The railway from Piraeus to Platy is a 471-kilometre long electrified double track 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, Katerini and Larissa, and offers connections to several other cities (Chalcis, Lamia, Volos, Trikala) through branch lines.
(Part of the Athens-Thessaloniki railway corridor)
|Type||High-speed railway line|
|Status||Operational (partly under construction)|
|Locale||Greece (Attica, Central Greece, Thessaly, Central Macedonia)|
|Line length||471 km (293 mi)|
|Number of tracks||Double track|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||Piraeus-Platy   |
|Operating speed||160 km/h (99 mph) (average)|
200 km/h (124 mph) (highest)
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. In January 2019, the works of the new line from Tithorea to Leianokladi were completed, except for the electrification installation, which completed in April 2019. With the addition of the Lianokladi - Domokos variant, the Athens - Thessaloniki line is doubled along its length. 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. 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 marshaling 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.
The main stations on the Piraeus–Platy railway are:
Some other stations of the line are Oinoi, Thebes, Livadeia, Tithorea, Leianokladi, Aggeiai, Domokos and Palaiofarsalos.
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.
Starting with the late 1980s, the line has been continuously upgraded, to make sure it keeps up with the demands of the railway circulation. The first upgrade was west of Oinoi in the early 1990s. In 1996 the Orfana bypass was opened. In November 2003, the Tempi Valley line was abandoned in favour of a tunnel and in 2004 the Tempi-Platamon-Katerini-Platy section was drastically shortened, leading to the abandonment of a picturesque route next to the Aegean Sea at Platamon. 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, and the section Evangelismos - Leptokarya. 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 9.3 km Kallidromo Tunnel -the longest in the Balkans- and the 7 km Othrys Tunnel) and it will be ready in 2018. Another upgrade is the reparation of the damaged electrification of the section Acharnes - Tithorea.
The Piraeus–Platy railway is used by the following passenger services:
The Acharnes Railway Center (Greek: Σιδηροδρομικό Κέντρο Αχαρνών) or SKA is a two-level railway station in the northern parts of the Athens Urban Area, in the municipality of Acharnes, where several important railway lines converge. It is an important passenger interchange station, opened in April 2011.Afidnes railway station
Afidnes railway station (Greek: Σιδηροδρομικός Σταθμός Αφιδνών, Sidirodromikos Stathmos Afidnon) is a railway station in Afidnes, a suburb north of Athens, Greece. It is situated on the Piraeus–Platy railway, at 40.086 km from Piraeus. Located outside the village of Afidnes, the station is served by trains of Proastiakos from Piraeus to Chalcis. The station was opened on 8 March 1904. It has three platforms (one not in use) and a sidding. After the station was built, a new settlement arose near it named Stathmos Afidnon ("Afidnes station"). Initially, the station was known as the Kiourka station (Κιούρκα), after the former name of Afidnes. In 2001, 345 passingers where recorded using the station, 2011, it was recorded 293.Agios Thomas railway station
Agios Thomas railway station (Greek: Σιδηροδρομικός σταθμός Αγίου Θωμά, romanized: Sidirodromikos stathmos Agiou Thoma) or Saint Thomas is a railway station in Agios Thomas, a settlement in Boeotia, Central Greece. It is situated on the Piraeus–Platy railway. It was opened on 27 October 1983 when the line was upgraded.Athens railway station
Athens railway station (Greek: Σιδηροδρομικός Σταθμός Αθηνών, romanized: Sidirodromikós Stathmós Athinón) is the main railway station of Athens, the capital city of Greece, and the largest station of the country. It is located in the central quarter of Kolonos. It resulted from the merger of the city's two main railway terminals, the Larissa Station (Greek: Σταθμός Λαρίσσης) of the Piraeus–Platy railway line towards central and northern Greece, and of the Peloponnese Station (Greek: Σταθμός Πελοποννήσου, Stathmós Peloponnísou) of the Piraeus–Patras railway line linking Athens with the southern Peloponnese peninsula. The station is still colloquially known as "Larissa Station", which is also the name of a Metro station there.Avlona railway station
Avlona railway station (Greek: Σιδηροδρομικός σταθμός Αυλώνας, romanized: Sidirodromikos Stathmos Avlonas) is a railway station in Avlona, a settlement north of Athens, in East Attica, Greece. Situated on the Piraeus–Platy railway, at 59.216km from Piraeus the station opened on 8 March 1904 under the name Kakosalesi, the earlier name of Avlona. It has two side platforms with auxiliary facilities on the southbound platform, and electronic departure boards on both platforms.Dekeleia railway station
Dekeleia railway station (Greek: Σιδηροδρομικός Σταθμός Δεκελείας, Sidirodromikos Stathmos Dekeleias) is a railway station in Dekeleia, north of Athens, Greece. Located on the Piraeus-Platy railway at the 24.961 kilometres from the Piraeus Port Railway Station. The station was reopened on 6 May 2005, after a refurbishment and features two side platforms. It is owned by OSE, but service are provided by TrainOSE andEkkara
Ekkara (Greek: Εκκάρα, before 1930: Κάτω Αγόριανη - Kato Agoriani) is a village and a community in the municipal unit Thessaliotida, Phthiotis, Greece. The population in 2011 was 576 for the village, and 691 for the community, which includes the village Ano Agoriani. Ekkara is situated at the southern end of the Thessalian Plain, near the border of the Karditsa regional unit. The Piraeus–Platy railway passes south of the village. Ekkara is located 2 km southeast of Gavrakia, 4 km west of Velesiotes, 10 km northwest of Domokos, 33 km southeast of Karditsa and 36 km northwest of Lamia. There are farmlands in the plains to the north, while there are some forests in the hills to the south. The majority of the population works in agriculture.Kato Acharnes railway station
