Rail links across Greece, which were suspended for three weeks after the Tempi train tragedy near Larissa, were resumed on Wednesday. It is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to RailTech.

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“The restart of the railway is necessary to restore public confidence,” said Giorgos Gerapetritis, Minister of State in charge of Transport and Infrastructure, last week. “Furthermore, delaying the start of operation, even with a limited number of routes, carries serious risks of theft and/or sabotage. Finally, there is a very serious problem with freight traffic to neighboring states.”

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Full service is scheduled to resume on April 11, including rail services between Athens and Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki.

The first official findings of the Greek Railway Regulatory Authority’s (RAS) investigation into the causes of the train collision point to inadequate training of personnel performing critical tasks that led to the accident. According to Gerapetritis, the local remote control system in Larisa was fully operational on the critical evening.

However, there are some indications that traffic control and signaling may not have been partially functional. Kostas Genidounias, president of the Greek Association of Train Drivers, told the Greek media: “Nothing works; neither the lights work nor the traffic control. Everything takes place manually, and information is given by the station master through a radio all over the Athens-Thessaloniki axis. If the systems had worked, the drivers would have seen the red signals and stopped 500 metres before the collision.” Research on RAS will continue and may shed more light on how the systems work.

Additional security measures will be taken before the final upgrade of the remotely controlled signaling system, with the first batch due in June and the next in September. At least until September, several conditions will be in effect, including the staffing of open stations with 2 station masters, the staffing of all commuter trains with 2 drivers, as well as a reduction in speed at non-signalled sections up to 80 km and 100 km for commuter/freight and passenger trains, respectively.

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