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Athens Metro: the new extension to Piraeus is the most important one in decades

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Athens Metro: the new extension to Piraeus is the most important one in decades

Dimotiko Theatro Station

If there are no unforeseen circumstances, on Monday, October 10, the inauguration will take place and the extension of line 3 from Nikaia to the Dimotiko Theatro of Piraeus will be put into operation. The operation of the additional 3 stations not only extends the blue line of the city but is of historical importance. When in 1869 Athens and Piraeus were joined by means of a fixed track, it was a revolution in transport (I don’t know if we can call it urban for that period) in the wider area of ​​the then relatively new capital of the Greek state. This line gradually grew and is now line 1 of the Athens Metro, better known as Electrikos or ISAP.

Dimotiko Theatro Station

On October 10, another line will join the two most important urban and economic poles of the capital. For the first time, the administrative, commercial and business center of Piraeus will be united with the center of the capital giving a new dynamic to the medium. At the same time, for the first time, Piraeus joins many of its suburbs. Maniatika, Nikaia, Korydallos and, by extension, Neapoli are joined by Metro stations that will make commuting easy and a matter of a few minutes.

The big change in daily commutes

Until today, the expansion of Piraeus has mainly been combined with the airport-port connection, which is indeed of great value, but it does not concern everyday life as much as the possibility for tourists to move easily between the two major transport gateways of Attica. Piraeus is of course much more than its port. It is a strong business center, a pole that is inextricably linked with Athens and together they form two dominant points of the capital. It is also a city where thousands of office workers work, as is the case in the center of Athens.

Dimotiko Theatro Station

Therefore, giving the possibility to the passenger to be able to reach Syntagma easily and quickly from the Municipal Theater, from Piraeus or Maniatika is extremely important and will change the urban transportation of the capital in a short period of time. In addition, together with the Tram (which has been in operation for several months already), it is upgrading Piraeus in terms of transportation, urban and environmental aspects. The changes that will come from the operation of the Metro to the center of Piraeus in relation to the nearby Municipalities will be fundamental in order to drastically reduce the traffic in the central axes of the city and the wider region.

Piraeus Station

In the center of Piraeus, one will now be able to go comfortably from all the important centers of the city either by Metro (e.g. from Peristeri, from Cholargo, from Agia Paraskevi, from Sepolia, etc.) or by Tram ( from Voula, Glyfada, Nea Smyrni, Alimos, Paleo Faliro, etc.). This new mobility feature will come gradually as it did with previous expansions. The big difference is the volume of commuters daily in Piraeus which is an administrative, shipping and commercial center in addition to the fact that it provides a ferry connection to the islands of the eastern part of the country.

The gradual change

In the coming months, it remains to be seen how significant a change it can bring as far as traffic and private vehicles are concerned, especially on major axes of the capital such as Poseidonos, Syngrou, Piraios, now having better connection possibilities with the means of fixed track. In this, of course, the great contribution of line 1 remains, which to this day alone carries the burden of moving by means of a fixed track from the northern suburbs and Athens to the port of Piraeus. The value of the line is particularly great and now with two more lines, Tram and line 3 of the Metro, they will form the backbone of the movements to and from the country’s large port. Dissonance in this dynamic transformation of urban transport unfortunately remains the Suburban Railway whose station remains empty most hours of the day, despite the fact that it crosses areas from Rentis to Agioi Anargyroi that do not have a fixed track.

The most significant expansion in two decades

The infrequent routes and the difficult connection between Piraeus and the Airport can be changed and the Suburban can become another asset in the movement by means of a fixed track that ends at the port of Piraeus. The line from Piraeus to Attiki Odos and maybe beyond can become a Metro type line attracting more passengers on a daily basis.

Maniatika Station

In any case, the importance of the extension of line 3 to the port and the center of Piraeus is indisputable, perhaps the most important in 18 years, when the Metro went to the northern suburbs, the airport, Peristeri and Agios Dimitrios. Its effect will be seen in the coming months entering the daily life of passengers, citizens and visitors of the city.

