Rail: Few routes, many problems

By | May 7, 2023

In routine rhythms from the point of view of the continuing problems that arise and the results of chronic neglect it seems that the railway is making a comeback as we move further back in time from the Tempe Railroad Tragedy which claimed the lives of 57 people.

As reported by train conductorsAlthough the routes are still drastically reducedthe lack of trains, breakdowns and delays of trains have not disappeared from everyday life, so discussions between travelers and railway workers continue.

Last Friday became a difficult day after the fire near the lines of the Agioi Theodoros station, about which “Ethnos” wrote, a breakdown in a diesel train of the Athens Suburban (Neratziotissa), caused long delays, without information to the traveling public since the telematics has been broken for years, while there are no staff at the stations to inform passengers, as the Panhellenic Union of Traction Personnel (PEPE) reiterates, after the thousands of transfers in 2011, the management of the stations has been assigned to private individuals, who are limited exclusively to the issuance of tickets.

As a result, last Friday the delays were “paid for” by a conductor of the Suburban Railroad, who was sexually abused by a passenger at the station. nerantziotissa.

As PEPE points out in its statement, to all this, the problems in rolling stock, since no new investments have been made in recent years, “while in the recently voted contract between Hellenic Train – Hellenic State, the investment amount was considerably reduced while the purchase of trains.. hydrogen (from GAIAOSE and not from the suppliers) for the… year 2027″.

The train drivers complain once again that the maintenance facilities have remained in the same -poor- condition for 5 years, due to the lack of investment, while the problems due to the lack of trains are evident since “barely 15 (what if) electric Desiro trains are available to cover the needs of the Suburban of Athens and also of Thessaloniki (!!!)along with the daily or long-term maintenance required for continuous – daily – operationhis wrath.”

Especially for the Thessaloniki-Larissa suburban train, they report that it remains inexplicably closed to this day. And this at a time when – according to PEPE – in the last period – with major problems – “32-35 year old diesel trains, while in Athens the use of diesel trains (Rail buses) on the Suburban line routes in airport in parallel to the establishment – from 2021 – of the unacceptable transhipment at the Rentis station (and on diesel trains) to reach the largest port in the country, Piraeus”.

On the need for this transfer, which has concerned train drivers and passengers for 2 years, no person in charge has ever responded, the train drivers point out “in the absence of initiatives on the part of the political leadership, as shown by the OSE” Hellenic Train and vice versa ” .

The result is that in a period when the passenger traffic showed a significant increase in the Athens and Thessaloniki Suburban due to the increase in the cost of energy, the railway was not only unable to respond to it, but the obligations of the investment companies were constrained. just as the maintenance of the infrastructure was abandoned to give it to individuals through PPP, emphasize the train drivers, who add that “a walk to the stations (even the Central Station of Athens that was inaugurated 7 years ago) is enough for someone to see abandonment”.

The solutions they propose

According to PEPE, there are also solutions to reverse the situationThey refer to the immediate reinforcement of the OSE with personnel for the maintenance of the infrastructure, the return of the operation of the stations to permanent personnel – trained and the substantial investments in rolling stock – their maintenance facilities.

The train drivers reiterate that “the annual state subsidy for the construction of the sterile lines cannot be used as a rusfetological tool – a means of pressure, to place countless executives in critical positions in all companies or to run trains in areas where the deputies are elected who have the political responsibility for the supervision of the Ministry of Transport – Infrastructure and Economy. It must be accompanied by a specific investment program that focuses on serving the passenger public and the Greek economy.”

They conclude by stating that the degradation of the railway cannot continue. “Instead of crocodile tears and communication parties, may those responsible finally work on the development of the medium.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *