Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Transport in Greece

Road network: During the last 20 years the road and rail network of Greece has been modernised in such a degree that offers fast and secure access from almost every part of Greece to the other.
The road and highways network has been upgraded and new modern highways are connecting the Greek cities. One of the major works was the Egnatia highway that connects north west Greece (Igoumenitsa) with northern and north west Greece. The bridge of Rio Antirio (the longest suspension cable bridge in Europe) connects the western Peloponnesus from Rio (7 km from Patras) with Antirion in the central west Greece. Until the year 2014 it will be ready the new Pyrgos-Patras-Athens highway witch will be replace the old Patras Athens national motorway.

The new road to Tripolis from Corinth makes the journey from Corinth to Tripolis in only one hour. Most of the parts of the highway Athens-Lamia-Thessaloniki has been also upgraded making the journey to Thessaloniki only a 4 hours drive.
One of the biggest infrastructure works that have improved the transport in Athens was the creation of Attiki odos, the Athens metro, the tram and the suburban railway. Getting around in Athens has been enormously improved since then.
Roads
total: 117 000 km
paved: 107 406 km (1030 km of motorways - 2006 estimate)
unpaved: 9594 km (1996)


The Rion-Antirion bridge linking the Peloponnese to mainland Greece. The Suspension bridge is the world's longest (2250 m long). It crosses the Gulf of Patras in five spans of 500 m supported by four huge piers supported on the seabed.

Railways: The Greek railway network has been also upgraded with double lines in many parts of the 2500 km network and new and faster trains of the latest technology (Intercity) make the train journey faster and confortable.The Greek railways connecting many cities of Greece as well as Greece with the rest of Europe, the Balkans, Russia and Turkey.

Greek Railways
Total: 2548 km
standard gauge (1435 m): 1565 km (83 km electrified AC 25 kV 50 Hz, 408 km double track, 23 km double standard gauge and metric)
narrow gauge: 961 km gauge metric mainly in the Peloponnese, 22 km gauge of 0750 m (mountain railway to Diakofto to Kalavrita).

Railway company Organismós Sidirodromon Elládos (OSE).
City with a subway system: Athens, Thessaloniki under construction.
City with a tram network: Athens.

Air transport: The new airport of Athens is one of the most modern airports in Europe it start operating a few years ago and serves thousands of flights to Greece from all over the world. Most of the Greek islands and many main cities of Greece are connecting by air mainly from the two major airlines of Greece Olympic and Aegean air. The air connection of many smaller Greek island has improved their tourism industry making the journey from Athens in less than an hour. Many major Greek island have long runways where during the summer season have hundreds of charter and direct flights from many European countries.

Airports in Greece
total 80

Airports with paved runways:
Total: 64
over 3000 m: 6
2500 3000 m: 15
1500 2500 m: 18
from 1000 to 1500 m: 17
under 1000 m: 8.

The Athens International Airport-Eleftherios Venizelos at Spata, is located 27km south-east of downtown.
National airline: Olympic Airlines.
Airports with grass runways:
Total: 16
over 3000 m: 1
1500 2500 m: 1
from 1000 to 1500 m: 2
under 1000 m: 12

Heliports: 2

The sea travel has been also enormously upgraded within the last decades with super fast ferries, high-speed boats, hydrofoils and catamarans that reduced in many cases the journey from Piraeus to 50% . Today the journey to Crete takes only 6 hours with the fast ferries and the journey from Patras to Ancona in Italy has been reduced from 36 hours to 19-20 hours. The Greek vessels like Greek ferries, passenger ships, cruise ships, are modern and they are build according the international and EU regulations with the latest standards for safe navigation, fire safety, marine environment protection and health regulations with many non smoking areas onboard.
The passengers can enjoy their journey with all comforts that the Greek shipping companies offer on their ships.
From the ports of Piraeus,Rafina and Lavrion depart the ferries for all the islands of the Aegean while the ports of Patras, Igoumenitsa and Kylini are connecting with the Ionian islands. From the ports of Volos and Agios Konstantinos you can get to the Sporades islands while from the ports of Thessaloniki, Kavala and Alexandroupolis to the North Aegean islands.

Ports
Alexandroupolis, Eleusis, Heraklion (Crete), Kavala, Corfu, Chania(Crete), Igoumenitsa, Laurion, Patras, Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Volos (there are many other ports in all the Greek islands some small and some big like those in Rhodes, Kos, Limnos etc.)

Merchant Marine (under Greek flag)

Total: 779 ships (1,000 tons or more gross tonnage) totaling 24 744 872 tons (43 734 138 deadweight tonnes).
Vessel categories: bulk 273, cargo 60, chemical 22, combined bulk 5, ore 8, container carriers 43, liquefied gas 5, multi-purpose cargo 1, passenger 12, mixed cargo 2, oil 245, refrigerated cargo 3, RoRos 19 , Short-distance passengers 75, citerniers specialist 4, vehicle 2 (1999)

Greek shipowners have a very large fleet (about 20% of the commercial fleet globally, 40% at European level) in fact the larget fleet in the world, but only a small part is registered in Greece and travels under the Greek flag. The largest share is traveling under foreign flags registered in countries like Liberia, Panama, Cyprus, Malta etc.

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