A new train that will run up to 160 kmph is expected to go into service between Athens and Thessaloniki in mid-January 2022, rail operator TRAINOSE said on Friday.
Speaking in Thessaloniki, TRAINOSE chairman Dario Lo Bosco said that a technical issue with the high-speed ETR 470 train had been resolved, meaning it could now be certified to operate in Greece.
At the request of the rail regulator, the undercarriage of the trains were recently fitted with a mechanism to clear sand and snow.
Originally, the five ETR 470-type train cars were expected go into operation in March 2021. However, as Lo Bosco clarified, the ETR 470 trains are not part of the “silver arrow” family of trains that can achieve even greater speeds.
The deployment of the higher-speed ETR 485 models would require “many more years of work, and very good cooperation between the Greek government and Ferrovie dello Stato,” the Italian rail company that owns TRAINOSE, Lo Bosco said.
That work would involve developing “priority lines” in the Greek network and also completing the railway connection with Sofia.
Lo Bosco also said that TRAINOSE is exploring, with Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis, the possibility of rolling out historic trains, such as the former royal train, as well as “taste trains,” which will offer wine and gastronomic experiences for tourism purposes.