Greece - General Information
- 1 Country Name
- 2 National Railway System
- 3 Official Website
- 4 Language
- 5 Currency
- 6 UIC code
- 7 Timetable
- 8 Maps
- 9 Ticketing
- 10 Infrastructure
- 11 Other Railways
- 12 Tourist Lines
- 13 Metro
- 14 Trams
- 15 Recent and future changes
- 15.1 Future Changes
- 15.2 Train Service Changes in 2019
- 15.3 Train Service Changes in 2018
- 15.4 Train Service Changes in 2017
- 15.5 Train Service Changes in 2016
- 15.6 Train Service Changes in 2015
- 15.7 Train Service Changes in 2014
- 15.8 Train Service Changes in 2012
- 15.9 Train Service Changes in 2011
- 15.10 Train Service Changes in 2009
- 15.11 Infrastructure Changes
- 16 Special Notes
- 17 See also
National Railway System
All railway infrastructure in Greece is owned and maintained by OSE (Organismos Sidirodromon Ellados, or Ο.Σ.Ε., Οργανισμός Σιδηροδρόμων Ελλάδος).
National Railway Operator
Train services are operated by Trainose/ΤραινΟΣΕ. Suburban traffic in Attika (Piraeus - Athens - SKA - Halkida and Athens Airport - SKA - Kiato) and Makedonia (Thessaloniki – Domokos) is operated under the brand name Proastiakos (Suburban Railway).
Trainose was transferred to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund in 2013 in preparation for privatisation and a sale to Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane which completed on 14 September 2017.
Greek. Greek script is quite different from Roman and there is no standard system of transcription. In many of the places served by the railway system, away from the main tourist areas, only Greek is spoken.
numeric 73; alpha GR
PDF files are available as links, or directly, from the following pages:-
- Intercity timetable and Lianokladi to Stylida
- Suburban railways around Athina, Thessaloniki and Patras
- International Services
The main TrainOSE webpage, under Latest News, often gives details of engineering work but the information is only in Greek.
- European Railway Atlas: The Balkans by M.G. Ball (2015) (ISBN 9-780993-245732)
- European Railway Atlas by M.G. Ball (2008 onwards)
- Quail Map Co published a railway map of Greece with extensive supplementary information, but this is currently out of print. (ISBN 1 898319 48X)
- Thorsten Büker's Map of Greek Network / Χαρτης ελληνικου δικτυου a useful single sheet overview dated May 2011 but no longer being updated.
OSE and Proastiakos have entirely separate ticketing.
On line purchase of most long-distance trains is possible but you need to sign up as a "Member" first. These services can be very crowded so reservations are desirable but Reserved seats are not marked as such.
OSE (Organismos Sidirodromon Ellados) / Ο.Σ.Ε. (Οργανισμός Σιδηροδρόμων Ελλάδος) determines the overall strategy and manages railway infrastructure.
ERGOSE SA manages most railway modernisation projects.
Network Statements for various years.
Standard. The Peloponnese lines from Piraeus to Patra, Olympia and Kalamata etc were formerly entirely metre gauge. The metre gauge route from Piraeus via Athens to Korinthos, Kiato and Patra has been closed; it has been replaced by a standard gauge route as far as Kiato, construction work on the standard gauge continuation from Kiato to Patra has started but is significantly delayed. The rack line from Diakopto to Kalavryta is 750 mm gauge.
25 kV 50 Hz.
Rule of the road
The Network Statement Annexes above (file 2 of 2) give distances for each station; see ANNEX Ι-Α: Infrastructure Data.
- Diakopto – Kalavryta (22 km long, part rack-fitted) (750 mm gauge)
- Pelion Railway Ano Lehonia to Milies (600 mm gauge)
- Attica Museum Railway: Keratea to Kalivia (extension to Markopoulo under construction) (metre gauge)
- Volos – Palaeofarsalos (metre gauge). A 10 km section between Velestino and Aerino was operated by the Thessaly Museum Railway but their website has been deleted, suggesting there is no longer any service. The rest of the line is already out of use. There is a railway museum at Volos station.
- Tempi valley railway: former main line (replaced by a new double track line) along the Tempi river, operated by motor draisines, with no scheduled timetable
Recent and future changes
The new line replacing the old mountainous route between Leianokladi and Domokos on the Athens – Thessaloniki main line including the 6380 m twin-bore Othris tunnel, is due to open in the spring of 2019.
A tender with responses by March 2018 to rebuild as Standard gauge and electrify the previous 6.4km NG branch from Isthmos - Loutráki has been issued.
Train services were withdrawn between [Florina] - Messonissia and Kremenica (Macedonia) from an unknown date (but prior to 2004) due to tensions between Greece and FYROM. But between Messonissia and Neos Kafkasos had been rebuilt by 2014, and reconstruction onwards cross border and by MZ south from Bitola started in 2018. It is not known what services are planned when reconstruction is completed.
A replacement route of approximately 21km is under construction between Polykastro and Idomeni which will eliminate an old river bridge and lengthy riverside section. Completion is expected in 2019.
There have been plans to revive parts of the Peloponnese narrow gauge network if proven viable, by means of joint ventures involving OSE, local authorities and businesses. For example, the Patras suburban service was rumoured to be extended 30 km westwards to Kato Achaia by summer 2017 but this did not happen. Much further east, a significant landslide has rendered the section between Zevgolatia and Korinthos unusable as all operable stock is to the west of Zevgolatia.
Train Service Changes in 2019
The old mountainous route between Leianokladi and Domokos closed on 25 January. The new line, including the 6380 m twin-bore Othris tunnel, opened on 29 January.
