The Intercity rail service is set to return to Greek tracks in the coming weeks, as railway operator Trainose is, according to sources, planning to resume the four-hour connection between Athens and Thessaloniki in a bid to raise its corporate profile and increase passenger numbers.
To achieve this, the Italian-owned company is planning to have only one stop (in Larissa) on the route between Greece’s two main cities, and perform the service without an engine change.
If the state completes the railway electrification project for the country’s main line on time, Trainose will operate an electrically powered trains. Otherwise, it will employ a diesel-powered engine throughout the route, expecting the increase in passenger figures to offset the increased cost. That way the one-hour delay caused by the current engine switches at Lianokladi and Palaiofarsalo will be avoided.
Sources close to Trainose say the company is mainly targetting the Thessaloniki market, and especially business travelers. The service will initially operate on working days only, leaving Thessaloniki early in the morning and returning to the northern port city late at night.
The service will also aim at restoring the image of Trainose, which has recently been battered by delays and cancelations, and offer prices rivaling air carriers.