Greece received its first high-speed train earlier in the week which will soon make traveling across the country much faster.
The train, called “White Arrow”, can reach speeds of 200 km (124 miles) per hour.
The first trip, operated by Greek railway company TrainOSE, will follow the route from Athens to the country’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki.
Its inaugural journey will take place on March 25, which coincides with the bicentennial of the beginning of Greece’s War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821.
Greece is to receive four more trains by September, which will also be upgraded by Alstom, a French multinational rolling stock manufacturer operating worldwide in rail transport markets.
The first #highspeed trains will soon run in Greece! 🇬🇷 We're happy to have delivered the first refurbished ETR470 Pendolino train and modernised depot to @TrainoseGr https://t.co/OrJra5FB5M pic.twitter.com/pdUxAniDg5
— Alstom (@Alstom) January 20, 2021
This is part of a project implemented by TrainOSE in which Alstom is to provide depot modernization and corrective maintenance for the five trains that will constitute the country’s first fleet of high-speed trains.
The two contracts – signed in March 2020 for depot modernization, and in June 2020 for maintenance – are worth a total of approximately €40 million.
The scope of the contracts includes the modernization of a depot in Thessaloniki and corrective maintenance services for five Alstom ETR470 Pendolino high-speed trains.
“Introducing high-speed trains to Greece is a major achievement for Alstom, and for our client, in the country’s railway transport modernization efforts. This project complements Alstom’s long-standing presence in Greece,” said Stavros Vlachos, Alstom‘s Managing Director for Greece.
Athens-Thessaloniki in under three hours and 15 minutes
TrainOSE’s CEO Filippos Tsalides stated to AMNA that after a few trial trips are conducted, the company would gradually incorporate more and more high-speed trains into Greece’s railway system.
Featuring nine carriages, including four economy-class and three first-class sections, along with a bar and restaurant, the new trains provide an unrivaled level of comfort and convenience for travelers.
With a capacity of over 600 passengers, the trains can make the journey from Athens to Thessaloniki, which once was over four hours, in under three hours and 15 minutes.
In 2017, TrainOSE was purchased by Italian railway giant Ferrovie Dello Stato, the third-largest in Europe, for hundreds of millions of euros.
Upon purchasing the railway company, Ferrovie said that it was ready to spend up to 500 million euros in Greece in the coming years, mainly to buy new trains.
These high-speed trains are the fruit of the company’s investment into Greece’s railway system.
The massive investment of 52 million euros will strengthen the Greek railway system while keeping the country more interconnected than ever.