Steam returns to Greek rack line

THE only rack railway in Greece – Diakoftó to Kalávryta on the Peloponnese Peninsula – celebrated its 120th birthday last year.

The steam workings in November were from Kalávryta to Kerpini (about 5km away) and return, but only operated for invited guests; there were no public trains. The picture shows DK 8001 (Cail 2343/1891) with the return working on November 5, approaching Kalávryta. The coach for this train – No. 131 – is built on one of the original 1891 carriage underframes and was re-bodied in the early 1950s. JAMES WAITE

And for the first time in a decade one of the original steam locomotives was restored for use and operated special trains.

The 750mm-gauge Abt rack-equipped line opened on March 10, 1896 after four years construction, and has three rack sections totalling 3.8km; much of the 22.3km long line is adhesion worked.

The railway was sponsored and funded from the outset by the Greek state though the actual construction and operation were franchised out to the Peloponnese metre-gauge operator SPAP.

Read more in January’s issue of The RM

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