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Nostalgic trips with a train

10 March 2012 / 22:03:27  GRReporter
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Train is, or maybe was, the most romantic way for one to get somewhere, enjoy the journey until he reaches the desired destination, to experience all the magic that passing through villages, towns, bridges, forests and mountains can offer. For many years trains and train stations have been the place for meetings and separations, farewells and welcomes, and of course they have been the source of inspiration for musicians, poets and artists.

Along with the history of the country is also developing the history of the railroad (the first railroad was built in 1834 and the first network of railways Athens-Piraeus was put into operation in 1869): with the expansion of Greece railway lines also expand as they are updated to meet the ever increasing transportation needs of the Greek society. And this continues until the moment when they lost their growth rates and remain stagnant, at least in comparison with other European countries or with other means of mass transportation.

The Greek railway network passes through many places typical for their rare natural beauty. Moreover, most of them are the exclusive privilege of the Greek Railways passengers, because only the train passes through there.

Today's rail network in Greece

The modern rail network of Greece adds up to a total of 2552 km (lines in operation), 70% of which are lines of normal width. Existing railways are: Piraeus - Thessaloniki - Idomeni, Plateos - Florina/Kozani, Thessaloniki - Ormenio, Airport - Corinthos - Kiatos, Corinthos - Kalamata and Patras - Kalamata. The line Piraeus - Thessaloniki - Idomeni (Sehovo in Bulgarian) (at the Greek-Macedonian border), has over 50 stations.

Also, in spring and summer, the train operates in Pilio as a tourist attraction, (http://bit.ly/trenaki_Piliou), the rack railway (http://bit.ly/Odontwtos) from Diakopto to Kalavrita and the train, travelling through the Valley of the Mesta River (it starts from Xanthi, passes through the station Livera, then through Stavroupolis and reaches Paranesti. For more information go to http://bit.ly/syndesmos_filwn).

Old, picturesque stations

When travelling by train it is worth paying attention to the architecture of the old railway stations, most of which were built in the late 19th century and are true masterpieces of the early industrial architecture and monuments of the latest cultural heritage of Greece. Some of these stations no longer work today but have been preserved without losing their charm.

In the first railway network in the area of Epirus the stations represented simple structures with neoclassical and local elements. Such are the stations in Afidnes, Acharnes, Amfiklia and others. In the railway network in the regions of Macedonia and Thrace the Central European type of stations dominate. The stations in Alexandroupoli, Didimoticho and Patio which are wooden and were built with two floors are distinctive for their remarkable aesthetics.

Because of their historical architectural value many of the stations are under the protection of institutions and procedures of the Ministry of Environment, Land Planning and Public Works, which readily take responsibility for the preservation and presentation of the Greek architectural heritage. For example, the railway station "Peloponnese" in Athens, built by Ernst Sihler is a protected building of great architectural value. It is a miniature size copy, with small differences of the train station Sirkeci in Istanbul.

More information can be found on the following sites: http://www.sfs.gr, www.youtube.com/user/kgogis/videos?sort=dd&view=u&page=3, www.amnizia.com.

Tags: railway network Greek railways architectural monuments picturesque stations
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