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Railways (Inter)national commuter and freight trains

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Old January 11th, 2018, 09:23 AM   #641
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I think considering the size of the cities and the population of the areas the line serves, It really makes sense to have at least 2 direct non-stop schedules per day between Athens and Thessaloniki. 3 hours and 20 minutes can be competitive to airplane if ticket prices are considerably lower. To be straight competitive in the sense that airplane schedules can be even cut, this journey time has to drop down to 2,5 hours or even more if possible.
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Old January 13th, 2018, 08:04 PM   #642
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Based on some statements that were made, a total of 3h and 20min is calculated with only 1 stop at Larissa. The maximum speed in Thessaloniki-Domokos is currently 200km/h according to ΕΡΓΟΣΕ, the new Domokos-Tithorea section is planned for 160-200km/h, and the section from Tithorea to Inoi has been upgraded to 200km/h. I'm not quite sure about the part from Inoi to Athens, but some works will be done soon to increase the track speed. Despite the upgrades in the previous sections, there are several parts in which the trains have to slow down due to the disabled signalling, that cause delays, which will hopefully be repaired by the end of the year. The rolling stock (electric locomotives) have some issues aswell that have to be resolved in order to achieve higher speeds, as they are currently limited to 140km/h. Regarding the stops, there will probably be around 1 or 2 for the Expresses, similar to other direct high speed trains in other countries, but probably the same ones as now for the slower services.

And something interesting: On the 17th of January a contract will be signed between ΓΑΙΑΟΣΕ (owner of OSE rolling stock) and Rail Cargo Goldair, the first private rail company in Greece, for a lease of 4 locomotives (2 diesel and 2 electric). Rail Cargo Goldair is a collaboration between the Greek Goldair logistics company and the Austrian Rail Cargo Group (OBB), and is planning to run its first cargo trains in the Thessaloniki-Idomeni line in the following months, after having already received a permission to use the Greek rail network.

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