2014
  • First series (delivery): 28 six-car electric multiple units made by AlstomSiemensAdtranz (2000); maximum speed 80 km/h[15]
  • Second series (delivery): 21 six-car EMU made by Hanwha-Rotem-Mitsubishi (2004).[16] Seven of these trains can also operate on OSE lines with 25 kV AC −50 Hz overhead electrification system and are used for airport service. All second-series trains are air-conditioned. Maximum speed 80 km/h
  • Third series: Athens Metro ordered 17 additional trains made by Hyundai Rotem.
  • Four service hybrid locomotives made by Kaelble-Gmeinder-Siemens. They can operate from a third-rail 750 V DC system or their own diesel generators, they have a B-B configuration, with a maximum power of 550 kW under diesel traction and 600 kW under electric traction.[17]
  • One road-rail Unimog
Batch Year Configuration Type Numbering Description
1st 2000 DT-M-MD+MD-M-DT DT A01-A56 56 EMU-3 "half-trains" operating as 28 EMU-6 trains. Made by Alsthom-Siemens-ADtranz. MD railcars have an auxiliary driving facility used only for shunting.
M B01-B56
MD C01-C56
2003–2004 D-T-M+M-T-D D D201-D228 28 EMU-3 "half-trains" operating as 14 EMU-6 trains. Made by Hanwha-Rotem-Mitsubishi.
T T201-T228
M M201-M228
2003–2004 D-T-M+M-T-D D D251-D264 14 EMU-3 "half-trains" operating as 7 EMU-6 trains. Made by Hanwha-Rotem-Mitsubishi, can also operate on 25 kV AC, 50 Hz lines.
T T251-T264
M M251-M264
3rd 2012–2013 D-T-M+M-T-D D D301-D334 A contract for 17 air conditioned EMU-6 trains was signed on 2009-09-16 with Hanwha-Rotem.[18] 34 EMU-3 "half-trains" entered service as 17 EMU-6 trains in June 2014.
T T301-T334
M M301-M334

Railcar codes: DM: driving motor car, DT: driving trailer, M: motor car, T: trailer, MD: motor car with auxiliary driving facility.


Line 1 uses two-aspect red/green home signals, yellow/green distant signals and a passenger information system (PIS); the current system replaced 1950s-era semaphore signals.

Lines 2 and 3 use the Alstom automatic train supervision system (ATS) and a passenger information system (PIS). Two-aspect red/white colour signals are used at points and junctions only.

Network map[edit]


The new contactless ATH.ENA Ticket, which is in use since February 2017.

Fares are prepaid, either as short term tickets valid for 90 minutes, 24 hours, 5 days, or as long term tickets; as of February 2017, there are two types of fare products, the ATH.ENA Ticket and ATH.ENA Card, both of which are validated using a contactless system (by scanning the ticket or card at the electronic validating machines); the single 90-minute ticket is valid on all modes of public transport in Athens except on trains and buses to the airport, and airport tickets.[19] Long term tickets are available in 30, 90, 180, and 365 day periods and are available only with a personalized ATH.ENA Card. Reduced fares are available for university students, seniors, disabled and persons under 18.[20] On buses, trolleys and trams the ticket or card must be validated only when entering the vehicle/car by scanning the ticket at the electronic validating machines. At metro or suburban railway stations, the ticket or card must be validated at the electronic gates when entering and exiting the station.

Archaeological excavations and exhibits[edit]

Open indoor area with ticket windows, fare-collection machines and an escalator
Concourse level of Syntagma Metro station (prior to the installation of the electronic ticket gates)

During construction of the metro tunnels, artifacts of archaeological interest were discovered and rescue archaeology was employed. Teams of archaeologists worked ahead of, then with, engineers for six years, protecting and recording archaeological finds (streets, houses, cemeteries, sanctuaries, public workshops, foundry pits, kilns, aqueducts, wells, cisterns, drains and sewage tunnels); this afforded new insight into the city's ancient topography, through unprecedented infrastructure development combined with the study and preservation of archaeological data. Exhibitions of ancient artifacts or replicas are found at a number of metro stations, including Monastiraki and Syntagma.


