Piraeus–Platy railway

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Piraeus–Platy railway
(Part of the Athens-Thessaloniki railway corridor)
Overview
Type High-speed railway line
Status Operational (partly under construction)
Locale Greece (Attica, Central Greece, Thessaly, Central Macedonia)
Termini Piraeus 37°56′57″N 23°38′34″E / 37.9491°N 23.6428°E / 37.9491; 23.6428
Platy 40°38′14″N 22°31′50″E / 40.6372°N 22.5305°E / 40.6372; 22.5305Coordinates: 40°38′14″N 22°31′50″E / 40.6372°N 22.5305°E / 40.6372; 22.5305
Operation
Owner OSE
Operator(s) TrainOSE
Technical
Line length 471 km (293 mi)
Number of tracks Double track except the section
TithoreaDomokos [2]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification DomokosPlaty [1]
Operating speed 160 km/h (99 mph) (average)
200 km/h (124 mph) (highest)
Route map
Piraeus Peloponnese
0.7 Piraeus
Metro Line 1 to Kifisia
1.9 Lefka
4.1 Rentis
7.7 Rouf
Athens Peloponnese
10.3 Athens
metric line to Patras
13.7 Agioi Anargyroi
15.8 Pyrgos Vasilissis
Line from Corinth
19.2 Acharnes SKA
Line to Athens Airport
21.1 Acharnes
25.0 Dekeleia
33.5 Agios Stefanos
40.1 Afidnes
45.9 Polydendri
50.9 Sfendali
53.9 Charadra
59.2 Avlonas
64.2 Agios Thomas
68.6 Oinofyta
71.4 Oinoi
to Chalcis
75.3 Tanagra
85.0 Eleonas
92.9 Ypato
99.9 Thebes
119.4 Aliartos
128.3 Ypsilantis
131.6 Alalkomenes
140.2 Livadeia
147.7 Chaironeia
152.7 Davleia
158.4 Parori
161.1 Kifisos
164.6 Tithorea
173.1 Parnassos
181.2 Amfikleia
185.7 Lilaia
194.3 Bralos
201.0 Eleftherochori
204.9 Asopos
210.3 Trachis
212.6 Arpini
214.2 Gorgopotamos
219.0 Spercheios
from Stylida
222.5 Leianokladi
230.7 Lygaria
236.1 Stirfaka
247.0 Karya
257.4 Kallipefki
265.4 Angeiai
271.3 Thermes
274.8 Kyfaira
277.5 Xynias
280.6 Acharres
284.2 Thavmakos
287.9 Domokos
295.0 Neo Monastiri
303.1 Palaiofarsalos
to Velestino
to Kalampaka
307.9 Ypereia
313.4 Orfana
321.9 Doxaras
328.8 Krannonas
341.7 Efyra
343.6 Mezourlos
345.4 Larissa
to Volos
353.3 sugar factory
360.7 Gyrtoni
369.0 Evangelismos
378.8 Tempi
384.0 Agia Paraskevi
387.4 Rapsani
Neoi Poroi
401.8 Platamon
410.7 Leptokarya
415.4 Plaka
418.6 Litochoro
434.9 Katerini
441.6 Korinos
464.0 Aiginio
Line to Florina
482.6 Platy
Line to Thessaloniki

The railway from Piraeus to Platy is a 471-kilometre long railway line that connects the Attica conurbation to northern Greece and the rest of Europe. It constitutes the longest section of Greece's most important rail connection, that between Athens and Thessaloniki. Its northern end is the station of Platy, on the Thessaloniki–Bitola railway. In the south, it connects to the Athens Airport–Kiato railway at the Acharnes Railway Center. The line passes through Thebes and Larissa, and offers connections to several other cities (Chalcis, Lamia, Volos, Trikala) through branch lines.

Course[edit]

The southern terminus of the Piraeus–Platy railway is at the harbour of Piraeus, where connections with ferries to several Greek islands exist. From Piraeus the line run northeast towards the centre of Athens, where it crosses the main Athens Railway Station, the former Larissa station. Continuing through the northern suburbs of Athens, the line runs to Agioi Anargyroi, where the Peloponnese line used to branch off westwards. The narrow gauge track is still in place from this point on.

