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Old December 14th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #441
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Once they're gone, trains rarely come back. Greek trains were such a nice way to travel. I never even minded waiting for late trains. The stations were pleasant places to linger and drink wine. And on the trains you could open the windows and buy things at stations along the way. Yes, it was like a trip back in time. Was that so wrong? A beautiful, romantic (and inexpensive) trip through an amazing country.
Buying things from the window is the epithet of a Third-World scenario. It is demoralizing and humiliating. Moreover, a train system cannot sustain itself with "people who don't even mind waiting for late trains". That is not how a transportation system should work, unless one is talking of touristic railways (or roads or cable cars or else), but then the economics of it should be different.

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I never could figure out why I would would want to pay more to sit on a horrible bus for 3 hours (and end up at a bus station) when I could enjoy 5 pleasant hours on a train.
For most people, time is money and buses had aircon well before any trains.


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Killing the train is really tragic considering so much money was recently pumped into Greek trains.
It is a budget decision, nothing more, nothing less.

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I mean, they upgraded the tracks in the Peloponnese and then stopped all trains?! What was so wrong with the old system? It worked well enough. And the "new" rolling stock was never as nice to ride on. It was simply "modern." And now there's no train at all?
One can't analyze the problem ignoring the 'bigger picture', in the sense of the tectonic paradigm shift on Greek public finances. They were spending too much, for too long, and concealed the fact! So when the reckoning came, drastic measures had to be taken. Out of fiscal desperation, many public services were drastically cut. Complaining about trains? Museums nationwide got closed, especially those out of Athens and other big cities - and that in a place with a rich history.

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But here's my question maybe somebody could answer. Had massive EU money never been invested in the trains over the past decade or so, do you think they'd still be running? I know OSE never turned a profit, but could they have continued to limp along like they had for all those years? It wasn't like Greece was ever rich, and somehow OSE survived. Did the massive investment kill OSE by making it so much more expensive to maintain and operate?
Part of it was just a matter of increased safety standards. OSE couldn't keep being operate like it were 1975 anymore, because there are new demands on safety, signaling, standards... But I guess the fiscal crises would have killed the railways regardless.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 11:26 PM   #442
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Wow. Thanks for nothing. I wonder if anybody else could actually answer my question rather than go on an anti-train rant.

And the freeways they built at the same time? They're still being funded and kept up. So I guess it's not all just about things paying for themselves but about priorities.

In terms of standards, I actually think OSE was operating like it was 1870 (cables to pull switches and manned crossings), not 1970. But best I can tell trains ran OK back then.

And seriously, my point isn't that trains should run late. But planes run late and so do cars (or are there no traffic jams in Greece?). My point was that if I'm going to be stuck somewhere trying to get somewhere else, there's no better place to be waste a few hours than a train station in the Peloponnese, smelling orange blossoms, listening to the cicadas, and drinking a half-liter bottle of retsina.

My other point was that the trains *did* run before a massive influx of money from the EU. Now they don't. So a bunch of money was spent (a lot of money!) to fix stations and tracks and now there are no trains? That certainly seems like the worse case scenario. The question I asked was had there been no influx of money, would the trains still be running (like them or not)?
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Old December 15th, 2011, 12:00 AM   #443
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In terms of standards, I actually think OSE was operating like it was 1870 (cables to pull switches and manned crossings), not 1970. But best I can tell trains ran OK back then.
But expectations and standards change in every area of industrial systems. Acceptable standards of safety for aircraft in 1935 would, today, be deemed suicidal and unacceptable. Certain standards for food production in 1960 today would be deemed criminally negligent.

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My point was that if I'm going to be stuck somewhere trying to get somewhere else, there's no better place to be waste a few hours than a train station in the Peloponnese, smelling orange blossoms, listening to the cicadas, and drinking a half-liter bottle of retsina.
Who cares about drinking? People want to go from point A to point B. This lax attitude is part of the problems of Southern Europe: people don't worry enough, and they take imperfections too easy, and use them as excuses to enjoy life instead of working more to fix them. But that is off-topic.

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My other point was that the trains *did* run before a massive influx of money from the EU. Now they don't. So a bunch of money was spent (a lot of money!) to fix stations and tracks and now there are no trains? That certainly seems like the worse case scenario. The question I asked was had there been no influx of money, would the trains still be running (like them or not)?
If no money had be put there, the line would have been more promptly closed! It used to run on the red, it is likely that the operational costs of the vehicles couldn't be recouped via fares, not before, nor now. The line wasn't closed because it was modernized: it was closed because an extremely serious financial crisis hit the country.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 01:07 AM   #444
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Here is a video about Tempi tunnels:

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Old December 11th, 2012, 11:26 AM   #445
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Kallidromo railway tunnel

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Old March 1st, 2013, 03:07 PM   #446
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Official Opening of Ikonio New Train Line - Special Train at Dafni Bridges.(28/02/2013)

"The new line from Thriasio to Ikonio Port has been completed. It is 17 km long and passes from many bridges over Pikilon Mnt at Western Athens. It is only for freight use in order to transfer containers from Piraeus port to Thriasio and Northern Greece and Balcans. This is a special train running only for the Opening reception at Ikonio. The minister of Transports and the minister of Marine as well as representatives of OSE and Cosco."





