Greece is one of those places in the world that is littered with ancient ruins making you want to discover more and more of what it has to offer; the Athens Acropolis, Olympia and Mycenae barely scratch the surface of what can be found here if you look and then of course there’s the relaxing atmosphere of the Greek Islands and the enticing Peloponnese. Greece just seems to have it all.
Train OSE (OSE) now operate the national rail service, throughout Greece; also offering many cross border trains into neighbouring countries. Unfortunately since the financial crisis in 2011 the Peloponnese meter gauge network has been almost completely closed with the only remaining services being the Olympia – Pirgos – Katakolo service and the Patras local commuter service. The Kalavryta Rack Railway from Diakopto remains open and OSE now run connecting buses between Kiato, the end of the new standard gauge Athens – Kiato railway, and Patras, stopping off at Diakopto en-route. OSE Intercity timetables are available on their site to download as PDF’s as are all the Suburban Timetables; International Timetables, along with fare details are posted online. You can also plan your trip online.
A comprehensive list of both passenger and freight operators in Greece can be found on the helpful Railfan Europe website’s Greece page.
Train times and Tickets
Booking tickets for travel within Greece can be done at most OSE stations and you can also book OSE tickets online. If you only require reservations for either Interrail, Eurail or railway staff passes then this can be done via phone to the DB office in London.
If choosing to use an Interrail pass, either for just within Greece, or to pass through Greece, all the relevant details on the passes, including the different types/lengths of validity available, can be found on the InterRail website.
For those travelling from outside Europe then the Eurail Pass is your ticket to Europe, details of which can be found on EU Rail’s website.
Also available for travel in Greece is the Balkan Flexi Pass which is valid in Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey & Bosnia. Periods of validity range from 5, 7, 10 or 15 days in 1 month but there is a limitation in that if you buy the pass in Greece it is only valid in Greece for one return journey to/from the border; this is the same whichever country you buy it in!
Finally travel in Europe can be made a lot simpler by using the very, very, helpful smartphone app courtesy of Eurail. This app is available both online and offline and is always up to date (well it has been for the countries I’ve used it in; including for any planned engineering works); for me it was an essential part of my travel in Europe. This app is linked to the Hafas system, which countries like Germany, Austria & Switzerland use for their train planning online tool. Eurail has done what the individual countries haven’t though and made it available offline.
For the Rail Enthusiast
A comprehensive list of Greek Locomotives by their respective railway system can be found on the Railfaneurope website’s Greece page. This also explains a bit the various operators of the network and how they have amalgamated over the years.
A detailed map/atlas of the South East Europe & Turkey Railway Systems, which includes Greece, is available from European Railway Atlas.
Best laid plans! While the 2018 PTG Balkan Circular charter only breezed through Greece, it would still get some Alco’s while in the country; but almost didn’t end up involving Greece at all, thanks to an untimely bridge issue in Macedonia which all but cut Macedonia from its rail connection to any other country. Once Read the Rest…
It was a welcome trip and very eagerly anticipated return to Greece to get some more MLW’s in; especially after the PTG trip in 2014 had been so good. As in 2014 the tour started in Sofia, Bulgaria, as OSE have no fresh air stock left to allow it to run solely in Greece so Read the Rest…
The opportunity to sample some good old Greek Alco thrash wasn’t one I could pass up, especially as I didn’t need any leave to do it. It turned out to be the only Alco hauled train that ran on the closed Peloponnese network during 2014 but was unfortunately marred by events that unfolded on the Read the Rest…
This is an extract from a multi-country report to read the full report use the following link: Multi Trip (Bulgaria – Serbia – Montenegro – Macedonia – Greece – Turkey – Bulgaria – Romania) September 2014 As the Greece bit of this trip included the PTG tour starting and finishing in Bulgaria and it going Read the Rest…
Hats off to those involved with the planning of this train, not only was the whole process from initial idea to execution simple but the information flow to those interested and later to those booked on the tour was excellent; simple and to the point. And not only that, the tour delivered exactly what was Read the Rest…
The last time I’d had the pleasure of gracing my ears with the sound that the “best” engines in the world have to offer, seemed like forever ago. Some might say that the 6th October 2006 was a long time ago, it certainly seemed like it, however once Alco A9101 had departed Tripoli and got Read the Rest…