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.
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.