Sea2Sea mega project that makes Greece a key hub and bypasses the Bosphorus
The Greece-Bulgaria cross-border project “Sea2Sea” essentially envisages the development of a European railway corridor that will connect the ports of Thessaloniki, Kavala and Alexandroupolis, with their counterparts on the Black Sea (Bourgas and Varna) and the Danube (Rousse).
In this transnational project, two of the most pivotal projects of the Competitive Dialogue promoted by railway project manager ERGOSE, under the administration of Christos Vinis, are included on Greek soil.
It is about the construction of the new Thessaloniki – Toxotes railway line and the upgrading of the Alexandroupolis – Ormenio line, projects that form the core of the Eastern Egnatia Railway, and which have already entered the second phase of the competitive process using the Competitive Dialogue method.
The construction of the new Thessaloniki – Toxotes Railway Line, with a budget of 1.68 billion Euros, is the major part of the Eastern Egnatia Railway, which will contribute decisively to the emergence of Greece as aSouth-Eastern Mediterranean transit hub.
At the same time, it will connect the under-development port of Nea Karvali crossing the eastern part of Kavala Prefecture and end up in the wider area of Toxoton Xanthi, where it will be connected to the rest of the O.S.E. network. In fact, the new line is estimated to reduce the Thessaloniki-Alexandroupoli route by at least 3 hours.
Alexandroupolis – Ormenio
The project to upgrade the existing cross-border line in the section from Alexandroupoli to Ormenio, with a budget of 1.08 billion Euros, is a project of strategic importance, which improves the cross-border connections with Bulgaria in Ormenio and with Turkey in Pythia.
It enhances both freight and passenger traffic, as the line will also operate for the suburban service of the areas along the river Evros.
The selected contractor will undertake the study and construction of the project to upgrade the existing single railway line of Alexandroupoli – Ormenio – Greek-Bulgarian border, 176 kilometers long, into a double one, with the installation of signaling and electrification systems.
Geopolitical benefits of Project Sea2Sea
Greece and Bulgaria are working closely together to implement this important project. Currently, the Sea2Sea project is in the preparation phase for the establishment of a joint company between Greece and Bulgaria that will take over its management, while the procedures for its inclusion in the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF II) financial program and other financial instruments have begun .
This rail corridor offers an alternative land bridge to the hinterland of Black Sea ports, being a more sustainable solution with less risk in supply chain management. Bypassing the Bosphorus Straits will achieve significant time savings for cargo and passengers.
In fact, according to studies, it is estimated that with its operation the project will draw a percentage of the containers of the Bosphorus, which in total amount to 650 million / year.
The benefits from the upgrade of the Thessaloniki – Alexandroupolis – Ormenio railway axis will be multiplicative and have to do with the economic development of the region and the creation of new jobs, both during construction and in the long term in the operation of the line and related activities.