The first of five White Arrow high-speed trains ordered by the Greek railway operator Trainose arrived in Thessaloniki from Italy on January 16, two days earlier than scheduled, the company said on Monday.
After a period of training and test runs, the train's first trip with passengers on board will be on the Athens-Thessaloniki line on March 25, a date chosen to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the 1821 Greek Revolution against Ottoman rule.
The train was due to leave Italy on January 4 but finally left the Alstom plant in Northern Italy only last week due to disruption caused by the powerful quake in Croatia.
The new trains, which can travel at a speed of up to 200 km/hour, will be delivered gradually to the Greek railway until autumn 2021. They each have nine carriages, one of which is a bar and restaurant.
There will be three first-class carriages and four economy class. Every train will be able to carry over 475 passengers and be equipped with all amenities needed for a fast and comfortable trip.
Once planned upgrades of the Greek railway network are fully completed, the new train will be able to cover the distance from Athens to Thessaloniki in three hours and a quarter, instead of four hours at present.
Given the current conditions on the Greek railway network, which is in the process of being upgraded, it will travel at speeds of 160 km per hour. The cost of the investment is 52 million euros.