After a couple of kilometers the line passes Acharnes Railway Center (SKA), the junction connecting the main line with the Proastiakos line to Athens International Airport "El. Venizelos" and with the new standard gauge line towards Kiato in the Peloponnese. The main line continues northwards, climbs steadily towards Oinoi, through rural and wooded countryside, typical of northern Attica. There is a 22 kilometres (14 mi) branch line from Oinoi to Chalcis.

From Oinoi to Tithorea, the double-track rail line allows high speed transit of the flat Thiva plain; while from Tithorea, the line reverts to single-track as it climbs alongside Mount Parnassus from Amfikleia to Bralos and then descending to Leianokladi. There is a 23 km branch line from Leianokladi passing through Lamia to Stylida. The mountain scenery on this single track section of the line, which extends from Bralos to Domokos, is noted for being spectacular.

From Domokos to Thessaloniki, trains are able to run on high speed electrified double track line.[1] At Palaiofarsalos, an 80 km line to Karditsa, Trikala and Kalampaka branches off (former Thessaly Railways). There is also a metre gauge line to Velestino, which is not used anymore commercially. At the Thessalian capital Larissa there is a 61 km branch line to Volos. North of Larissa, the line passes through a tunnel at Tempe. The picturesque line adjacent to the coast near Platamon at the northern end of Tempe to Katerini is now abandoned, though still visible. This section of the line provides passengers with unique views towards mountains and sea as the train travels along the eastern slopes of Mount Olympus to Katerini.

Platy, 472 kilometres (293 mi) North of Athens and 48 km to the West of Thessaloniki, is the point where Athens and Thessaloniki were first linked by rail in 1916. Trains commenced operations between the two cities in 1918, the first through train service from Athens to Paris linking up with the Orient Express, which was inaugurated in 1920. The line joins with the line from Thessaloniki to Amyntaio, Kozani, and Florina.

Larissa and Thessaloniki have substantial marshalling yards for both goods and passenger trains. Journey time between Athens and Thessaloniki can vary depending on the type of train selected. The stopping service regular train service takes approximately 6 hours, while the Express takes 5 hours and 30 minutes. The InterCity (IC) rail service usually takes about 5 hours. When updates on the whole of the railway corridor are finished (2016-2017), the whole trip will take about 3 hours.

Main stations[edit]

The main stations on the Piraeus–Platy railway are:

History[edit]

Although a railway line from Athens to the north had been planned since 1883, the first section from Athens to Demerli (current Palaiofarsalos railway station) was not opened until 1908. The two branch lines from Schimatari to Chalcis and from Lamia to Stylida were also opened in 1908. Subsequently, the line was extended towards the former Greek-Turkish border at Papapouli, between Larissa and Katerini. Finally in May 1916, the remaining section from Papapouli to Platy on the line from Thessaloniki to Monastir (Bitola) was opened.[3]

Between 2005 and 2010 several sections have been upgraded in order to allow for higher speed, notably the sections Oinoi – Tithorea, Domokos – Larissa and Aiginio – Thessaloniki,[4] and the section Evangelismos - Leptokarya.[5] Currently, the Tithorea-Domokos part is being reconstructed (partly in different route, shortening it from 122 to 106 km) in order to sustain high-speed railway requirements. This part contains 2 tunnels (the 9 km Kallidromo tunnel -the longest in the Balkans- and the 6.5 km Othrys tunnel) and it will be ready in 2017.[6] Another upgrade is the reparation of the damaged electrification of the section Acharnes - Tithorea.[1]

Services[edit]

The Piraeus–Platy railway is used by the following passenger services:

  • Intercity, Express and Regular services Athens–Thessaloniki, Athens–Kalampaka and Thessaloniki–Kalampaka[7]
  • Local services Piraeus–Chalcis[8] and Thessaloniki–Larissa[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]