Athens Metro planned lines
Line Map colour[I][12] First section
Latest section
Latest station opened Route Length No. of Stations
Athens Metro Line 4.svg Orange 2026 N/A N/A Alsos Veikou - Goudi 11.7 km (7.3 mi) 15

Line 4[edit]

A fourth line is planned for the Athens Metro and it has been incorporated in the roadmap of Athens's mass transit system since 2005; the new line in its totality will extend over a length of 33 km, adding thirty (30) new stations to the Athens Metro system. The cost of the entire project is estimated at 3.3 billion EUR.[21] The recommendation is for lighter rolling stock than the type used in existing lines of Athens Metro which would operate automatically without a driver.

The first phase of Line 4 will be between Alsos Veikou and Goudi stations, predicting fifteen (15) new stations and a length of 11.7 km of new track. It has been announced that an invitation to tender for the construction of the first phase of Line 4 will be issued in the summer of 2016; the construction is expected to start by mid-2017 and the opening of the line by circa 2025. The estimated cost for constructing the first phase of the new line is 1.2-1.4 billion EUR. Currently, the project of the first phase is considered to follow a PPP scheme which might be extended for constructing the whole new line. An alternative solution is a mixed funding between the EIB and the Greek State, it is also a high-profile candidate project to be included in the Juncker Plan of EU that will include also the second phase of Line 4 of Athens Metro.

As of January 2018, the proposed route for the first phase of Line 4 is:

Other lines

Lines 5–8 are also planned.[22]

See also[edit]


I. ^ As of October 2012, none of the organisations behind the construction or operation of the Athens Metro specify the exact line colour values for web or print, but they agree on a general colour scheme for identifying lines.[12][23]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Homepage - The Company - Attiko Metro S.A." Attiko Metro S.A. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Homepage - The Company - Historic Data - Transit in Athens". Attiko Metro S.A. Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b "AttikoMetro Inside – Base Project". Attiko Metro S.A. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
  4. ^ Law 2669/1988, Government Gazette Issue A 283/1998-12-18, Part 7, paragraph 2.
  5. ^ "" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 March 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Urban Rail Transport SA (STASY SA): Urban Rail Transport S.A". Urban Rail Transport S.A. Retrieved 2 October 2012.
  7. ^ Hekimoglou, Achilleas (24 August 2013). Οραμα για 14 γραμμές Μετρό στην Αττική από το 2000 (in Greek). Το Βήμα (To Vima). Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Law 2669/1998". Εφημερίδας της Κυβερνήσεως (in Greek). Athens: Government of Greece. A (283). 18 December 1998. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  9. ^ Law 3920, Government Gazette issue A-33, 3 March 2011.
  10. ^ Ministerial Decision 28737/2637, Government Gazette issue B-1454, 17 June 2011
  11. ^ "Homepage - Construction of the Athens Metro - Projects in Operation - Base Project". Attiko Metro S.A. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  12. ^ a b c "Athens Metro Regulatory Plan" (PDF). Attiko Metro S.A. 30 January 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  13. ^ "Urban rail news in brief – May 2013". Railway Gazette International. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  14. ^ a b "AMEL – Athens METRO operation:OPERATION". 14 February 2009. Archived from the original on 24 April 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
  15. ^ G. Nathenas; A. Kourbelis; T. Vlastos; S. Kourouzidis; V. Katsareas; P. Karamanis; A. Klonos; N. Kokkinos (2007). Από τα Παμφορεία στο Μετρό (in Greek). 2. Athens: Μίλητος (Militos). pp. 703–708. ISBN 978-960-8460-91-1.
  16. ^
  17. ^ N. Sbarounis (December 2002). "Hybrid locomotives of Athens Metropolitan Network (Greek: Υβριδικές Ηλεκτράμαξες του Μητροπολιτικού Δικτύου Αθηνών)". Sidirotrohia (Greek: Σιδηροτροχιά) (in Greek) (23): 30–31.
  18. ^ ATHENS METRO – Completion of the tender for the supply of 17 new trainsets for the Athens Metro (16/09/2009)
  19. ^ "Tickets" (PDF). OASA S.A. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  20. ^ "Travel Cards (Greek - English not available)". STASY S.A./OASA S.A. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  21. ^ "Attiko Metro Γραμμή 4 (Line 4)". Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Athens Public Transportation Map" (PDF). Athens Urban Transport Organisation. 26 July 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2012.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]