Greece is a country where ever since the financial turmoil of recent years all railroad infrastructure as well as the trains were in a sorry state of major disrepair. The Greek railroads used to employ by far too many workers and when money ran out and more could not anymore be loaned, huge crowds of railroaders were fired. As an end result more or less everything was actively broken if not stolen. Kilometres of copper wire from electrified lines were stolen, huge amounts of rolling stock were actively broken or just left to rot, almost all cleaning and repairing of trains and stations alike was stopped, everything was covered by disgusting graffiti and of course the end result was a full chaos. Even now, years after the sharpest peak of the riots, not many people wanted to ride a train as they were smudged by graffiti, unreliable, filthy and often in a disgusting shape. The state railways OSE went practically bankrupt. Train operations were continued under the name of TrainOSE, which technically was a private company, now bought by the Italian state railways FS. The Italians were the only ones who wanted to pay even a single euro for the mess. TrainOSE does not own the trains and tracks it uses, but rents them from the still state owned OSE. But the Italians have managed to put some things in order. Only a few types of trains were left in useand all the rest scrapped. There is no or at least very little graffiti now and the trains are clean once again. The trains are rebranded as "Hellenic trains" with a clear added text saying that it is a subsidiary of the Ferrovie dello Stato.

This here is a modern German train, a five coach German Siemens Desiro, still in the shape it used to be before the Italians came. 20 of them were delivered to Greece and 19 are still - at least in theory - in use. They are from the year 2006. Whereas the Desiros of Germany are two coach diesel trains, the Greek Desiros are five coach electric multiple units intended mainly for suburban traffic around Athens and Thessaloniki. This one was photographed at Thessaloniki station 29.11.2015 by Ilkka Siissalo.

FUNET railway pictures archive - Greece

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It is often said that Greece is a country with a brilliant history. This is true for its railways too, the problem is today and the future and we can only hope for better times for them. It is such a shame to see how they wasted huge sums of money and then broke down and left to rot everything

This is a pre WW II German express train coach, converted during the war time into a hospital train to evacuate wounded German soldiers and then left behind as the Nazi German army had to retreat from Eastern Europe. Here it rusts now at a siding at Thessaloniki station in eastern Greece. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo 29.11.2015.

The same pre war German coach, seen from another side. Picture 29.11.2015 by Ilkka Siissalo.

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