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First trains resume service; emotions high as train passes crash site (video)

Τhe first passenger trains resumed service on Monday morning more than a month after the deadly train collision in Tempi. As expected the restart of the service turned into a PR show by the government, despite the fact that deficiencies in the rail network remain.

The first Hellenic Train service departed at 08:28 from Larissa station to Kalambaka and the second service, from Athens to Thessaloniki, left the station at 10:28, while another train left Thessaloniki for Athens. All trains had significantly fewer passengers than before the train crash.

For train staff and passengers the moment the Intercity heading to Athens drove through the crash site was particularly emotional as the driver announced “we now pass through the tragedy site” and sent repeated sound signals (horns), local website larissanet.gr reports.

Video:

On board of the Larissa-Kalambaka train were State Minister and responsible for Infrastructure and Transport Giorgos Gerapetritis, the president and CEO of Hellenic Railways OSE Panagiotis Terezakis and other executives of Hellenic Train, who wanted to send the message that rail transport is safe.

Minister Gerapetritis boarded on the first carriage and took place next to the train driver.

The schedule of routes that have started is not as frequent as before the tragedy and is shorter than the one the government had announced last week, as the the union of train drivers of Hellenic Train said in an letter that were not given the necessary safeguards, which they requested and set as a necessary precondition for the restart of the routes.

According to daily efsyn, the original restart schedule in 5 phases has been delayed as the problems in the unmaintained and without lights tunnels proved to be enormous, while those who want to travel on the Athens – Kiato line are still waiting.

State Minister and responsible for Infrastructure and Transport Giorgos Gerapetritis, the president and CEO of Hellenic Railways OSE Panagiotis Terezakis and executives of Hellenic Train are traveling on the first train departing from Larissa station for Kalambaka, wanting to send the message that rail transport is safe.

The minister asserted Monday morning that the “restart of the passenger train for Northern Greece to Thessaloniki and Kalambaka” takes place with “a slight delay as it was planned for the day before yesterday” and at the same time that it is “on schedule with regard to almost all trains ».

 

He repeated the promises for the “effort on the part of the Ministry and the State so that all the contracts that refer to signaling and remote control universally on the main axis are completed on time so that by the end of September we have a completely safe network, in accordance with the provisions to all international standards for the protection of passengers”.

He also claimed that the goal is “to shed a lot of light on the issue of the accident and to highlight the responsibilities where they exist. The second to have a safe restart. The third is the relegation of the safety level of the railways to a more permanent level.”

However, many consider the minister’s statements as “not convincing” and suspect “cove up efforts” ruling New Democracy granted immunity to Committee of Experts to investigate the train collision.

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