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Athens – August 2011

The second last stop on the list of train-hunting was Athens. Greece, as we all know, has copped a beating globally over it's recent financial issues and this shows throughout the city. Many shops are closed or damaged, leaving a very solemn feeling with anyone travelling through. This also extends to the railways; the Goverment-owned TrainOSE has been progressing the redevelopment of the main regional railway line (known as Proastiakos) but this seems to have been put on hold.

Larissis Station (aka 'Athens Central', 'Larissa Station')

This is where everything starts to get very confusing; there is no direct Wikipedia reference to this station and, depending on which site you're browsing through, everyone has a different name for it. I've come across two reasons for this: firstly most people translate the Greek language into English differently and secondly it seems that the area used to have two stations for two different destinations. Peloponnisou, the second station, was closed in 2005, but I can't determine when the new Larissis station development started. Either way, as you can see below, it hasn't finished.

As I arrived a DMU was departing the original Larissis Station. The station was quite busy as the train was approaching.

DMU departing Larissa DMU departing Larissa DMU departing Larissa DMU departing Larissa DMU departing Larissa

The yard was looking pretty dismal... the track had been skewed to allow more point installations and there was a lot of material lying around in stockpiles.

Old point at Larissa Stockpiled sleepers at Larissa Larissa Station Redevelopment
Slewed track at Larissa Larissa Station Redevelopment Old/new track at Larissa Water feeder at Larissa Larissa Yard

I then did a lap of the area to see what had become of the new development. A track machine and a rail train were stabled in the empty platforms. I don't know how long 55-213 had been parked there, but there was absolutely no evidence of work being carried out at the time.

Track Machine at Larissa 55-213 at Larissa Station 55-213 at Larissa Station

At the other end of the station you could see the tunnelling that was partially in use. It was also made obvious that there was a lot more work to do on the station.

Larissa Station Redevelopment Tunnel southbound from LarissaLarissa Station Redevelopment
Old Larissa Station (still in use) New Larissa Station platforms

Finally, the underpass to the shopping area and Metro station had some nice artwork of days gone by.

Underpass art at Larissa Underpass art at Larissa

That was it for Athens... the rest of the time in Greece was spent driving a Nissan Micra in Santorini on the wrong side of the road.
The next stop was to be spain; it was finally time to use the Renfe tickets I'd previously purchased.

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