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Society

Open House at New Thessaloniki Metro Station Attracts Many Visitors (Photos)

THESSALONIKI – It’s been a long time coming (16 years, in fact, and counting) and the butt of countless jokes, but the citizens of Thessaloniki can now see the light at the end of their new Metro tunnel. On Saturday, November 26, residents and visitors in Greece’s second biggest city were invited to an Open House at the Papafi station located to the east of the city centre, near Aristotle and Macedonia universities. That is the mid-point of the main line the New Democracy government, which prioritized eliminating the obstacles to its completion, credibly has announced will finally open by the end of 2023.

First proposed in the early part of the 20th century when Thessaloniki was still under Ottoman occupation, serious planning began in the 1980s and construction actually began in 2006. Reasons for the seemingly interminable delays run from the understandable – the discovery of substantial archaeological remains from the Roman and Byzantine periods – to the usual but nevertheless inexcusable bureaucratic and political obstacles.

Citizens of Thessaloniki lined up to get their first view of the city’s new metro. (Photo: TNH/Constantine Sirigos)

Several extensions are planned, the first already under construction and extending the main line to Kalamaria, and the most exciting being that to Makedonia Airport. The latter’s completion will more of less connect the airport, the seaport, and the railway and bus stations, a great convenience to both residents and tourists.

Great anticipation also surrounds the promised ‘museum stations’ that will house much of the historical treasures that have been discovered.

The platforms of the Thessaloniki metro have glass barriers with sliding doors that protect against people falling onto the tracks, a first in Greece. (Photo: TNH/Constantine Sirigos)
The escalators of the Papafi station of the Thessaloniki metro lead up to a neighborhood whose residents have been looking forward to its new mass transit connection to the rest of their city for a long time. (Photo: TNH/Constantine Sirigos)

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