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Old March 2nd, 2013, 02:59 AM   #447
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When will it be closed?
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 10:25 AM   #448
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Congrats on this small sign of light in the otherwise sad story of Greek rail investments. Some questions for those in the know: why will there be no passenger service on the line? Is this not still the larger Athens area where some commuters could profit from the line?
And what is the status of the missing new sections on the Athens-Thessaloniki line? Has all construction ceased there (that's what it looked like when I passed there last summer). And what about Kiato-Patras? Anything happening there or is there also grass growing on those tracks?
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 01:47 PM   #449
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At 2:10, rails don't look to be laid as they should. Also why the line is not electrified?
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Old May 27th, 2013, 12:16 AM   #450
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Yes, I would like to second the questions from Baron Hirsch. Any news?

In a news article about the 17km about Piraeus to Thriasio I read one extra line which might have big consequences:

And I vaguely remember reading somewhere that perhaps the SNCF is interested? Any news about that?
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Old May 27th, 2013, 01:36 AM   #451
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nice!
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Old May 27th, 2013, 12:00 PM   #452
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How longt does it take the train Athens Thessaloniki?
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Old June 16th, 2013, 04:02 PM   #453
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Kalamata - Argos route current traffic

Hello,
What is the chance that any train will be running on the Kalamata - Argos route? I know that regular passanger and freight trains was canceled but what is the chance of meeting any other type of train (ie. inspection).

What was the traffic on the line after suspending in 2011?

I am asking because I am checking if the line is suitable to be ridden on the railbike (of course before going on route we will consult with infrastructure owner).

Are there are any official documents about line state (ie. allowed speeds and train types). Does entering line at current state requires special written document? Are there are any barriers on the line? Are there any parts not passable (dismantled road crossing etc.)

If any inspection vehicle will go on the line from where it will start (Argos or Kalamata)

Who is the owner and administrator of the line (I presume OSE). I know that there is privatization in progress but I presume it does not include infrastructure.

Regards

Last edited by Rexen; June 16th, 2013 at 04:25 PM.
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 04:55 PM   #454
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Could anyone translate this article. The automated translation is just confusing.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I understood that at some point (when?) there will be a 710km electrified connection between Patras and Thessaloniki. A double line and the connection will take 4h55.

69.5% is done, 25% is nearly done, 4% needs to be contracted and 1,5% (11km) is still on the drawing board.

The rest is unclear in the translation...
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 05:01 PM   #455
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I wasn't aware that these where the trains being used on this line.
Me Neither!
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Old July 4th, 2013, 04:03 PM   #456
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrustema View Post
Could anyone translate this article. The automated translation is just confusing.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I understood that at some point (when?) there will be a 710km electrified connection between Patras and Thessaloniki. A double line and the connection will take 4h55.

69.5% is done, 25% is nearly done, 4% needs to be contracted and 1,5% (11km) is still on the drawing board.

The rest is unclear in the translation...
Trains a few years ago took a little more than 4 hours 15 mins, when there were still genuine express trains (single stop). Apparently in an effort to ruin OSE further the speeds of all trains have been reducd to 5 hours 15 mins, including stopovers at countless small towns. The final speed after all sections are finished must be below 4 hours, but with the state of things as they are, I doubt we will see that happen.
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Old July 8th, 2013, 08:54 AM   #457
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When will it be closed?



Only just noticed this comment.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 05:41 PM   #458
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Yesterday in the news, the train service from Kalamata will resume. Does anyone know the details? Heard it from someone who saw it on a local tv-channel, so I don't have a link. Thanks!
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Old September 17th, 2013, 04:40 PM   #459
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Today in the news. Privatisation of TrainOSE. Three interested parties: French, Romanian and Russian/Greek. Some might only be interested in cargo and not passengers if I understand correctly. That would be a sort of USA scenario for rail: mostly cargo and in some urban areas a bit of public transport.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 08:47 PM   #460
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Like the Romanian GFR (Grup Feroviar Roman). Here they haul only freight, and they have recently bought the Romanian state freight railway company, CFR Marfa. They also bought the Croatian freight company. I do not know whether the transaction has been carried out, but I know that they have no expertise in passenger train operation.
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