Train Service Changes in 2018
The new Tithorea – Lianokladi line opened, much delayed, to freight on 2 February, with diesel traction. Following completion of electrification, passenger services started using the line from an unknown date in April. It is not known when all services over the old line ceased. However, after pressure from local authorities, a limited two pair service was reinstated over the old line from 17 July.
The Patras suburban service section between Rio and Agios Vasileios was bustituted from 15 May for conversion to standard gauge.
From 7 March the line between Dikaia and Ormenio, on the Greek side of the Bulgarian border, was reopened to passengers.
A new Ano Liosia - SKA - Koropi service commenced on 24 February 2018 which reinstated use of the section from the junction West of SKA to the platforms.
Train Service Changes in 2017
From 30 July 2017 the Athens area suburban services were recast: the Airport to Kiato service was diverted into Athina (thus opening the SKA south to east curve to traffic) and split into two separate services. Alternate services from the Airport now run to the SKA low level platforms and terminate there. This resulted in the withdrawal of services between the SKA low level platforms and the junction with the south to west curve until an east west local service was reinstated on 24 February 2018.
A through Athina - Kiato service providing the first passenger service over the SKA south to west curve was introduced from an unknown date. This may have coincided with the changes above. Any information would be appreciated by the Compilers.
Since 25 May 2017 passengers on the service between Thessaloniki and Sofia have been taken by bus between Kulata and Strimon.
Train Service Changes in 2016
The Annual and only passenger services between Kalamata - Asprochoma - Messini each year between 20 - 28 September for the Messinian Feast and litany of the miraculous image of Virgin Mary of the Monastery of Voulkano Festival did not run due to a track washout. They have not run since.
Train Service Changes in 2015
With effect from 21 August 2015 trains to and from Macedonia were withdrawn south of Gevgelija, owing to issues with migrants, and no longer entered Greece.
Train Service Changes in 2014
The daily Beograd - Skopje - Thessaloniki summer overnight and Thessaloniki - Sofia daytime services resumed on 10 May 2014.
From 31 March 2014, passenger services started running between Athens and Ano Liosia via a curve bypassing SKA (Acharnes Railway Center).
Train Service Changes in 2012
The Thessaloniki - Edessa - Aminteo - Florina line reopened on 14 October 2012.
A weekly summer-only service was reintroduced between Thessaloniki and Skopje (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) reportedly from 14 July 2012 to 30 September 2012.
Train Service Changes in 2011
All international services from Greece were discontinued from 13 February 2011. Since resumed, see above
The very bad financial situation in Greece caught up with OSE in December 2010. The following lines were closed to all traffic on 1 January 2011, although a few had already ceased operating by then:
- Patra - Kalamata
- Pyrgos - Olympia (since re-opened)
- Pyrgos - Katakolo (since re-opened)
- Isthmos - Loutraki (had already ceased)
- Diakopto - Kalavryta (was operating only irregularly but has since re-opened)
- Kalonero - Kyparissia
- Korinthos - Kalamata (was not operating between Tripoli and Zevgolatio)
- Argos - Nafplio
- Patra - Rio suburban service (since re-opened)
- Kalamata - Zevgolatio suburban service
- Thessaloniki - Edessa - Aminteo - Florina (since re-opened)
- Aminteo - Kozani
- Serres - Alexandroupolis - Pithio - Dikaia (since re-opened); trains from Ormenio to Bulgaria had already ceased.
- Thessaloniki - Idomeni (with the cross border international services ceasing on 13 February 2011)
- Strimon - Kulata (service ceased from 13 February 2011)
- Larissa - Volos (local trains) (since re-opened)
- Palaeofarsalos - Kalambaka (local trains) (since re-opened)
Train Service Changes in 2009
The one train each way between Dikaia and Svilengrad (Bulgaria) was withdrawn in August 2009.
There are various infrastructure improvements planned or in progress but completion dates for those underway have been missed by months, no doubt the Countries financial situation and protracted sale of OSE to FS not helping. This list is not thought to be complete and any updates would be appreciated by the Compilers
- Electrification of the Larisa - Volos and Palaiofarsalos - Kalampaka branches. Tenders may have been issued for this project.
- Kiato to Patras to reopen converted to standard gauge by 2020 with many realignments from the previous narrow gauge route, with electrification initially to Rododafni.
- It is planned to put the 3.2 km northern exit from Athina main station underground and quadruple the line.
On 28 February 2018 ERGOSE issued an invitation to tender for upgrading and electrification of the previous metre gauge Isthmos - Loutraki line. On 8 January 2018 ERGOSE issued an invitation to tender for electrification of the Kiato - Rododafni (- Patras) line.
Other recent electrification includes the line to Athens Airport. An extension is planned from Koropi towards Lavrio. The airport line joins Metro Line 3 at Plakentias so Metro units change there from third rail DC to 25 kV AC overhead for the journey to the airport.
Athens - Patras is being rebuilt as standard gauge. Contracts were signed in September 2014 for construction of the Kiáto - Rododáfni section.
Now disused, but a metre gauge connection was built allowing direct connections from the Argos direction into a platform at the new Korinthos Standard gauge edge of town station.
The former metre gauge line between Palaeofarsalos and Kalambaka was converted to standard gauge in 2001. The metre gauge Palaeofarsalos - Volos line was closed to regular traffic on 19 June 1998. There were expectations of use by special trains, but there were very few and the line is now probably unusable.
Station names are usually shown in Roman script as well as in Greek, but spellings can vary considerably from what may appear in timetables, maps or guide books.