Athens Neos Kosmos – Syntagma Tram Route in Limbo

The section over the subterranean Ilissos River was closed pending repairs to avoid potential sinkholes. But months on, no work has been undertaken.

It is unclear when commuters will see the return of the section of the Athens tram network between Neos Kosmos and Syntagma Square, which was shut down last November amid concerns that the ground beneath the tracks is at risk of subsiding, with fears growing that the section will be abolished altogether, according to Kathimerini.

The Transport Ministry announced the closure of the route last year due to safety concerns as the tracks run above the Ilissos River. Authorities said it would reopen pending repairs. However, no work has been carried out and it is not clear what alternative route could be used.

One proposal, which foresees the route running via Syngrou Avenue and closer to the Temple of Zeus is similar to a previous idea that was rejected by the Central Archaeological Council in 2002 over fears that the vibrations from the tram would harm the temple. However, it has been welcomed by some transport experts as a “bold” proposal that could help decongest the capital.

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