Read more in here  (Source | | Official WTC2023 Media Partner)

Tarcisio Celestino

Tarcisio Celestino was previously ITA President (2016-19) and President of the Brazilian Tunnelling Committee. He was the Animateur of the ITA Working Group 12 on Sprayed Concrete Use (2005-10). He earned his doctorate degree in Civil Engineering (Rock Mechanics) from the University of California, Berkeley (1981).

He is currently Professor at the University of Sao Paulo and employed by Themag Engenharia Ltda., Sao Paulo (Brazil), where he leads the Geotechnical Engineering, Engineering Geology &Transportation Engineering Design Groups. He is also responsible for the geotechnical designs of several hydroelectric power plants, subways, highways etc., including major underground works (since 1990). He has also acted as consultant.

Professor Celestino continues to contribute his knowledge for the graduate courses & research areas on Rock Mechanics & Underground Works, at the São Carlos Engineering School, University of São Paulo and for the ITACET Foundation.

2. Excursion of history and adventure in Lavreotiki
Sunday 14 May, 2023

Our destination is the exploitation galleys of one of the largest underground mines of Attica. The chambers of metal extraction, rich in recognisable minerals, combine the mystery of ancient drifts with the beauty of caves. We will wander underground for up to 3 hours and explore the maize of drifts, the chambers supported by natural as well as carved-out pillars and the stalactites decoration reminiscent of natural caves. Each of the routes we follow hides surprises waiting to be discovered! 

After we will visit the great “Chaos” sinkhole, a heart-shaped sinkhole formation 150m in diameter and 55m deep. This chiasm may have been formed by the collapse of a cave roof as many of the area’s mining tunnels end there.

Scientific theme: Underground mining activity in Lavrio

Duration: 6 hours inclusive

Detailed program

9.30-10.30 Athens-Lavrio

10.30-13.30 Underground mines

14.00-14.30 Stop at dolin “Chaos” and return to Athens

14.30 – 15.30 Lavrio-Athens

Cost per person: 40,00 €

*limited participation on a first come first served basis. In case participants are less than 20, the respective event will be cancelled and a refund wil be given.

Photo Gallery

1. We go down Athens underground. (Athens centre, moving around on foot)
Saturday 13 May, 2023

How many surprises can the Athens underground have in store for its visitors? The stroll will start from underground shelters and detention areas of the German Kommandatur, remnants of the 2nd World War in Athens. Then, we will take the steps that start off under a timeworn trap door on the side of a road or hidden away in a sidewalk flower–bed, that will lead us in a different, forgotten underground area of the city! For hundreds of years, underground pathways have been used for various and mysterious purposes. Some say that all underground pathways are interconnected although there is no proof of this. Nevertheless, the allure of an unknown world is always there, beneath the ground we walk on. We lift up the antiquated hatch and descend the stone steps.  In the catacomb, we come across tunnels of ancient aqueducts, roman baths and byzantine crypts. The Athens river is also found hidden below the ground, running in old galleys under the most central streets of Athens – we can hear the cars passing over our heads! 

We invite you to discover together the hidden secrets of our city!

Scientific theme: underground constructions of the 19th and 20th century.

Duration: Maximum of 4 hours.

Detailed program:

11.00 Meeting outside Metro Station Panepistimio

11.30 Memorial Site (Korai Street). Two-level underground shelter below the Mansion of Ethniki Insurance Company.

13.00 Catacombs of the Russian Church (Filellinon Street). Inside the catacombs a tunnel and a shaft from ancient Peisistratus aqueduct, ruins from roman baths and crypts of the Byzantine order of Likodimos -11th century.

14.00 Ilissos River (area of Panathenaic Stadium). The buried riverbed of Athens river Ilissos.

Cost per person : 35,00 €

*limited participation on a first come first served basis. In case participants are less than 20, the respective event will be cancelled and a refund wil be given.

