Athens Airport Station
The Athens Airport Station is a train station that serves the international airport of Athens, Greece. It operates on both the Proastiakos (suburban rail) line as a well as Line 3 of the Athens Metro. It is the first and only train station in Greece that is not managed by GaiOSE, a subsidiary of OSE, the national rail company. It is owned by the airport, which charges the train operating companies (TrainOSE and STASY) fees to use it.
Athens International Airport train station (2019)
|Owned by||Athens International Airport|
Athens Airport–Patras railway
|Train operators||TrainOSE, Urban Rail Transport S.A.|
|Opened||30 July 2004|
The station opened on 30 July 2004, two weeks before the Athens Olympics. Although it was projected that only commuter rail would use the station, the Athens Metro operating company decided to extend Line 3 to the airport. However, building new tracks was not economically viable, so the route would be served by dual-voltage second-generation trains and would share tracks with Proastiakos trains between Doukissis Plakentias station and the airport. Because of the limited availability of these trains (7 in total), only 2 per hour reach the station, leaving the airport every 30 minutes from 06:32 to 23:32.
The decision to extend Line 3 to the airport forced a change to the station design; metro trains have a higher floor than Proastiakos trains, so the central track had to be lowered. This is why initial services to the airport did not use any stations between Doukissis Plakentias and the airport. The intermediate stations did not have the tracks lowered; parts of the platforms were raised in 2006. Since then, all intermediate stations have been used by both services.
Athens Airport Station has two island platforms and three tracks. Track 1 is not used due to low traffic, Track 2 is used by the Metro, and Track 3 is used by Proastiakos. All trains terminate at this station.
The railway station is immediately adjacent to the airport terminal, which is accessible by an elevated walkway. Because of the additional cost of using the station, there is a surcharge for passengers entering or exiting at the airport. As of 2020, the base fare to the airport is €9 with varying prices for round trips or groups.
As the airport's passenger numbers are rising, services may get denser and Track 1 could be used again. Moreover, for many years there have been plans to extend Proastiakos services to Rafina, a suburb of Athens and the third largest harbour of the city as well. Although original plans show the line branching off the main one after Pallini or Doukissis Plakentias Station, then running in a reserved-for-this-purpose median of the A64 Mount Hymmetus Ring Road and then extending to Rafina, recent plans have called for an extension of the line from the Airport. Such an extension would be shorter and less expensive to build, however, it has been unpopular due to the fact that the travelling time from and to Rafina will be longer and certain areas will not be served.