First High-Speed Train Arrives in Greece

Alstom’s first upgraded ETR470 Pendolino has arrived in Thessaloniki, Greece.

This marks the arrival of the first high-speed train in Greece. Prior to the ETR470s being deployed in Greece, they operated in Italy under the name ‘Frecciabianca’. TrainOSE, the main rail operator in Greece (100% owned by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane), will also operate these new Pendolinos. As part of the project, Alstom will provide deport modernisation and corrective maintenance services for the five trains. The two contracts, signed in March 2020 for depot modernisation and in June 2020 for maintenance, are worth around 40 million euros.

ETR470 Pendolino on its way to Greece
ETR470 Pendolino on its way to Greece

Alstom will modernise a depot in Thessaloniki and deliver corrective maintenance services for the five Alstom ETR470 high-speed trains. The depot in Thessaloniki has been substantially modernised in recent months. The rolling stock has also been completely refurbished and modernised at Alstom’s Savigliano site in Italy. The trains will have wifi and new passenger information systems. They have also been fitted with ETCS and altered so they can run on the 25kV electrified network that is in place in Greece.

The first of the five trains will run between Athens and Thessaloniki starting in March 2021. Alstom will deliver the four remaining units to Thessaloniki by autumn 2021.

Stavros Vlachos, Managing Director, Alstom Greece, said:

“Introducing high-speed trains to Greece is a major achievement for Alstom and for our client in the country’s railway transport modernisation efforts. This project complements Alstom’s long-standing presence in Greece.”

Following completed infrastructure upgrades, these new trains should cut journey times between the two Greek cities from four hours to three.

Filippos Tsalidis, CEO, TRAINOSE, said:

“Starting high-speed service in Greece with these upgraded Alstom trains is part of our strategy to offer an improved passenger experience, better quality services and reduced travel time on a very popular route. Moreover, the upgrade of our Thessaloniki depot as part of this project will turn our depots into some of the most modern and high-tech depots in South-East Europe.”

The ETR470 was built in the 90s. Alstom manufactured a total of nine units, of which the five Italian ones are part of this transaction. Three have been scrapped and one remains in Switzerland.

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