Photo Gallery

Professor Kyriazis Pitilakis

Professor Kyriazis Pitilakis has more than forty years of intensive academic, research and professional experience in civil, earthquake and geotechnical engineering. Vice-President of the European Association of Earthquake Engineering (EAEE), ex- Chairman of the Technical Committee “Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering andAssociated Problems” (TC203) of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE), and past President of the Greek Society of Earthquake Engineering. He is presently Professor Emeritus in Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece and since 2019 visiting Professor in Tongji University, International Laboratory of earthquake Engineering (ILEE), Shanghai, China.

Coordinator and scientific responsible of numerous European research projects, namely EUROSEISTEST and SYNER-G, he has a long experience in European research activities in earthquake engineering, geotechnical engineering, vulnerability and risk assessment of civil engineering structures, infrastructures and lifelines. According to the recent Stanford classification he is among the top 10 leading researchers in Civil Engineering in Greece, and among the top 10 leading international researchers in specific topics like Soil Dynamics, Engineering Seismology and Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering.

Chairman of several international conferences including the 16th European Conference of Earthquake Engineering, Thessaloniki 2018 and invited keynote lecturer in many International Conferences. Author of more than 650 scientific papers (h-factor 57) published in peer review scientific journals, and conference proceedings, author and co-author in several books, editor of four books published in Springer Editions, all in relevant subjects of earthquake engineering, seismic risk and geotechnical earthquake engineering. Professor Kyriazis Pitilakis is founder and coordinator of EUROSEISTEST, a large scale experimental facility in earthquake engineering, soil dynamics and engineering seismology that is unique in Europe and worldwide. He supervised more that 30 PhD thesis and numerous of his students hold academic positions in Greece and worldwide.

Professor Kyriazis Pitilakis is strongly involved in the ongoing revision of EC8 (Part 1-Seismic Actions and Part 5-Seismic design of foundations, retaining structures, soilstructure interaction, liquefaction, slope stability and underground structures), while he has been international expert for the revision of other seismic codes worldwide.

He is member of the editorial advisory board in Springer editions (Geotechnical, Geological and Earthquake Engineering), member of the editorial board and reviewer of numerous scientific journals and member of many international societies in earthquake and geotechnical engineering.

Honors: Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Academiques, French Republic.
Thessaloniki 06.06.2022

Professor Marc Panet

The 12th Muir Wood lecture will be delivered by Professor Marc Panet during the WTC2023 in Athens. His nomination being a Muir Wood lecturer was proposed by the French Tunnelling & Underground Space Association (AFTES) as per ITA’s Statues and By-laws.

Marc Panet graduated in Civil Engineering at the École des Mines de Paris and obtained a Master degree at the University of California at Berkeley. He started his career in 1965 at the Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chaussées, in Paris, where he was a Research Engineer, Head of the Geotechnical Department and Technical Director. In 1982 he joined the SHP Group, in Paris, as Scientific Director. From 1984 to 1996 he was the President and CEO of SIMECSOL; and from 1996 to 2000 President and CEO of FC International SA. Since then he has been working as a consultant. He taught at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, at the École des Mines and at the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, in Paris.

Marc has been in charge of numerous studies in geotechnical engineering for underground works, highways, bridges, and natural hazards. Among the main projects are: the Mont Blanc Tunnel (11.6km), the Frejus Road Tunnel (12.9 km), the Large Electron–Positron Collider (CERN in Geneva), the Channel Tunnel (from 1967 to the end of the construction), the Millau Bridge, the Loetschberg Base Tunnel (43 km), subways in Paris, Rennes, Caracas, Athens and Algiers, the slides of the city of Constantine (Algeria), the project of the suspended bridge on the Straits of Messina (Italy) and the project of the cable-stayed bridge on the Golden Horn (Turkey). He is presently involved in a large number of geotechnical projects.

He is the author of a large number of publications in professional journals and international conferences and of the well-known book “Calculation of tunnels using the convergence-confinement method”.

Marc Panet is a Honorary Member of the French Academy of Technology, Knight of the National Order of Merit and Knight of the Order of Academic Palms.