The following article from EccoRussia, gives an account of the installation of 670 metres of prefabricated tram track on the Athens (Greece) light rail/tram in just 10 days or about 67 metres of new tram track a day! At this speed of track laying it would take a mere 14 days to lay one kilometre of new track!
What is important, is that new tram/LRT construction would not unduly affect local merchants for a great length of time, as one’s storefront would not see construction in front of it for more than a few day, unlike Susan Heyes, whose business was disrupted for years by subway cut-and-cover construction!
It also means that a 20 km. BCIT to UBC LRT line would take less than 300 days to build! Or having two construction groups, working from BCIT and UBC towards each other, would take about 150 days. Now that is something to think about!
The first extension in the Athens tram, was duly finished and commissioned for circulation, in mid-October.
The extension measuring 670 meters comes as a trial for new technologies rather than a substantial addition to the already operating 22 km network.
One of them and surely the most important is the introduction of prefabricated segments for the substructure.
The segments were used in the crossing of Poseidonos avenue, a high velocity motorway in the south of Athens and gateway to the seaside tourist and nightlife areas.
In order to facilitate the construction of the crossing and the sequential congestion of traffic, given a conventional construction, prefabricated segments came as a natural choice.
The segments were constructed in a prefab plant in the outskirts of Athens, using Belgian know-how adapted in the local conditions.
The segments incorporating the rails and all major network duct ways were laid in less than ten days, including the soil and substructure preparation, a major advance to the other ways monthly time span.
Behavior up to now in the heavy traffic is said to be very smooth, and it is almost certain that prefab segments are to be used in the next extension to Peraeus.
Tram S.A. was founded in March 2001 and is a subsidiary company of ATTIKO METRO S.A.
In 2002, the company begun the construction of the new Athens tram network, while commercial operation started in July 2004, a few weeks before the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
TRAM S.A. is a public service corporation supervised by the Ministry of Transportation & Communications.
The company’s mission is to design, develop and operate the modern tram network.
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