Kato Acharnai (Greek: Σιδηροδρομικός Σταθμός Κάτω Αχαρνών) is a station in Agioi Anargyroi, West Athens. This station open 27 February 2014 first opened to Suburbal Railway trains on 30 July 2004. It owes its name to the area of Kato Acharnes. It has two side docks. It is next to Merimna Square.Kato Tithorea
Kato Tithorea (Greek: Κάτω Τιθορέα, Lower Tithorea) is a town in Phthiotis, in central Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Amfikleia-Elateia, of which it is the seat. It has a population 1,841 according to the 2011 Greek census. It is situated on the right bank of the river Cephissus and between the Parnassus and Kallidromo mountains, 11 km east of Amfikleia and 24 km northwest of Livadeia. Nearby places includes Panagitsa (northeast), Agia Paraskevi (southeast) and Tithorea (southwest).Leianokladi
Leianokladi (Greek: Λειανοκλάδι) is a village and a former municipality in Phthiotis, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Lamia, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 80.252 km2. Population 2,186 (2011). The Piraeus–Platy railway line passes through the local train station.Oinofyta railway station
Oinofyta railway station (Greek: Σιδηροδρομικός σταθμός Οινοφύτων, romanized: Sidirodromikos stathmos Oinofyton) is a small railway station in the village of Oinofyta in Boeotia, Central Greece. It is situated on the Piraeus–Platy railway. It was opened on 27 October 1983 when the line was upgraded.Oinoi railway station
Oinoi railway station (Greek: Σιδηροδρομικός σταθμός Οινόης, romanized: Sidirodromikós stathmós Oinois) is the railway station of Oinoi in Boeotia, Greece. It is located near the Motorway 1. It is situated at the junction of the Piraeus–Platy railway and the branch line to Chalcis (Oinoi–Chalcis railway). The station opened on 29 June 1904, and since 6 May 2005 serves the Proastiakos link between Piraeus and Chalcis. It is also served by intercity trains between Athens and Thessaloniki.Palaiofarsalos railway station
Palaiofarsalos railway station (Greek: Σιδηροδρομικός Σταθμός Παλαιοφαρσάλου, romanized: Sidirodromikós Stathmós Palaiofarsálou) is the railway station near Farsala in Larissa regional unit, Greece. It is located in the village Stavros, 12km west of Farsala. It is situated at the junction of the main Piraeus–Platy railway and the branch line to Trikala and Kalambaka. It is served by intercity trains between Athens and Thessaloniki, and by local trains to Kalambaka.Piraeus station
Piraeus station refers to two railway termini in Piraeus, Greece, approximately 9 km south-west of the centre of Athens. The southern building (37°56′53″N 23°38′36″E) is the present terminus of Athens Metro Line 1, formerly the Athens-Piraeus Electric Railways that opened in 1869. The northern building (37°56′57″N 23°38′33″E) is the railway terminus for standard gauge railway services on the main axis to Thessaloniki via Larisa and for the Proastiakos to Acharnes Junction and Chalcis.Both buildings are located next to the seaport.
The Electric Railways Museum of Piraeus is located in the station, in the space of the former Post Office.Platy railway station
Platy railway station (Greek: Σιδηροδρομικός σταθμός Πλατέος, romanized: Sidirodromikós stathmós Platéos) is the railway station of Platy in Imathia, Central Macedonia, Greece. Opened in 1894 in what was then the Ottoman Empire, it is located southwest of the residential area, at the junction of the Piraeus–Platy railway and Thessaloniki–Bitola railway. The station is served by intercity trains between Athens and Thessaloniki, and since 9 September 2007 by Proastiakos Thessaloniki services to Katerini and Larissa, Edessa, Florina and Thessaloniki.Pydna
Pydna (in Greek: Πύδνα, older transliteration: Pýdna) was a Greek city in ancient Macedon, the most important in Pieria. Modern Pydna is a small town and a former municipality in the northeastern part of Pieria regional unit, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pydna-Kolindros, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 105.059 km2, the community 41.334 km2. Pydna is situated in fertile land close to the Thermaic Gulf coast. The main village of the former municipality is Kitros. It lies 6 km north of Korinos, 8 km south of Methoni and 13 km northeast of Katerini. Motorway 1 and the Piraeus–Platy railway (nearest station at Korinos) pass east of the village.Sfendali railway station
Sfendali railway station (Greek: Σιδηροδρομικός σταθμός Σφενδάλης, romanized: Sidirodromikos Stathmos Sfendali) is a railway station in Sfendali (a settlement north of Athens), in East Attica, Greece. It is situated on the Piraeus–Platy railway, at 50,878 km from Piraeus. Opened on 8 March 1904, under the name Malakasa station, the date of its rebranding remains unknown.
Due to funding issues, the ticket office is closed. The Station is now unstaffed, however CCTV is present.Thebes railway station
Thebes railway station (Greek: Σιδηροδρομικός σταθμός Οινόης, romanized: Sidirodromikós stathmós Thiva) is the main railway station of Thebes in Boeotia, Greece. It is situated at the junction of the Piraeus–Platy railway and the branch line to Chalcis (Oinoi–Chalcis railway). The station opened on 08 March 1904, and since 6 May 2005 serves the Proastiakos link between Piraeus and Chalcis. It is also served by intercity trains between Athens and Thessaloniki. The station sees around 16 trains per-day.Transport in Greece
Transport in Greece have undergone significant changes in the past two decades, vastly modernizing the country's infrastructure and transportation. Although ferry transport between islands remains the prominent method of transport between the nation's islands, improvements to the road infrastructure, rail, urban transport, and airports have all led to a vast improvement in transportation. These upgrades have played a key role in supporting Greece's economy, which in the past decade has come to rely heavily on the construction industry.