Diakopto–Kalavryta railway

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Diakopto–Kalavryta railway
A Decauville trainset at Diakopto station
Line length22.346 km (13.885 mi)
Track gauge750 mm (2 ft 5+12 in)
Route map

Diakopto depot
Mega Spileo
(15 km)
Kalavryta engine shed

The Diakopto–Kalavryta railway is a historic 750 mm (2 ft 5+12-in) gauge rack railway in Greece. Located on the northern Peloponnese, it runs 22 km (14 mi) from Diakopto through the Vouraikos Gorge and the old Mega Spilaion Monastery and up to Kalavryta, stopping en route at Zachlorou.

At the Diakopto terminus, the line connects with the new standard-gauge Athens Airport–Patras railway; as of 2019 the new track is in place in a cutting through the station yard.

The line was built between 1885 and 1895 by the Piraeus, Athens and Peloponnese Railways (SPAP). Today, the infrastructure and rolling stock are owned and maintained by the Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) and passenger trains are operated by TrainOSE.[1]

Technical information[edit]

The railway is single line with 750 mm (2 ft 5+12 in) gauge. It climbs from sea level to 720 m (2,360 ft) in 22.3 km (13.9 mi) with a maximum gradient of 17.5%. There are three sections with Abt system rack for a total of 3.8 km. Maximum speed is 40 km/h for adhesion sections and 12 km/h for rack sections.[2]

There are many bridges over the Vouraikos River, numerous tunnels, and passing loops at Niamata, Triklia, Zachlorou and Kerpini. The rolling stock sheds and maintenance facilities are located at Diakopto; there were additional facilities at Kalavrita station during the steam era, but they are no longer in use.[citation needed]

The line was to be electrified and electric multiple units were ordered from Billard in France. Before the cars arrived, the electrification plans were cancelled and the electric multiple units were thus not usable when they arrived. As a makeshift solution, a power car carrying a diesel generator was placed between the two cars, a solution that has worked very well for decades.[citation needed]


OSE recently[when?] completed renovation work on the northern part of the line (major maintenance of bridges, enlargement of tunnels, replacement of the rack and testing of new rolling stock), during which the line was wholly or partly closed.[3] As of Autumn 2016, there are three trips on weekdays and five on weekends. Passengers buying a round-trip ticket from Diakopto and taking the first train to Kalavrita are allowed to return later in the day on any of the other trains.[citation needed] An extended service on weekends and public holidays is operated with two additional trains.[citation needed]

Rolling stock[edit]

Diakopto–Kalavryta railway
Diakopto–Kalavryta railway

Steam locomotives[edit]

Six steam locomotives were constructed specifically for this line, on a basic design by Cail (1891).[4]

Locomotive Type Supplier Year Notes
0-6-2RT Cail 1891 Preserved in good condition at Kalavryta
ΔΚ2 0-6-2RT Cail 1891
0-6-2RT Cail 1891 Displayed on a plinth at Diakopto
ΔΚ4 0-6-2RT Cail 1891 Displayed at the Railway Museum of Athens.
ΔΚ11 0-6-2RT Krupp 1891 Boiler with superheater
ΔΚ-8005 0-6-2RT SPAP Piraeus Works 1954

Diesel trainsets[edit]

The first batch of modern rolling stock for the Diakopto–Kalavryta railway consists of three Diesel-electric trainsets (Class 3001) built by Billard in 1958. They were numbered ΑΔΚ 01 to ΑΔΚ 03, later renumbered as ΑΒδφπτ 3001 to ΑΒδφπτ 3003. Three similar trainsets (Class 3004) built by Decauville were added in 1967. They were numbered ΑΒδφπτ 3004 to ΑΒδφπτ 3006. These trainsets, both types of similar configuration, consist of two passenger cars (a motor car and a control car) and a generator trailer or "OPE" (Greek: ΟΠΕ) between them. In addition, a steam locomotive (ΔΚ 8003, delivered by Cail in 1891) is preserved at Kalavryta station and has been used occasionally for special trains.[5]

Four new three-car Diesel-electric trainsets were ordered from Stadler Rail to replace the old rolling stock and entered service in 2009.[6] These are designated as Class 3107.[7]

Train Supplier Year Railcars
3001 Billard 1958 3001+OPE3501+3001
3002 Billard 1958 3002+OPE3502+3002
3003 Billard 1958 3003+OPE3503
3004 Decauville 1967 3004+OPE3504+3004
3005 Decauville 1967 3005+OPE3505+3005
3006 Decauville 1967 3006+OPE3506+3006
3107 Stadler 2009 3107+3507+3207
3108 Stadler 2009 3108+3508+3208
3109 Stadler 2009 3109+3509+3209
3110 Stadler 2009 3110+3510+3210


  1. ^ "Network Statement 2007" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-04-11. (1.29 MB). EDISY S.A., Athens, 2006.
  2. ^ H. Pyrgidis. Railway Transportation Systems (Greek: Συστήματα Σιδηροδρομικών Μεταφορών) (in Greek). Thessaloniki, Greece: Zitis. p. 702. ISBN 978-960-456-155-1.
  3. ^ "Diakopto - Kalabryta project". Organismós Sidirodrómon Elládos (in Greek). Archived from the original on October 5, 2008. Retrieved March 29, 2008.
  4. ^ Organ, J. (2006). Greece Narrow Gauge. Middleton Press. ISBN 1-904474-72-1.
  5. ^ Simms, W.F. (1997). The railways of Greece. Wilfried F. Sims. p. 55. ISBN 0-9528881-1-4.
  6. ^ "Diesel electric BDmh 2Z+4A/12 Rack-wheel train for the Hellenic Railways Organisation S.A. (OSE), Greece" (PDF). Stadler Bussnang AG. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-02-06. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
  7. ^ "References: Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE), Greece". Stadler Rail. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2010-10-06.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]