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Hellenic Train fined €300K for stranding passengers, poor service

Rail operator Hellenic Train SA was fined 300,000 euros by Greece’s Railroad Regulatory Authority (RAS) for stranding 820 passengers in harsh weather conditions on January 24, when five trains were stuck on the major north-south train route of Greece.

Following a months-long review of Hellenic Train, a subsidiary of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group (FS), the regulator found serious violations of European regulations in terms of obligations to its passengers, especially in January 2022, after which passengers were neither reimbursed by the company nor notified of how they could be so.

“Hellenic Train SA did not take immediate action to organize alternative transport services for passengers, who not only did not reach an alternative destination or their original destination in time, but they also remained exposed to very difficult weather conditions for several hours,” RAS head Ioanna Tsiaparikou said.

“The passengers suffered physically and mentally, remaining trapped within the trains and within or outside of train stations, without having timely, full, and clear information about the completion of their travel.”

The authority also obligated the company to several other actions related to passengers, to observe EU regulations better, and to modify as necessary its terms of service to passengers, otherwise it will face more fines and/or other measures.

RAS had also received several complaints from passengers in the past about lack of information provided for cancelled or delayed trains both in Athens and Thessaloniki.

Earlier in the month, the authority had also cited the problems of poor state of equipment, reduced staffing because of Covid-19, and poor management of crowded platforms. [[amna]

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