The Diakofto–Kalavryta Railway is a historic 750 mm (2 ft 5 1⁄2 in) gauge rack railway in Greece. Located on the northern Peloponnese, it runs 22 km from Diakopto through the Vouraikos Gorge and the old Mega Spilaion Monastery and up to Kalavryta, stopping en route at Zachlorou.
The line was built by the Piraeus, Athens and Peloponnese Railways (SPAP). Currently the infrastructure and rolling stock are owned and maintained by Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE). Passenger trains are operated by TrainOSE.
The railway is single line with 750 mm (2 ft 5 1⁄2 in) gauge. It climbs from sea level to 720 m in 22.3 km 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.
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 Diakofto; there were additional facilities at Kalavrita station during the steam era but they are no longer in use.
The line was to be electrified and EMUs were ordered from Billard in France. Before the cars arrived, the electrification plans were scrapped and the EMUs were thus not usable when they arrived. As a makeshift solution, a power car carrying a diesel generator was placed in between the two cars, a solution which has worked very well for decades.
Current status and timetables
||This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (May 2012)|
OSE recently 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. Currently there is a limited service on weekdays with three trains on each direction and an extended service on weekends and public holidays with two additional trains.
Departures (as of Autumn 2016) from Diakopto are at 08:45, 11:15 and 14:32 (Monday through Friday), 08:45, 11:15, 12:33, 14:32 and 15:52 (weekends). Return trips from Kalavrita depart at 09:57, 12:27, 15:50 (Monday through Friday), 09:57, 12:27, 14:30, 15:50 and 17:08 (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. The trip each way is about an hour. Anyone considering this trip should know that the scenery is spectacular and the new trains are in perfect condition.
Six steam locomotives were constructed specifically for this line, on a basic design by Cail (1891).
|0-6-2RT||Cail||1891||Preserved in good condition at Kalavryta|
|0-6-2RT||Cail||1891||Displayed on a plinth at Diakofto|
|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|
The first batch of modern rolling stock for the Diakofto-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.
- "Diakofto Kalavrita Railway". IgoUgo. Retrieved April 24, 2006.
- "Network Statement 2007" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-04-11. (1.29 MB). EDISY S.A., Athens, 2006.
- H. Pyrgidis. Railway Transportation Systems (Greek: Συστήματα Σιδηροδρομικών Μεταφορών) (in Greek). Thessaloniki, Greece: Zitis. p. 702. ISBN 978-960-456-155-1.
- "Diakopto - Kalabryta project". Organismós Sidirodrómon Elládos (in Greek). Archived from the original on October 5, 2008. Retrieved March 29, 2008.
- Organ, J. (2006). Greece Narrow Gauge. Middleton Press. ISBN 1-904474-72-1.
- Simms, W.F. (1997). The railways of Greece. Wilfried F. Sims. p. 55. ISBN 0-9528881-1-4.
- "Diesel electric BDmh 2Z+4A/12 Rack-wheel train for the Hellenic Railways Organisation S.A. (OSE), Greece" (PDF). Stadler Bussnang AG. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- "References: Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE), Greece". Stadler Rail. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
ITINERARIES rack railway Diakopto-Kalavrita
From Diakopto 08:45 - Daily 11:15 - Daily 12:33 - Weekends 14:32 - Daily 15:50 - Weekends
From Kalavrita 09:57 -Daily 12:27 - Daily 14:30 - Weekends 15:50 - Daily 17:50 - Weekends
- J.H. Price (September 1962). "Day trip to Kalavryta". The Railway Magazine. London, UK: Toothill Press Ltd. 108 (737): 642–645.
- Kalvryta guide
- Attractions in Kalavryta
- "Οδοντωτός (Odontotos)".webpage about Diakofto-Kalavryta railway (Greek and English)
- "Organismós Sidirodrómon Elládos". Main website of OSE (in English)
- "Trip description".
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