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Train

Trains are operated by the railways organisation OSE (now an Italian-run company). The railway network is extremely limited with lines closed in recent years in areas such as the Peloponnese. OSE's northern line is the most substantial. Standard-gauge services run from Athens to Dikea in the northeast via Thessaloniki and Alexandroupoli. There are also connections to Florina and the Pelion Peninsula. The Peloponnese network runs only as far as Kiato, with bus services to Plata for ferry connections.

Due to financial instability, prices and schedules are very changeable. When you can, double-check on the OSE website. Information on departures from Athens or Thessaloniki are also available by calling 1440.

Classes

There are two types of service: regular (slow) trains that stop at all stations, and faster, modern intercity (IC) trains that link most major cities. Train fares have increased dramatically since the crisis; it used to be the country's cheapest form of transport, but no longer.

Having said that, the IC trains that link the major Greek cities are an excellent way to travel and the trains are modern and comfortable, with a cafe-bar on board.

Train Passes

  • Eurail, Inter-Rail and Rail Plus Balkan Flexipass cards are valid in Greece, but they're generally not worth buying if Greece is the only place you plan to use them. Check if a supplement is required for IC journeys.
  • Whatever pass you have, you must have a reservation to board the train.
  • On presentation of ID or a passport, passengers over 65 years old are entitled to a 25% discount on all lines.